Venda is a breed of chicken native to South Africa, it was first described by veterinarian Naas Coetzee, who noticed these distinctive chickens in Venda province in northern South Africa. Although similar birds were subsequently identified in the South Cape and the Qwa-Qwa region, the original name of the breed has remained.
Venda is an ideal breed to breed in the open field, they are good fliers and generally, you will see them perching in trees to escape predators, they are adapted to various climatic conditions and they are good foragers. Their diet is very diverse, they eat seeds, fruit remains, and insects. Some farmers use these breeds for natural tick and fly control, where farmers also raise grazing cattle. It has a simple, bright red crest and weighs approximately 3 kg (rooster) and 2.5 kg (hen).
The breed appears in a variety with black and white speckled feathers, as the predominant colors. Subsequently, the conservatives of this breed began to select a line that included red feathers in the mottling, which is known as the red variety.
Registration in the South African Poultry Breed Standards is in process. The breed is very popular with show breeders and subsistence farmers and is also exported to Mozambique to raise chickens from villages that have been lost due to floods and disease.
Dr. Coetzee was very impressed with its excellent adaptation to various climatic conditions, self-sufficiency, resistance against disease, and low need for food for rearing.
Chickens of this breed lay large pink eggs with the normal production of about 70 eggs per year. Its main highlight, however, is its excellent maternal characteristics for hatching and raising its chicks in the field. Roosters are large, colorful birds with an aggressive territorial streak.
They are very hardy birds and adapt very well to the harsh conditions of low-income African villages with minimal supplemental feeding and a high risk of disease. Bandages can sometimes be seen with grazing cattle, where they are adept at picking ticks from animals.
The original Venda was first discovered in the Venda area of Limpopo province in 1979 by Dr. Naas Coetzee, a Bloemfontein government veterinary surgeon. The basic colors of the birds are similar to those of cattle and goats, displaying a beautiful white, black speckled color. They originated from the interbreeding of domestic birds commercialized and introduced during the interaction of the first settlers and pioneers in the Venda area and have adapted and evolved to the current form.
These chickens are in the process of recovery, as they have been replaced by imported hybrid breeds more suitable for agriculture and factory farming, but which are not adapted to an agroecological subsistence field environment and need special care. On the other hand, Venda is a multipurpose chicken, but it is used mainly for its meat, which is used in stews served with corn porridge and wild spinach. The eggs are also of excellent quality.
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