Chickens originate from warm regions of East Asia and are descended from the red junglefowl. These animals have long been kept by humans for their meat and eggs, and also because they are attractive creatures.
The Netherlands has a substantial number of old breeds, which appear on paintings dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries.
When, in the 19th century, people wanted chickens to produce more eggs and meat, almost all of the old Dutch breeds were replaced with more productive foreign breeds and crossbreeds. These crossbreeds are well suited to factory farming.
Today old Dutch breeds are being maintained by amateur breeders. The populations of some of these breeds are now so small that they are at risk of extinction.
You will find the following breeds across the museum park:
the Assendelfter, Drenthe, Dutch crested, North Holland blue, Lakenvelder, Uilenbaard, Brabanter, Barnevelder, Welsumer, Groninger meeuw and Hamburg.
The museum works together closely with the Nederlandse Hoenderclub, an organisation that aims to protect special Dutch breeds of chicken.