Key West Chickens

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Key West Chickens

Post by Ex Moderator » 20 Dec 2005, 02:05

This thread is for Key West Chickens.

1 Chicken Smuggler

Post by 1 Chicken Smuggler » 20 Dec 2005, 13:46

A game breed of Spanish origin, the "Gypsy Chicken" of Key West has roamed the streets of the tiny southernmost U.S. island for 150 years. Spanish, Cuban and Puerto Rican game blood make up its breed lineage and up until the middle of the 20th century, the chickens were actually used in legal cock-fighting. These birds were of outstanding monetary value into the thousands of dollars. Of course, cock-fighting is illegal in the United States and these birds have, by nature, established their own breed in the freedom they have on the island (or once had).

While roosters will be roosters, it is interesting to note that the birds actually exhibit a docility that is contrary to their origins. This can more than likely be attributed to the tourists that grace Key West and the fact that the birds are handfed daily by them. I would like to add that the Key West Chicken is slow to mature compared to other breeds.

At this time in our club infancy, our concentration is on a very rough standard for breeding. We have 5-10 years to establish a Standard of Perfection and display these birds at our first American Poultry Association sanctioned show. There is much to be done but the Key West Chickens have actually done quite a bit on their own. We will concentrate on breeding for the prominent aspects that this bird has already established. By breeding the best and culling the rest, we can attain our mission.

Please keep in mind that this is a very rough standard and will change many times in the next 5 or more years leading up to our debut in the poultry world but it should be enough for breeders to go on given that all breeders will receive foundation stock.

The K.W.C.C. efforts will be concentrated on breeding for the following:

SINGLE COMB

Black

Red Black-breasted

Spangled (a white-factored, multi-color)

Blue



ROSE COMB

Black

Red Black-breasted

Spangled (a white-factored, multi-color)

Blue

There will, no doubt, be other color variations that develop in our efforts and they should be presented to the club for acceptance as well.

These birds should be friendly in disposition and not overtly display fighting temperament (continuation of hand-feeding should help this). We do not want birds that will EVER be bred for illegal cock-fighting so disposition is important.

On roosters, the gray down should tuft at the point of tail-feather rise. Iridescence should be prominent in all colors and combs of roosters on both body and tail.

Hens are very slight in stature. They make excellent mothers, are quite broody and prefer to hatch their own young. They are protective mothers and good teachers to their biddies. Many hens will display the iridescence that the males have but not all. It is encouraged to breed for this as it is truly a distinguishing characteristic.
Last edited by 1 Chicken Smuggler on 20 Dec 2005, 14:42, edited 1 time in total.

1 Chicken Smuggler

Post by 1 Chicken Smuggler » 20 Dec 2005, 13:58

More pictures to follow.This is one type of Key West Chicken.

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1 Chicken Smuggler

Post by 1 Chicken Smuggler » 20 Dec 2005, 14:48

This is a blue KW chicken.

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1 Chicken Smuggler

Post by 1 Chicken Smuggler » 20 Dec 2005, 14:50

Another Key Wester

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1 Chicken Smuggler

Post by 1 Chicken Smuggler » 20 Dec 2005, 14:57

a Rose comb.

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1 Chicken Smuggler

The Kikiriki Chickens

Post by 1 Chicken Smuggler » 20 Dec 2005, 15:07

The Kikiriki Chickens pictured are part of Key West Chicken History serving to make the Key West Chicken smaller in size. The Kikiriki chicken was brought over to Key West literally in the coat pockets of Cuban refugees. They are known to have originated in Africa and other locales and brought to Haiti & Cuba by Spaniards

To give you an idea of the size of the Kikiriki Chickens this is someone in Key West holding some.

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1 Chicken Smuggler

Post by 1 Chicken Smuggler » 20 Dec 2005, 15:16

Kikiriki pair


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1 Chicken Smuggler

Post by 1 Chicken Smuggler » 20 Dec 2005, 15:21

Group of Kikiriki chickens.

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tussell

Re: Key West Chickens

Post by tussell » 30 Sep 2010, 22:00

Who keeps these?

kimera

Re: Key West Chickens

Post by kimera » 02 Oct 2010, 01:11

I've been to Key West many times and worked there for a while. It's pretty cool to watch the chickens cruise through town. The main street in Key West is Duval Street, and you can see chickens running back and forth between houses. There's a store on Duval Street dedicated to the rescue of wounded chickens and they sell chicken trinkets.

There is much variability in the look and type of the chickens, so it's hard to say they're a legitimate breed. But, many of them are beautiful and they show a strong bias toward the game breeds. There's a locally famous breakfast outdoor restaurant called Blue Heaven where the chickens run between the tables. They seem to integrate well into the local lifestyle. Makes me think chickens should be allowed everywhere, always.

There were some interesting studies done by Lehr Brisbin in South Carolina a few years ago that focused on the attributes of successful feral chickens. Worth researching.

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