Lakenvelder Chicken

Lakenvelder chicken is a medium size egg laying breed. It is an old chicken breed. Lakenvelder chicken is thought to originate from the Nordrhein-Westfalen area of Germany. And they are thought to be named after the town of Lakenvelt.

This breed was first recorded in 1727. The name Lakenvelder means white spread over a black field. They are also known as Shadow on a Sheet.

The black-and-white pattern of Lakenvelder chicken is similar to the coloring of the Lakenvelder cattle and goats, which originated in the same area.

They were first imported into Britain in 1901. And the breed was admitted to the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1939. There is a bantam variety available of this chicken breed.

Physical Characteristics of Lakenvelder Chicken

Lakenvelder chicken is a very beautiful variety that attracts a lot of attention because of its unique color pattern. They have solid black head, neck hackle and tail, without spots, ticks or stripes. The inner web of the wing primaries and secondaries is black.

And the rest of the bird is white in color with a pale blue-gray under-color. The distinctive plumage and markings of Lakenvelder chicken usually take until the third molting to fully appear. They have dark horn beak and bright chestnut or red colored eyes.

The face, comb and wattles of Lakenvelder chicken are of bright red color. Their medium sized single comb has five points, which stands uniquely upright on females. They have almond shaped white earlobes and the legs are slate-blue in color and featherless.

Their breast is unusually plump and round, almost like wild game birds and the skin color is white. Lakenvelder chicks are mostly creamy white with a half collar of black on the neck and sprinkling of black on the head and back.

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On an average, Lakenvelder roosters weight up to 2.5 kg and hens up to 2 kg. Photo form Wikipedia.


Lakenvelder chickens are good layers and lay up to 160 eggs per year. Their eggs are medium in size, weighing up to 50 grams each and white to tinted colored.

The hens are not broody. They tend to be flighty, wild and willing to forage. They are good foragers and are most comfortable in free range system.

Lakenvelder chickens don’t do well and tend to be nervous and uncomfortable in confinement. Chicks are hardy and mature quickly. They can tolerate almost all climates. See full breed profile of Lakenvelder chicken bellow.

Breed NameLakenvelder
Other NameAlso Known as Shadow on a Sheet
Breed PurposeEggs
Breed TemperamentFlighty, Shy
Breed SizeMedium
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ColorWhite or Tinted
Egg SizeMedium
Egg ProductivityMedium
Feathered LegsNo
VarietiesSilver Lakenvelder (black white black, blue white blue, brown white brown are being created)

The Good

  • Very attractive
  • Good layer
  • Very hardy
  • Excellent foragers
  • Good feed to egg conversion
  • Chicks mature quickly
  • Good for free range
  • Very protective to flock

The Bad

  • Flighty
  • Not a meat bird
  • Not good as pets
  • Can be aggressive to new birds or other birds in the flock

Is Lakenvelder Chicken Good for You?

Lakenvelder chicken is good for you if you…….

  • Prefer raising some attractive chickens.
  • Are looking for some chickens with unique color pattern.
  • Want to raise some small sized layer chickens.
  • Are searching for some chickens which are good foragers and very good for free range.
  • Have pasture or garden and want to allow some chickens there.
  • Are looking for some chickens which are protective to flock and can prevent themselves from predators.

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