Penedesenca Chicken

Penedesenca chicken is mainly known for it’s unique appearance and dark brown eggs. It was originated form the Catalonia region of Spain in the first half of the 20th century.

Penedesenca chicken was developed from the native barnyard chickens which were known for producing dark eggs. It’s a rare breed and by the 1980s, the breed was all but extinct.

Then a biologist with the Spanish Government began efforts for saving Penedesenca breed. Since then, it has made a real comeback. Although Penedesenca chicken is not yet accepted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection.

Penedesenca Chicken Characteristics

Penedesenca chicken has an unique appearance with red wattles, red earlobes with a white center, and an uncommon red comb. It’s comb is called carnation comb or king’s comb. And the comb has similarity to the common single comb, but has several lobes at the rear.

The comb stands upright in males and droops to the side in females. Their eyes are black around the edges with a honey-colored iris. Black, Crele Partridge and Wheaten are the color varieties of Penedesenca chicken till now. All color varieties should have above physical characteristics.

The Black Penedesenca variety has dark slate toes and shanks, dark horn beak and standard back plumage. Partridge variety has standard partridge plumage with bluish slate toes and shanks and dark horn beak. Crele Penedesencas have almost white beak, shanks and toes with standard crele plumage.

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And the Wheaten Penedesenca chicken variety has standard wheaten plumage with light slate shanks and toes, and they have a light horn beak in the hens and a dark horn beak in the roosters. On an average, Penedesenca roosters wight about 2.3-3 kg and hens about 1.7-2.3 kg. Photo from BackYard Chickens.


Penedesenca chicken is a good dark egg layer breed. They are great foragers and do their best in free range system. They are economical breed which can get their food from foraging most of the time except winter.

They need special care and supplemental feed in the winter season. Because they are not cold hardy birds and do well in hot climates. They produce more brilliant colored eggs at the early of every laying season, and the egg’s color slowly fade as the season progresses.

Like most other Mediterranean chicken breeds, Penedesenca chickens are also very active and flighty. Hens are good layers and rarely go broody. This breed is also suitable for high quality meat production. See full breed profile below.

Breed NamePenedesenca
Other NameNone
Breed PurposeLayer
Breed TemperamentFlighty
Breed SizeLarge
CombCarnation Comb (also called King’s comb)
Climate ToleranceAll Climates (not cold hardy & very heat tolerant)
Egg ColorDark Brown
Egg SizeMedium
Egg ProductivityMedium
Feathered LegsNo
VarietiesRecognized Color Varieties are Black, Crele Partridge and Wheaten

The Good

  • Beautiful
  • Very active
  • Excellent foragers
  • Very alert
  • Good layers
  • Dark brown eggs
  • Good meat quality
  • Very heat tolerant
  • Do not eat too much
  • Economical breed
  • Very hardy
  • Ideal for free range system

The Bad

  • Flighty
  • Can be aggressive towards other chickens in the flock

Is Penedesenca Chicken Good for You?

Penedesenca chicken is good for you if you…….

  • Want to add some beautiful birds to your flock.
  • Willing to raise some alert, hardy and very active birds.
  • Are looking for such chicken breeds which are excellent foragers and do well in free range system.
  • Want to keep some good laying hens that lay dark brown eggs.
  • Want to produce quality meat as well as good number of eggs.
  • Want to have an economical chicken breed which eat less.
  • Are living somewhere with hot climates and looking for such chicken breed which are excellent heat tolerant.

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