STANDARD OF THE  EMPORDANESA HENS BREED


ORIGIN, HISTORY AND DISTRIBUTION


From many years ago at the country houses of the Catalan districts of the "Empordà" some hens known with the name of the district have been bred. During the first half of the X20th century there was several attempts of defining them without too much success. 

Lately their distribution had remained limited in some country houses  with great danger of extinction and constituting a very heterogeneous population in which concerns to plumage color, but the specimens shared some characteristics, between those it fit highlight:  comb with lateral appendixes or carnation, red ear lobes,  yellow shanks and laying dark brown eggs. 

Their recovery was begun in 1982 by the Poultry Genetics Unit  of the "Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimetàries (IRTA)" of the "Generalitat de Catalunya" in the "Centre Mas Bové" of Reus (Tarragona - Spain). The work was done by the veterinary Antoni Jordà.

Obtained a population of 300 hens and their respective roosters were begun the tasks of uniformize in two phases: discovery of the genes involved in the plumage color and obtaining animals pure race for some of them.  This task was carried out by the biologist Amadeu Francesch and the veterinary Antoni Jordà in the Unit, Institute and mentioned Center.

As a result of this work has been obtained in purity the varieties, whose standards are presented below.

The most important center of conservation actually is that where it was recovered, purified and standardized the breed. Their distribution has been begun through Catalonia, Spanish State, Holland and Germany with only the White variety in the United States.


ROOSTER  MORPHOLOGY


HEAD: Short, wide and rounded.

FACE: Flat.

BEAK: Short, mildly curved and strong.

EYES:  Small and rounded.

COMB: Simple, mildly large, erect, quite sitting on the head, flat,  regularly jagged with five or six plane teeth and mildly short, The last being smaller and the first medium size. Separate of the head at the end and arched the base. The end with tendency to follow the posterior part of the head. With appendixes at each side of its posterior part.

WATTLES: Medium and rounded.

EAR LOBES: Mildly  lengthened, lightly lined, very united to the head at the high and hanging  the low.

NECK: Regularly arched, short, with abundant hackle resting on the back.

WINGS: Large, well pleated and belted to the body. They don't surpass it.

BACK: Wide, inclined from before back, with abundant saddle-hackles[hackles] and rounded.

BREAST: Wide, profound, lengthened and with the ribs very arched.

TAIL: Middling developed, very inhabited, open, with two longer feathers, well curved with sickle form, inserted with an angle of 45 º through the horizontal.

THIGHS:  Half and vigorous longitude.

SHANKS: Middling lengthened, thick, flat, very separate and without plumes.

TOES: Four, strong, open and straight.

APPEARANCE: Harmonic and vigorous.


HEN  MORPHOLOGY


HEAD, FACE and BEAK: Like the rooster.

COMB: Simple, middling with five or six teeth very definite and jagged, fall toward a side of the face and with appendixes like the rooster.

WATTLES, EAR LOBES, WINGS, BACK  and  BREAST: Like the rooster.

TAIL: Abundant, long and with an angle of 40o through the horizontal.

THIGHS, SHANKS and TOES: Like the rooster.

APPEARANCE: Like the rooster.


RED VARIETY​

COLORATION

COMB, FACE and WATTLES:  Red.

EAR LOBES: Red.

EYES: Black with color honey iris.

BEAK: Red ox horn.

SHANKS AND TOES: Yellow.

EGGS: Very dark reddish brown.

CHICK DOWN 


Red-orange, sometimes with a dark spot on the head.


ROOSTER PLUMAGE 


HEAD:  Shiny red. NECK: Shiny red with a black point of lance form in the central part of some feathers. FRONT OF THE NECK: Red. WINGS: Red shiny bows. Primaries black the upper part of the rachis and red the lower. Secondaries red the upper part of the rachis and black the lower. BACK: Red shiny. TAIL: Black with metallic greenish iridescence. BREAST,  ABDOMEN and THIGHS: Red. DOWN: Red cream.


HEN PLUMAGE 

HEAD: Red. NECK: Red with black in the center of some feathers. FRONT OF THE NECK: Red. WINGS: Like the rooster. BACK: Red. TAIL: Black. BREAST, ABDOMEN and THIGHS: Red. DOWN: Red cream.

WEIGHT

ROOSTER: 5.3 to 6.6 pounds

HEN: 3.75-5.10 pounds

EGGS: Higher than 65 gr.


BLONDE VARIETY

COLORATION


COMB, FACE and WATTLES: Red.

EAR LOBES: Red.

EYES: Black with color honey iris.

BEAK: Ox red  horn.

SHANKS and TOES: Yellow.

EGGS: Very dark brown reddish.

REMARKS


Three modes are accepted:

- Blonde with black tail.

- Blonde with gray blue tail. 

- Blonde with white tail. 


The modes black tail and white tail stay in purity. That is to say, the individuals of each mode when you cross between them, they only give place to black or white tails, depending of the mode of their ancestors. When you cross those of the blue tail mode between them, they give place to a 50% of blue tails,  25% of white tails and a 25% of black tails. When you  cross white tails with black tails or vice versa is gotten the 100% of the descendants with gray blue tail. The crosses black tail with gray blue tail  or vice versa give a 50% of black tails and a 50% of gray blue tails. White tail with gray blue tail or vice versa give a 50% of white tails and a 50% of gray blue tails.


CHICK DOWN 


Mode black tail: Blonde head, black back, wings and ventral zone white.

Mode gray blue tail: Blonde head,  gray back, wings and ventral zone white.

Mode white tail: Blonde head. Back, wings and ventral zone white.


ROOSTER PLUMAGE 


HEAD : Shiny blonde. NECK: Shiny blonde with a black, gray blue or white point of lance form in the central part of some feathers. FRONT OF THE NECK: Shiny blonde. WINGS: Blonde shiny arch, blonde wing-bows. Primaries black, gray blue or white the upper part of the rachis and blonde the lower. Secondaries blonde the upper part of the rachis and black, gray blue or white the lower. BACK: Shiny blonde. TAIL: Black with metallic greenish iridescences, gray blue or white. BREAST, ABDOMEN and THIGHS: Blonde. DOWN: Gray or almost white at the white tail mode.


HEN PLUMAGE 

HEAD: Shiny blonde. NECK: Blonde with black, gray blue or white  at the central part of some feathers. FRONT OF THE NECK: Blonde.  WINGS: Like the rooster. BACK: Blonde. TAIL: Black, gray blue or white. BREAST, ABDOMEN and THIGHS: Blonde. DOWN: Gray or almost white at the mode white tail.


 

WEIGHT


ROOSTER:  5.3 to 6.6 pounds

HEN: 3.75 to 5.10 pounds

EGGS: Higher than 65grams



     WHITE VARIETY

COLORATION


COMB, FACE and WATTLES: Red.

EAR LOBES: Red.

EYES: Black with color honey iris.

BEAK: Yellow.

SHANKS and TOES: Yellow.

EGGS: Very dark reddish brown.


CHICK DOWN                                                                                       


Yellowish white. 


ROOSTER PLUMAGE  


White in all the sections.


HEN PLUMAGE 


White in all the sections.

 

WEIGHT


     Rooster: 5.3 to 6.6 pounds

    Hen: 3.75 to 5.10 pounds

  Eggs: Higher than 65 grams


 SPECIAL DISCARDS FOR THE THREE VARIETIES


a) White in the ear lobes in more than one third of their surface.

b) Absence of reddish brown intense coloration on the shell eggs.

​c) Absence of appendixes at rear of comb.


Presently only the white variety is here in the United States.

Penedesenca U.S.A.