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Breeds of chickens: Maltese Black Chicken

Breeds of chickens: Maltese Black Chicken


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Origin, diffusion and economic characteristics

History has left us no exact and documented evidence of how the Maltese black chicken was born. There are, in fact, at least two hypotheses on the origin of Maltese black: one is that Maltese black represents a possibly very useful relict population of relatively unselected black Mediterranean poultry.
The other hypothesis tends to assume that poultry in Malta is rather a concoction of subjects from various countries in different periods of history (Spain, Portugal, Italy, England, America, Australia), even if of a predominantly Mediterranean breed, and there was never a real Maltese breed until the early 20th century when attempts were made to create a Maltese breed.

Considering the second hypothesis more reliable, which seems to be based on more documentary evidence, it seems that in the 30s of the last century a mixed group of 43 hybrid chickens (40 hens and 3 roosters) was formed, all black, coming from different areas of Malta and then placed at the government's experimental farm, where these subjects were bred first to consolidate the pure black color and then selected for their egg-laying qualities and also for their weight. The selection for desirable traits has gone on for 4 years. The roosters of this breeding program were sold to local farmers at a very decent price because for the farmer it was a possibility to improve the spawning capacity of his hens in their offspring.) Subsequently, Menorcan blood was introduced twice over the years to improve the color.

Hens lay around 205-220 eggs per year. The eggs are white and have an average weight of 50 grams. Poor breeding attitude.

Morphological characteristics

Black plumage, amber eyes and simple crest with 5 points. The danger of freezing is averted given Malta's mild climate. Smaller white mumps of the Menorquina breed. Slate blue coloe tarsi.

Medium weight: 2.0-2.5 kg

The dwarf version of this breed has not been selected.


Maltese Black Rooster (photo Victoria Ellul, Malta)


Black Maltese rooster and hen


Video: Mein Film Unser (May 2022).