On Saturday we hatched out two more Pavlovskaja chicks, bringing our total to four. This morning I moved the new chicks in with the ten-day-old chicks in the brooder house. The move went well and all four chicks are getting along just fine. Our adventure in Pavlovskajas is well underway with four chicks in the brooder, eight eggs incubating and six more shipping tomorrow.
The history as stated by Greenfire Farms, the original importer of Pavlovskajas into the US: “
The Pavlovskaya is the most ancient breed of chicken in Russia. By the time Russians began to take stock of their native chicken breeds in the late 1800s, Pavlovskaya hens were already virtually extinct.
Many centuries ago, this breed emerged in the town of Pavlovo, a small enclave of peasants and craftsmen about 200 miles east of Moscow. The town was known for a number of unique agricultural specialties, including the breeding of fighting geese, canaries, and the cultivation of lemons. Some poultry historians believe that the Pavlovskaya are the foundational breed that gave rise to more recently developed crested breeds like the Polish, barthuners, and brabanters.
Pavlovskaya are known to be extremely cold hardy and have unique feathering on their feet that is similar to the feathering on wild grouse. A Russian myth describes the origin of the breed as an illicit tryst between a chicken and a grouse. Despite the hardiness of this smallish breed, Pavlovskaya all but perished in the Soviet era. At one time in the early 1990s, the total global population of authentic Pavlovskaya was reduced to two roosters, and one was infertile. By breeding the fertile rooster with somewhat similar hens, and then back-breeding to the father, the breed was reestablished. Today, very few of these remarkable birds remain even in their native Russia, and they are virtually unknown outside of that country.”
It is our joy and privilege to help in the effort to preserve the Pavlovskaja chicken.
Note: You will see Pavlovskaja spelled three different ways, just in this post alone. I am still working on establishing which spelling is correct. In Russia it is Pavolvskaja, and I suspect it will be that way here at the Egg Farm.