Association for Promotion of Belgian Poultry Breeds


Large fowl




Large fowl

|Aarschot fowl |Bruges game |Herve |Liège game |Zingem laying fowl
|Ardenner |Famenne |Hesbaye |Malines |Zottegem
|Brabançonne |Flemish cuckoo |Izegem cuckoo |Tirlemont game |Zwalmvalley fowl

Izegem cuckoo

A very good Izegem cuckoo rooster


Origin : Already in 1554 the Izegem was mentioned in the writings of Aldernardiana. How this breed exactly looked or where it came from, is not really clear but in 1900 people in the Izegem region in West-Flanders were clearly working on the improvement of an ancient breed. Pictures from those days shows birds that look exactly the same as the modern Izegem. The Izegem was thriving in those days but the First World War ended this for obvious reasons. After the Second World War the Izegem seemed to have disappeared until the early seventies when a few breeders started to reconstruct the breed with what was left of it.


Characteristics : The Izegem is known to combine its meat-producing capacities like no other breed with good laying qualities. It takes the chicks about 7 to 8 months to become fully grown, depending on whether they are male or female, but they can be culled earlier. The pullets start laying at seven months and continue to lay all winter. An average number of 150 brownish eggs of about 65 to 68 grams are produced annually. After the winter most hens will start to brood from March onwards. One hen can easily sit on as much as 15 eggs. The Izegem is a very rustic and tough breed but also very docile and familiar. They can be kept on smaller surfaces. A one-meter high fencing is sufficient to keep them in their pens because they will hardly attempt to fly.

Appearance : The Izegem is a rather heavy meat-producing breed with a rosecomb. The standard weights are between 3,5 kg and 4 kilos for roosters and between 3 and 3,5 kilos for hens. The tail of the Izegem is rather poorly developed and carries almost horizontally. The body is somewhat triangular in shape with a long broad back which is flat between the shoulders and carried horizontally. The breast is broad, well fleshed and carried forward and rather high. The shanks are pinkish white and unfeathered.

Varieties : Just one recognized variety, cuckoo. In cuckoo birds each feather is irregularly barred with alternating dark and pale gray bars. The roosters are generally lighter in color than the hens because the pale gray bars of their plumage are larger.

State : Rather rare. There are some breeders left in Flanders but the Izegem is not well known. Unknown in other countries.