The Sulmtaler is a rare and ancient chicken breed from the Styrian region of Austria. Here, among the forests and vineyards of this remote and fertile province the Sulmtaler grew to be renowned for its round, muscular body and the extraordinary quality of its meat. First described in the 1400s, the Sulmtaler is reputed to be one of the tastiest chickens in the world although it is also well regarded for its egg-laying ability.
Once considered a delicacy in the royal Austrian and French courts, today sulmtalers remain a favorite for gourmands in Central Europe. The roosters are large and have an incandescently bright metallic sheen to their feathers. The hens have an entirely different pattern that is no less beautiful for its muted cream and russet tones. Both rooster and hen share the delightful feather head crest and the wickel or “S” shaped comb that are the hallmarks of this fascinating and useful breed.
About a century ago a concerted effort was made to standardize the breed and exploit its strengths for agricultural production. The best specimens were gathered from this wine-growing region and the name “Sulmtaler” was given to the chickens produced under this more structured breeding program. The name derives from the remote and isolated Sulm valley in Austria, a fertile place bounded by mountain ranges and inhabited long ago by wandering tribes of prehistoric hunters. By 1915, the breed was well known in the area and admired for its fine qualities. Two world wars followed, and the Sulmtaler was all but lost in the chaos. However, a few dedicated hobbyists kept small Sulmtaler flocks, and the breed was saved.
Today, you can carry on this tradition of stewardship. Greenfire Farms has established a breeding group of standard wheaten Sulmtalers, and in 2011 we began hatching chicks from this group. In 2012, we obtained additional wheaten Sulmtalers that are unrelated to the first group we imported. Also, in that same year we imported gold duckwing Sulmtalers, a colorful and appealing variation of the breed that has also proven to be extremely easy to sex as chicks. Our gold duckwing Sulmtalers will be released to the public in early 2014. We are proud to offer this remarkable breed to America’s poultry enthusiasts.
Sulmtaler: Day-Old Unsexed Chick