The Liege Fighter, or Luikse Vechter, is an exceedingly rare breed of game fowl that originated in Northern Belgium in the 1800s. The breed was probably derived from crossing the native Bruges Game with Malays; a combination that resulted in a very tall and heavy fighting bird that often has black skin. How large are they? A full-grown rooster can weigh as much as 12 lb. and have a foot as large as the palm of your hand. The hawk-like heads, dark pigment, and powerful bodies create one of the most sinister-looking chicken breeds, yet their behavior towards people is generally friendly. Greenfire Farms was the first to import this breed to North America, and they will be made available to the public in 2017.
Bresse are the world-famous meat chickens from France, but few people know that there is a highly regarded meat bird across the English Channel that hails from the British town of Ixworth. This breed was conceived by Reginald Appleyard, a British poultry enthusiast who also created the Silver Appleyard Duck. In the early 1930s Appleyard combined various varieties of the Sussex, Minorca, Orpington, and Indian Game breeds to create what he viewed as an ideal dual-purpose breed, the Ixworth. With its stocky body, white feathers, and white skin the traits of the Ixworth are decidedly tilted toward the dinner table rather than the egg tray, but the hens do lay a large number of delicious eggs. Despite these compelling features, the Ixworth is listed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust as at risk. Greenfire Farms was the first to import this breed into the United States, and they should be made available to the public in 2017.