Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Three French Hens

Apparently there are four (not three) main breeds of French hens which are Faverolles, La Fleche, Crevecoeurs and Marans but when this traditional Christmas song originated Faverolles was either not a popular breed or didn't exist yet. Chickens are the most abundant domestic animal in the world and originated from Vietnam. 

While domestic French chicken numbers are doing well other European bird numbers are not looking so good. The Pan-European Common Monitoring Scheme run by the European Bird Census Council this summer revealed that Europe's farmland birds are still in steep decline following years of intensification of farming and loss of habitat and food sources. Since 1980 numbers of farmland birds have declined by 48%, which is incredible. That means almost half of the birds on European farmland (including the UK) have been lost, no wonder I can't recognise skylark songs or describe a grey partridge. 

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