Originated from Northeast Spain, their name comes from the small group of breeders selective breeding for a standard near Villafranca del Penedes in 1932. A breed standard was accepted in 1946 but is not yet recognized by the APA. They were first imported to the US in 2001 and are still considered a rare breed here and in their homeland. By 1980 they were almost completely extinct. They are a Mediterranean in type. So they are a lean breed, a little flighty but great at foraging. They are great at handling high temperatures too!
Penedesenca are a thin built bird and not a good dual purpose breed. Hens will lay about 3 dark brown to reddish colored eggs a week. Their high level of intelligence and their predator savvy instincts make for an ideal free ranged bird. Penedesenca are robust, hardy birds. If kept in a confinement environment, a large selection of enrichment toys and boredom busters is recommended to prevent pecking. Because they are so active, they don’t make for a good broody hen. They are an economical bird when able to forage for their own food.
Penedesenca are very unique looking birds. They have red wattles, red ear lobes with a white center. Their combs are very uncommon and called a carnation comb or a king’s comb. It is similar in appearance to a single comb but has several lobes at the rear that splits. The comb stands up straight in cock birds but will flop to the side in your hens. Because they have a thin build and large combs, a draft and damp free coop is needed to protect them from frost bite. Eyes are black around the edges with a golden honey center.
Penedesenca lay around 156 dark brown medium sized eggs annually.
Cocks weigh about 6 pounds.
Hens weigh around 4.5 pounds
As with all of our colored layers, there is no guarantee on intensity of egg colors as it’s a lottery to what genetics you will get.