In 2009 Louis Bolk Institute started developing a new dual-purpose poultry breed on Slingenbergh organic/biodynamic poultry farm in Ane, the Netherlands. The new breed was formed from a number of hybrid strains and two heritage breeds, Hagheweider and Sussex. Five families were produced. Further breeding has taken place according to the family breeding method. In 2014 the 8th generation of this breed was produced.
The breeding goal is a hen with a minimum laying output of 250 eggs per year and genetically predisposed to be meatier, so that the cockerels can be kept for meat. The layers should preferably be productive for more than 14 months or one laying season. Ideally, they should be able to go through up to two moults.
The Organization for Organic Livestock Breeding is carrying out trials where breeding is fully integrated into small-scale poultry production (50 to 250 layers). A breeding unit is being constructed/formed at Warmonderhof college and training farms for biodynamic agriculture in Dronten. The farm shop will sell the eggs and meat as a niche product.
Farmers in Belgium, Germany, Ireland and Poland are also interested in this farm-bred poultry breeding system. Among German consumers in particular, demand for farm eggs from small-scale systems is growing fast. Breeding eggs were recently shipped to Ireland. The five poultry families will be distributed over five biodynamic compounds, so that further breeding will be done locally.
In total, there will soon be three breeding units: in Amersfoort, Dronten and Ireland.