Mericanel della Brianza is a breed of Bantam chicken native to Lombardy, Italy. It takes its name from the historic geographical area of Brianza in Milan and was developed in the early 1900s, by crossing local dwarf chickens. The breed was recognized in 2012, and it is the only recognized bantam developed in Italy.
Mericanel della Brianza breed characteristics
The Mericanel della Brianza has a simple 5 point crest and red earlobes. The average weight for roosters is 0.7–0.8 kg (1.5–1.8 lb), while hens weigh about 0.6–0.7 kg (1.3–1.5 lb). The eggs range from cream to light brown and weigh approximately 35g.
Eight varieties of colors are recognized for this breed, including white, black, silver, gold, Pyle, and black with white spots. The skin and legs are yellow.
The breed is named after Brianza, a mountainous geographical area that extends north and northeast of Milan, in the cities of Monza e della Brianza, Lecco, and the province of Como, and includes a small part of the province of Milan. It is one of the few dwarfs or bantam breeds in Italy, the others are the Mugellese and the Pépoi.
Mericanel della Brianza breed development
The Mericanel della Brianza is a traditional breed of chicken from Lombardy and was apparently selectively bred from local dwarf strains in the early 1900s. Recent attention from breeders has led to a phase of recognition, selection, and recovery.
At the beginning of 2012, Mericanel della Brianza was the only Italian Bantam breed officially recognized by the Italian Federation of Poultry Breeders; the breed standard was approved in 1996.
On the brink of extinction
Breed numbers remain low. A study published in 2007 used a figure of about 350 for the total breeding stock, of which about 50 were roosters.
In Italy, 90 local avian breeds were described, the majority (61%) were classified as extinct and only 8.9% are in recovery. Therefore, efforts for the conservation of Italian avian breeds are urgently required.
The objective of this article and the blog, in general, is to disseminate the history and reproductive performance of the different traditional breeds of poultry, in this case; We see the case of the Italian breed Mericanel della Brianza, which requires urgent diffusion to multiply its very small population.