The Brakel’s history dates back to 1416. They were developed in the Flanders region spanning across northern France, Belgium, and Holland. These birds were a staple on small farms in the area and were bred as a dual-purpose breed with excellent egg production and good table quality. Hens lay about 180 – 200 eggs per year, which are quite large relative to their medium body size.
Brakels are a hardy and active breed. They are good fliers, alert for predators, and excellent foragers. This makes them well adapted for free-ranging flocks.
After both World Wars, the Brakel’s population declined drastically. In the 1960s, the breed was all but extinct. In 1971, recovery efforts began. The only remaining birds were 2 hens, 2 roosters, and a dozen eggs. Remarkably from this small group, the breed was revived!