Little or large?
A large black bred by Deb Howe and a bantam pullet bred by Joe and Sophie Merchant took two of the highest awards at the Poultry Club of Great Britain’s National Show in 2015 – a fantastic triumph for Croad Langshans.
A club well worth joining
Croad Langshans are a delight to keep because the birds are inquisitive, intelligent, and graceful but generally docile, including the cockerels. But as they are not among the most common breeds of poultry, it’s worth joining the club to keep up with news and to be able to contact other keepers. Whether you are starting out with two or three birds or are highly experienced, you can always benefit from talking to other club members, and you may want to swap eggs or birds sometimes to improve your flock.
We produce four newsletters a year, and the club’s breed book comes free with your first year’s subscription of £12, £7.50 yearly renewal (£4 for under 16s) so there's plenty of dvice on han. We hold an annual Club Show and various Area Shows, as well as providing special awards at local shows which have Croad classes.
You can download an application form here
A little about Croad Langshans
The Croad Langshan is an ancient breed originating from the Langshan region in Northern China. They are still bred in huge numbers for meat and eggs in China today. They were imported into Britain by Major F.T. Croad in 1872. The original colour was black with a bottle-green sheen, and that is the main colour today, although some whites occur naturally and these are bred and shown as well as the blacks.
Between the wars the Croads’ utility properties made them popular and they did well in laying trials. As with so many other breeds, numbers declined after World War II. The breed was rescued by the Rare Poultry Society until 1979, when the Club was re-formed.
The Croad Club was formed in Britain in 1904, the name Croad having been added in tribute to Miss Croad, Major Croad’s niece, who did so much to support the breed. The name Croad also distinguishes the original type of Langshan imported in 1872 (which was a useful utility fowl, good for both eggs and the table) and other Langshan types such as German and Australian Langshans, and the tall Modern Langshans that have been developed for the show pen.
Bantam Croad Langshans have been created by breeding down from the large fowl and using other breeds. These are now of good type, but many do not lay the correct colour egg.
We think this recently discovered portrait is the Major Croad who first imported the Croad Langshan. We believe he was born in Cornwall and lived in Worthing in the 1870s.
A note on egg colour
They are good layers, with good-size eggs ranging in colour from light brown to a pinky colour with a matt bloom like the bloom on a freshly-picked plum (which is why Croad Langshan eggs are often incorrectly described as plum-coloured). Unfortunately they don't always lay this colour, and this plate of eggs (supplied by former Club President Tracey Chubb) shows the range of typical Croad Langshan egg colours
Breeding in China
We were delighted to be contacted in 2010 by the official Langshan Farm in China, which is about an hour’s drive from Shanghai. They produce some 200,000 Langshans a year, both black and white.
We also received a letter from a Chinese man who explained that “Nantong is the home of the Langshan Cock. The Chinese name lang means wolf, shan is hill. Langshan (Wolf Hill) lies on the North bank of the Yangtze River and covers 18 hectares. Even though Wolf Hill is not tall, it is prominent on the Jiangsu plain. It is a famous Buddhist hill.”
Interested? Find out more:
For membership information click here
The Croad Langshan breed book is available.
or contact the Club Secretary:
Paul Cooper, 59 Ashburton Avenue, Croydon, CR0 7JG
Telephone 07895 044750
First Year Enrolment £12.00 (Includes Free Breed Book)
Subscription Renewal £7.50 a year (juniors £4.00)