Cuckoo Malines, also known as Mechels (Mechelse Koekoek (in Dutch/Flemish)) or Coucou de Malines, comes from Belgium. It was developed from local fowl near the Mechelen region (Malines in French) and chicken breeds like Cochin, Brahma and Langshan.
Cuckoo Malines are very large. Hens average at about 9-10 lbs, roosters 11-13lbs.
The Cuckoo Malines once was the worlds most famous meat bird, widely bred in Europe and also available in North America. But faster growing birds took their spot and they were mostly bred for show purposes during the last century.
In North Western Europe however they are making a tremendous comeback since the late nineties because of the growing adversity against the too fast growing meat birds. Malines meat is now a sheer delicacy served only in specialized restaurants.
A few years ago on a poultry swab I stumbled upon this breed. I was so impressed and bought two trio's on the spot and started to develop these guys. Now I have beautiful and sustainable flock that is healthy, lays well and an absolute joy to be around. Our three year old daughter has been hand feeding some of them since she could walk. They are the perfect gentle giants.
Pricing chicks and hatching eggs 2014:
About hatching results: