Thursday, October 9, 2014

Galiña Piñeira


More chickens to look for.  They are a heritage breed, predating the Romans, called Galiñas Piñeiras and were in danger of extinction but are now recovering numbers.

(Re-)Discovered by a vet acting as a poultry judge, Jesús García Rodríguez, who was tired of awarding prizes to foreign breeds.  He found a local variety, never entered in contests, and after interviewing and visiting the older residents of the area in central La Coruña, he got together a small number of representative examples. In 2004, the ACIVEGA foundation took on the project with the support of the provincial government and began selection, typing, and reproduction of the breed. 

Smaller than the Galiña de Mos, they are supposed to be much better layers - 180 eggs of 50 to 60 grams per year v.s. the 70 or 80 of other heritage breeds.  Cocks weigh in at 3 to 3.5 kilos and hens from 2 to 2.5 kilos.  The meat is dark, lean, concentrated in the thighs and legs and similar to that of game birds.

They come in 3 color variations, aperdizado, silvestre, and white.

Reputed to be thrifty keepers and excellent foragers, and they fly.

The Fiesta de Galo Piñeiro is celebrated each year between July 31 and August 1 in O Pino, where the birds were first rediscovered, in the province of La Coruña.  

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