Wren Hill Farm is dedicated to the preservation of
Heritage Poultry Breeds.
raise Java Chickens for our own use and for sales of eggs and chickens.
The Java is a breed of chicken originating in the United States.
Despite the breed's name, which comes from the island of Java in Indonesia,
it was developed in the U.S. from chickens of unknown Asian extraction. It
is one of the oldest American chickens, forming the basis of many other
breeds, but is critically endangered today. Javas are large birds with a
sturdy appearance. They are heardy, and are well-suited for both meat and
egg production, especially by small-scale farms, homesteads, and backyard
keepers. They lay brown eggs. Once the most populous farmstead chicken
around the time of Abe Lincoln, they are now listed as critically
The Java was first recognized
officially by acceptance in the American Poultry Association's Standard of
Perfection in 1883. The White, Black and Mottled varieties were all
originally described in the Standard, but the White was removed in 1910
because it was thought to be too similar to the White Plymouth Rock.
Javas had nearly vanished by the end
of the 20th century, having been pushed to fringes of the poultry world by
the intense focus on one or two breeds by commercial growers, and the
introduction of innumerable new and exotic breeds to poultry fancy.
Beginning in the 1990s, breeders and conservation organizations began to
make a more concerted effort to save the Java.
The American Livestock Breeds
Conservancy continues to list Javas as Critical on it's watchlist, meaning
fewer than 500 breeding birds from five or fewer primary breeding flocks are
known (this does not take in to account the population of non-breeding
flocks). The breed is also listed as part of Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste, a
catalog of heritage foods in danger of extinction.
Our Java Chickens
We purchased our Javas from Duane
Urch of Urch Nursery in Owatonna, Minnesota. Urch Nursery was one of the
last two nurseries in America still maintaining a Java breeding stock. We
have Black Javas. We have found the Javas to be a very
friendly hardy chicken and they do very well on free range. Our Javas
produced eggs throughout the entire Minnesota winter with no artificial
Contact us for availability (local
pick-up) of fertile eggs, chicks or adult chicken sales.
You may contact us at