The German landrace hen, which is now extinct, was widespread until the mid-nineteenth century. The Partridge-Coloured Italian breed resulted from cross-breeding with Italian hens in the second half of the nineteenth century. Thanks to their good laying performance of approximately 250 eggs a year, they became the most popular commercial breed of the time.
Their lively temperament means that the birds are able to find their own food for the most part, provided that they have enough exercise. The cockerels are very alert and always ready to defend their flocks from danger. This pronounced mobility was a disadvantage for the industrial chicken-keeping which began in the 1970s, meaning that the breed was increasingly absent from commercial poultry farming.
These days, Partridge-Coloured Italians are mainly kept by enthusiasts and ecologically-friendly farmers.