Other common names: American Buckeye Chicken
The Buckeye Chicken was developednin the late 19th century by Nettie Metcalf of Warren, Ohio U.S.A.. Her goal was a functional breed that could produce well in the bitter Midwest winters. Ms. Metcalf first crossbred Barred Plymouth Rocks and Buff Cochins but found the cross "lazy." She next introduced Black Breasted Red Game chickens and this gave her the foundation of her breed and the deep red color. Indian Games (known today as Dark Cornish) were added later to improve the pea comb.
The Buckeye was admitted to the American Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection in 1904. Today, Buckeyes are extremely rare, and breed conservation organizations have recognized them as critically endangered.
Types: Bantam, Largefowl
Varieties (Pea Comb): Mahogany
Uses: Eggs, Meat, Preservation
Bantam: 28 - 34 oz
Largefowl: 6.5 - 9 lb
Personality: Calm, friendly and easy to handle.
Preferred climate: Cool
Handles confinement: Yes
Egg production: Good (3/week)
Egg color: Brown
Egg size: Large - Extra Large
What else you should know:
Buckeyes require higher protein diets to support their rapid growth. Some breeders recommend the use of turkey starter for chicks. Adults should have a higher protein diet as well. Many breeders feed adults game bird feed, dog food, and let their Buckeye free-range for bugs.
fast maturing breed, dual purpose fowl, great free rangers, active personalities, winter hardy fowl
rare heritage, size discourages hawks, American Buckeye Club, great mouser, LARGE cage
Wonderful heritage breed
Buckeyes are very handsome, large red chickens. The only breed of chicken developed in the state of Ohio and by a woman, they are a must have for the heritage chicken owner. They are very hardy in cold weather and I have not seen any problems with them in the middle of summer. They tend to be an independent bird and do well in a free range environment. Excellent mutli purpose breed (meat and eggs) and I have found that they are highly desirable in the chicken fancier market if you would like to produce chicks for resale.
From Bruskotter Farm Sep 18 2011 8:56PM
The Buckeye is a dual purpose fowl (meat & eggs), forages well and very cold hardy. They are the only American breed that sport a pea comb. The hens are very friendly and one must be careful not to step on them as they get right under your feet. Roosters may be aggressive, but most are friendly as well. The Buckeye Rooster reaches 8-9 lbs so not as easily handled by a small child. A 2 year old little girl next door to me loves to come over and feed mine grass-- to the little girl's delight, the hens run to her & surround her.
Buckeye hens are prone to go broody and make good mothers. The egg is light to medium dark brown and medium to large in size.
Buckeyes stalk and catch mice with the precision of a cat. Males make unusual noises including an occasional roar or loud growl.
Buckeyes are very disease resistant and seem to survive injuries that would kill another less tough chicken. A opossum once attacked one of my hens on her roost and had her by the head. She appeared severely injured but survived (and I still have her). Although I live in Alabama, they do not tolerate heat very well. I run fans on mine in the summer, provide plenty of shade and ice in their waterers.
Buckeyes do well in confinement and are known NOT to feather pick each other in close quarters. They are also not aggressive with other chickens (I have never had blood in my yard). However, Buckeyes do better if allowed more space as they forage well. They are not the fast birds to get away from predators but their large size discourages hawks in my chicken run.
From cgmccary Oct 25 2009 5:03PM
In want of winter hardy fowl, we opted to purchase some Buckeyes. They were solid chicks from the start, and had very outgoing and active personalities. They are very much the same as adults.
The hens have proven to be very friendly, and follow us around the yard for attention. They hens mature slowly, and took at least seven months to start laying. However, once they start, they are excellent layers of large brown eggs, so make sure they get enough calcium in their diets! Our girls laid throughout the year, except when they are broody...which they often are! All of our hens brooded, some twice a year. Most made excellent mothers.
The roosters where not as lovely as the hens, and quite a few where aggressive, so we culled them. The breed matures slowly, and the cockerels are not ready for the table until 7+ months, and you should hold back from being really selective with breeding stock for even longer. The roosters have a very good taste, but the meat is extremely tough. (We butcher and raise many breeds, this breed has the toughest meat...use a crockpot!)
Health Wise: The breed seemed rather hardy, and energetic. The hens can develop egg binding, if they do not get enough calcium. Free-ranging wasn't enough to supply our girls with the calcium they needed. Also, some of the chicks would outgrow their legs, and go down on their hunches. This usually happened to the cockerels, but also to occasional pullets..
From RhodeRunner Jul 18 2011 9:45AM