Other common names: White Delaware Chicken
The Delaware Chicken was developed as a broiler chicken by George Ellis of Delaware USA in 1940, who called it the "Indian River Chicken". He created the breed by crossing Barred Plymouth Rock roosters and New Hampshire hens.
According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC), this almost entirely white bird was once one of the most popular broiler chickens in the country, "because of the Delaware’s ability to produce offspring with predominately white feathering. This is an advantage for carcass appearance since white feathers don’t leave dark spots on the skin when feathers are growing in. Both the Delaware and the Delaware x New Hampshire were replaced in the late 1950's by the Cornish x Rock cross (solid white) that has come to dominate the industry."
Today, the Delaware is considered a "threatened" breed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. It is also included in Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste, a list of heritage foods in danger of extinction.
Types: Bantam, Largefowl
Varieties (Single Comb): Barred Columbian
Uses: Eggs, Meat
Bantam: 28 - 32 oz
Largefowl: 6.5 - 8.5 lbs
Personality: Calm and friendly.
Preferred climate: Any
Handles confinement: Yes
Egg color: Brown
Egg size: Jumbo
What else you should know:
Delaware chickens are noted for their rapid growth, and fast feathering of the chicks.
The breed will produce eggs throughout the winter, but roosters are prone to developing frostbite on their combs and wattles.
temperament, great growth rate, homesteader, dual purpose chicken, commercial meat birds, Jumbo eggs
Beautiful White Chickens, excellent feed conversion, meaty breasts, heritage breed
The Big Surprise
Back when I was first getting Guinea Fowl for tick control, I bought a few from a friend who was a hobby breeder who had all colors of guineas and all kinds of chickens on his farm. I especially wanted a few of the white pearl guineas to add to my flock, so he promised to watch for any pure white babies.
Several weeks later my farmer friend called me and said he had a white guinea keet for me if I wanted it. I went right over and fell in love with the tiny white bit of fluff and took it home with me. I put it in the brooder where it was warm, but it seemed lonely so I often carried it around in my pocket when I could. I even took it to work with me a couple of times. Finally I brought in a baby guinea that had just hatched from one of our pearl guineas outdoors, to keep it company and they both seemed happy. I named them Chirpy and Smidgeon.
However a few weeks after bringing Chirpy home from the farmers house, I noticed that she did not look quite the same shape of head as my other baby guinea. Several weeks after that she began to get some tiny black flecks on her back and I called my friend to ask exactly what kind of bird he had sold me. I had very little experience with chickens at the time and so when my friend began to laugh and told me he was sorry to have mistakenly sold me a baby chicken I was a bit chagrined.
My little white flecked bird was indeed a full fledged Delaware Chicken who had hatched out with the baby guineas. Even though I could have taken her back, I was too attached to Chirpy by that time. I was raising her and Smidgeon in the house and they were adorable little pets. They would roost on my chair and shoulder and fly around and come back to my arm to be petted.
Chirpy was the best pet chicken I have ever had. I loved that bird! As she grew and went outside to live with the guineas, she began to lay lovely big brown eggs and would always come running and hop up on my knee to get treats. She was a nice big hen with such a sweet disposition and beautiful markings......a great all round chicken.
I have not met anyone near us that raised Delawares in recent years........but now that I am keeping chickens again I will certainly get more of that wonderful breed if I have the opportunity!.
From hollysno Oct 21 2014 10:23PM
Delaware Meat Chicken
If you are looking for meat chickens, the Delaware, in my opinion, is the right chicken to choose. The males grow to between eight and nine pounds nad the females grow to between six and seven pounds. They easily adjust to temperature changes and are very sparing on food.
Not only are the females great for meat chickens, they also lay jumbo eggs, which are great in the winter when some chickens try to hold off on laying.
Because of their temperament, they are easy to keep around kids and dogs. They are not an aggressive breed and are fairly calm, as far as chickens go.
Because of their size, they have really tender flesh and when they are used for meat, they have very meaty breasts and wings.
If you are looking for meat chickens, I highly recommend this breed..
From CaradwynCooper Oct 4 2013 4:58PM