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Blue Hen Of Delaware

Blue Hen Of Delaware

Hens are usually associated with nurturing, domestication, or femininity in general (chick!). Chickens are associated with, well, being a chicken, or being cowardly. So why on earth would male and female athletes from the University of Delaware choose the name “Blue Hen” for their teams? The explanation comes from the history of the breed, which goes all the way back to the Revolutionary War regiment from Delaware and its captain, Jonathan Caldwell. Captain Caldwell was a breeder of game cocks, and he claimed that his prize fighting roosters all descended from the same blue hen. In the War for Independence, Caldwell'’s troops were likewise known for their bravery and excellence in battle, and as part of Colonel John Haslet’'s regiment, they were nicknamed “the Blue Hen’s' Chickens” after the ferocious fighting game cocks bred by Caldwell. The athletic teams of the University of Delaware are, therefore, the “Fightin’ Blue Hens” and the General Assembly of the State of Delaware chose it as the State Bird in 1939. The University of Delaware has a breeding program to improve the breed, which is not yet recognized, despite its history. Genetically, two Blue Hens will produce 50% blue, 25% white, and 25% black offspring, like other “blue” breeds. Breeding a splash and a black will result in 100% blue offspring.

Breed PurposeMeat Bird
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ProductivityLow
Egg SizeMedium
Egg ColorWhite
Breed TemperamentFlighty,Bears confinement well,Quiet,Shy,Docile
Breed Colors/VarietiesBlue, Black and Splash
Breed SizeLarge Fowl
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Chicken Breed Info:

Breed Purpose: Ornamental
Comb: Single
Broodiness: Frequent
Climate Tolerance: All Climates

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: Low
Egg Size: Medium
Egg Color: White

Breed Temperament:

Flighty,Bears confinement well,Quiet,Shy,Docile

Breed Colors / Varieties:

Blue, Black and Splash

Breed Details:

Although the Delaware Blue Hen is known for fierce fighting abilities, they are not the aggressive bird they once were known to be. I have found, in my experience, that they are a lovely addition to any backyard flock and live happily along with any breed, even the little bantams. They free range nicely or can be in a pen and be happy either way. The hens are smaller and more dainty than the roosters and are relatively quiet and shy. They are very broody and make excellent mothers. They are very dedicated to raising their young and keeping them safe. The Delaware Blue Hen rooster is a medium sized rooster with beautiful tail plumage. The roosters are fantastic flock leaders and very faithful to their flock. Although Ceasar,my main Blue Hen rooster is not the norm, he will call over other roosters to feed them! Like all roosters, they prefer to be the only rooster in a flock. The roosters make fantastic fathers and will help out with the chicks calling them over to feed. My rooster even takes care of other chicks raised by larger breed hens. The chicks are delicate and small. I would recommend keeping them confined until they get a few weeks old and are a bit stronger. The Delaware Blue Hen lays medium sized white eggs. In comparison to an Orpington or Rhode Island Red egg, slightly smaller. The eggs do not take well to shipping, lower hatch rates can be expected. Overall, It has been a pleasure owning them and I have found them very enjoyable to have around!


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