Pros: Curious, Watchful guardian, Gentle, Friendly, Pea comb is perfect for cold winters

Cons: None that I've noticed

The best rooster I've had was a Buckeye. In the brooder they always run to my hand to see what was going on, and in the coop they were always the first ones out. I had a couple and they both turned out to be roosters so I gave one to my mom and it was the same for her - great reviews! My Buckeye would always run up to me to see what food scraps I was bringing him so he could distribute to his girls. I could pick him up no problem, he would be relax not all tensed trying to get out. He saved my hens multiple times. He attacked the neighbours dog that was chasing the hen and then ran in the opposite direction of the hens to bring the dog away from his girls to keep them safe. He was ruff and tuff when needed and gentle with my family (he was ok with my dogs...go figure!). He died this spring when a racoon busted my hardware wire on the coop window...the hens lived and he died. Protector till the end.

I didn't know what I was missing until I got my Buckeye...and now no rooster can live up to the Buckeye standards.


Pros: Excellent dual-purpose bird

Buckeyes are a nice dual purpose bird; they lay between 150 to 200 large brown eggs a year. Extra males, with their wide breasts, dress out nicely. They forage very well (they eat pretty much anything that moves: bugs, lizards, frogs, mice, whatever, if it moves they eat it.) 


Buckeyes get along with each other and humans well. They are not flighty and the hens are almost too friendly, when we walk into the pen we have to shoo them away with our feet!

They are the only breed of American chicken created by a woman, Mrs. Nettie Metcalf of Ohio, and the only American breed with a pea comb, which means no frostbite in winter (unless you live in Saskatoon or someplace like that.) They tolerate heat and cold well, some will go broody (if you prefer them to raise their own babies) but are not excessively so, and we think they are just an all around perfect homestead chicken.


Pros: Friendly, cold tolerant, calm

Cons: none I can think of

These are the friendliest, calmest birds I have raised.  Instead of shrieking in fear and running when you work in the brooder, they come running to see what you are doing. 


Now that they are in a coop, you have to take extra care not to step on them as they are curious about everything.  They 'talk' to each other a lot at bed time. 


Highly recommend, please take care to purchase from a reputable breeder.  Buckeyes were almost extinct so it is important to breed to standard to maintain the qualities that make them such a unique bird.


Pros: cold hardy but also heat tolerant, large beautiful eggs, friendly

Cons: haven't discovered any

   I can say I almost got my buckeyes by accident.  I had filled out an order for the breeds I wanted and had some spaces left over for any of the several breeds I was interested in trying.  Buckeyes were in this group and were the only breed on my list available on my shipping date, so I added some to my order.

     Now I would gladly add more.  Not only are they cold tolerant but they can take the heat as well. 

     Last summer on hot humid days I lost several of my other cold hardy breed while the buckeyes sailed through without a problem.  For pullets their eggs are large and they haven't cut back on laying in these cold cloudy days, even without supplemental lighting.

     This is one breed I am looking forward to getting more in the future.


Pros: gentile, friendly, curious

Cons: health issues

I love my buckeyes, they are so sweet and friendly.  I hope it's just a streak of bad luck with them but one died at one week; one died at seven months (we were told it might have been egg bound); and now a third has a bent beak at two months.  It isn't a scissor beak, just the tip.  Her mouth aligns perfectly.  My husband said she will wear it off when she goes outside and pecks at the ground.  I hope these three grow up okay because they are great hens.


Pros: big, beautiful, docile

My husband and I received a buckeye hen and a buckeye rooster by accident. We ordered a straight run of rhode island pullets and ended up with 2 buckeyes. When my husband butchered all the roosters I told him to save the buckeye, not knowing at the time what it was, because he was unique looking. That was one of the best decisions I ever made.


Pros: sweet, friendly, good layers, docile, beautiful, calm, good forager

Cons: takes a while to lay(but totally worth it!)

My buckeye hen is my favorite breed. She took the longest to lay, but she may have laid sooner than we thought because the feed store said they laid white eggs and that's what we were looking for. At first the other hens picked on her a bit, but she was the youngest and once she got older she was fine. She always thinks you have food and will follow you around. When she's eating you can walk up to her and pet her, and she makes a pretty cooing noise. When they get to forage, she finds a worm with almost every scratch. And now that she has started laying, she lays us large, pretty brown eggs frequently. As long as I keep chickens, I will want a buckeye.:yiipchick



Pros: docile, gentle, good with children, great dual-purpose birds, excellent show birds, great producers

Hello all,


My name is Joseph Shumaker, owner of Shumaker Farm is located in Southwestern Ohio and is dedicated to the preservation of the Buckeye breed as Nettie Metcalf (the breeds creator) intended. We began breeding/raising Buckeyes in the fall of 2009. A single cock from Mr. Jeff Lay and a single hen from Mr. John Brown is all we started with. The rest we can say is history. This year (2014) will be our 5th year breeding this family of poultry. We’ve added a few additional, select birds in the past couple years but our breeding stock is set.

Shumaker Farm maintains a flock of roughly 50 mature buckeyes at the moment. We are fortunate to have the ability of rearing roughly 200 Buckeyes yearly. From that we cull and select through specimens for exhibition and our breeding program. Every year, we keep producing better quality specimens, so we are very excited for the future generations!!!! There is nothing like eating farm-fresh eggs and the flavor of home grown chicken!!!! 


Please check out our website; http://www.shumakerfarmbuckeyechickens.com for more information.


Pros: beatiful,big,sweet

Cons: bottom of our picking order

we have one buckeye hen. shes very beautiful but our other hens pick on her and shes a bit skittish. for some reason she hasn't layed yet or she did and we cant tell her eggs from everybody else.


Pros: Lively, friendly, beautiful, consistent medium-egg layers, great meat birds, cold-hardy, heritage

Cons: None. None at all.

These are some of the best birds I have ever owned, and are a staple in my flock. The roosters are consistently the sweetest full-sized roosters I've ever owned. The hens are lovely to have around, and are more than willing to be handled. 


Their feathers or ridiculously shiny at times. They don't peck at each others feathers, and don't fight or pick on each other (or other breeds). Their pea combs makes them fantastic for the winter, and are the only American developed pea comb (and are specifically bred to be cold hardy.) They are a good sized breed, and their meat is wonderful. 


I honestly could go on and on about the great things about this breed. Personally, I think they should be renamed the awesome-st birds alive (but that might just be me). They are a fabulous breed, for the new and the old.


They're a great dual purpose breed, but primarily are used for meat. They don't grow as fast as some of the modern cross breeds do, but they grow faster than other heritage breeds. 


The only fault I have for this breed is that few people raise them,  and they are on the critical-endangered chicken breed list. If you want a great, all around breed, this is the breed for you.


Buckeyes came into existence through the efforts of Mrs. Nettie Metcalf in Warren, Ohio. This is the only species of chicken known to have been developed by a woman. Mrs. Metcalf started crossing Buff Cochin males with Barred Rock females. She was not happy with this cross because she considered them large and lazy so a black breasted red game fowl male was introduced to the resulting Buff Cochin/Barred Rock offspring. This produced several red offspring and the early ancestors were born. Mrs. Metcalf's chickens were being bred and raised at the same time as another red breed which was gaining popularity. That "RED" breed is known as the Rhode Island Red. Many believe Mrs. Metcalf's red chickens predated the now common egg layer. As early as 1896, she learned of RIR being bred on the east coast and traded stock with breeders of the new variety. She promptly named her birds, "Pea Combed Rhode Island Red". This hurt her new breed more than it helped with their popularity, so prior to exhibiting at the fair in 1902, she introduced her chickens as Buckeyes. The American Poultry Association first recognized the Buckeye as an individual unique breed in 1904. Buckeyes, structurally, are very different from a Rhode Island Red. They are more slanted with broader backs and more muscular thighs. Buckeyes, in the early 1900’s, had a similar appearance to the Cornish chicken. Buckeyes have a rich mahogany outer plumage with a slate color down. They are tight feathered with the roosters having black/green irridescent tail feathers. The hens have black tips. Both sexes have pea combs with small to medium sized wattles. The occasional single comb with larger wattles is still found in the breed but is not preferred by poultry exhibitors. The pea comb and tight feathering makes the Buckeye very suitable to colder climates. In fact, they handle the cold so well, they will continue to lay throughout the winter months. They are also tolerant of very hot and dry conditions. Roosters average about 9 pounds and hens 6 1/2 to 7 pounds. They make wonderful dual purpose birds with yellow skin, large breast area and good thigh meat. Buckeyes have their own unique personalities. They are a very active bird that prefer to free range though a large coop with run is suitable. They are a vocal bird and will spat with each other, lifting their neck feathers frequently asserting their place in the pecking order. Roosters can be territorial during breeding season. Hens are friendly and make good pets. Pullets will start to lay medium sized eggs at about 6 1/2 months. They are good egg layers. Buckeyes will sometimes go broody and raise chicks. Buckeye chicks will range in color from light yellow to almost a light mahogany. Chicks can have a dark strip on their backs. They feather quickly though growth rate may be slower than other dual purpose breeds. Another unique trait to the Buckeye is they will actively mouse as well as a cat, even better at times. Buckeye roosters have a range of calls they make.

Breed PurposeDual Purpose
Climate ToleranceCold
Egg ProductivityMedium
Egg SizeMedium
Egg ColorBrown
Breed TemperamentFriendly,Wild / restless,Noisy
Breed Colors/VarietiesNo Variations in color, but also available as a Bantam.
Breed SizeLarge Fowl
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Chicken Breed Info:

Breed Purpose: Dual Purpose
Comb: Pea
Broodiness: Average
Climate Tolerance: All Climates

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: Medium
Egg Size: Large
Egg Color: Brown

Breed Temperament:

Friendly, non-aggressive

Breed Colors / Varieties:

No Variations in color, but also available as a Bantam.

Breed Details:

I have raised and bred Buckeye chickens since 2007, NPIP 43-694. After an entire year of researching what chicken would be best suited to our ever changing weather and sometimes quite cold winter and very hot summers. A chicken that was a good egg layer that would lay med/large brown eggs, but also would make nice table fair. I was also searching for a chicken unlike sometimes a Rhode Island Red (which I also raise) that did not stress easily as a chick, were easy brooders and feathered out quickly. Although they do feather out a bit slower than a Rhode Island Red, the ease of raising the Buckeye makes the slower maturing bird inconsequential. I have found all of this and a bird with a very unique personality all in one bird, the Buckeye. For more information please visit: http://www.americanbuckeyepoultryclub.com or http://www.americanbuckeyeclub.org/ with whom this detailed history on the Buckeye was written. Thank you Jeff Lay for the gorgeous picture of Brutus the top picture and your help.