Delaware

Posted

Pros: Fantastic layers, docile and sweet if socialized well, will defend themselves, great for controlling pests such as ants and flies, good foragers

Cons: somewhat noisy, a bit of an attitude (will bite the crap out of you if you piss them off or scare them)

Our first flock was three delawares and we loved them. We kept them inside in a large action-packer initially until they were big enough to go into the back yard. We handled them a lot when they were little so that they would be friendly and they turned out to be sweet and affectionate hens that loved to come sit in your lap. For a while we were afraid of them being eaten by a cat, but then I watched one day through the window as our largest hen charged a huge feral cat head on. The cat was too stunned by its prey's audacity to move at first and consequently suffered a sound clawing to the face by said chicken before taking off. I went out to check the hen, Martie, and found her huffing and puffing around the yard with bloody claws like a bull that had gored a matador. I was impressed. Martie, Natalie, and Emily (we named them after the Dixie Chicks) were never bothered by cats as long as we had them because they would just run them off whenever they showed up. Before we had chickens we had a horrible ant and fly problem, but the chickens nearly eliminated them once they were put out. If I found an ant hill I would just call them over (yes they knew and answered to their names) and they would destroy the whole colony in an hour and then dust bathe in the hole where the colony had been. They were also GREAT layers, giving us an egg a day, sometimes two, and only stopping for a few days when the weather changed drastically. They only things we didn't like was that they were a bit noisy, and that they could have an attitude sometimes. As far as chickens go they were hard core, they didn't take crap off of anybody. If a kid came over to visit my sisters and messed with them, their nest area, or their food/water they would bite their fingers and legs until the kid ran inside. But if the kids were well behaved they would gladly allow them to pet them and hold them. I used to clip their wing feathers so they couldn't fly over the fence, they'd let me do it without struggle but once I put them down they would bite me on the leg, hard, before going off to sulk for a while. Needless to say, they were an interesting bunch.

Posted

Pros: inquisitive, friendly, beautiful

Cons: none

Last year, I decided I needed some chickens.  I bought three breeds....Delawares, Speckled Sussex and Blue Lace Red Wyandottes.  They were raised together.  Of the three, the Delawares are the only breed I will continue with.  They are interesting, inquisitive and intelligent.  They are friendly with my grandson and lay very well. 

Posted

Pros: Good layer

Cons: Bossy, aggressive, egg eaters

I purchased a mixed flock from My Pet Chicken in June 2012 (4 austrlorp, 2 barred rock, 2 delaware).  From the minute that I opened the box, my delaware hens were loud, and kind of pushy. 

 

As the girls got older, Precious and Princess just became more and more agressive.  They are very loud, they eat eggs, and run at you if you attempt to get eggs from the nest.  They have gone after poor Lucy (australorp) so bady that they took off most of her comb and put a hole in her neck....all within a matter of hours!!  They are well cared for birds, were handeled often since birth, always have plenty of feed and fresh water and have lots of room.  We have decided to cull them both.  It makes me so sad.

Posted

Pros: nice large brown eggs, gental roosters with kids

Cons: Huge! had to make the coop opening bigger

I have had Delawares off and on over the years but right now I have the best Delaware rooster, I purchased him at 20 weeks old from a heritage meat farmer he is huge, 9lbs and is soo sweet! he lets my kids pet him he calls for the hens and chicks to come eat when he finds bugs or some yummy plant. He lets the chicks eat before he does. My favorite rooster I have ever had! Im going to cross him with with white rock hens for meat birds, Superman rocks maybe 4h next year for my son.

Posted

Pros: Very friendly & quick learners

Cons: None thus far

These four Delaware pullets are my first "flock" and I absolutely love them!  True to their reviews they are very friendly and quick learners too at only 5 weeks old.  When I open the coop for feeding and care they always rush to the door, hop on my hand and walk up my arm allowing me to pet them.

 

As for their reputations for being smart, well, perhaps its too early to tell.  I recently decided to treat my chicks to a special treat of several fresh, little bugs after I cleaned out their coop so I proceeded to gather the insects in a small glass jar that originally contained green olives.  I placed the jar into the coop on it's side so the chicks could grab their treats but one chick, spotting an especially tempting treat at the bottom, squeezed through the narrow neck and popped herself completely into the jar.  I was very surprised and waited a moment to see if she could get out.  She struggled but could not back out and could not turn herself around.  Fortunately, she had one leg sticking out of the jar which I was able to grab and gently work her back out.  Whenever I hear about a chicken being "smart" I will always think of my little chicken in the olive jar!

Posted

Pros: Harty, defind them selves, talkitive, inquizitive, good layers

Cons: can be aggressave, if not happy will talk your ear off.

I have 18 hens and 1 rooster, I have 3 girls that want to go broody and i will let them about mid January. the girls can be strong willed and will behave when they know who is in charge. they watch every thing in their yard and around it , they have a pare tree in their yard and keep the squirls out of it(first year we got to harvest pares)

Posted

Pros: lays daily all year long

Cons: Mean, loud, aggressive, feather picker and egg eater

I read above that someone else got their Delaware from MPC, maybe it is just their stock. But our first batch of hens came from MPC and we loved them all except our Delaware. She is mean, and even pecks at the kids. She lets everyone know EVERY time someone goes into the coop to lay an egg. We can't stand her. I am sure there are some great lines out there but we didn't get a good one.

Posted

Pros: nice meat birds at 20 weeks as well as good layers. Calm friendly

Cons: White color gets dirty.

This is getting to be my favorite chicken.   Mine come from about 4 different bloodlines and Im really happy with them.   I think one of the best chickens for anyone wanting a real dual purpose bird.

Posted

Pros: Friendly, smart, hardy, excellent layers

Cons: Tendency to peck at your clothes, difficult molt

If I could only have one kind of chicken forever, it would be Delawares. They are just smart and friendly and healthy and very reliable layers. Two things: they peck at people's clothes (I've heard other people say this too) and they have a really hard molt once a year that makes them lose more feathers than the other hens: picture a pillow exploding. Sometimes there's a few days during their molt where they have difficulty walking -- they do a weird backwards walking thing. They get over it, though.

Posted

Pros: Not skittish, Does not peck, fine with other chickens (even buff orpingtons), easy handelling

Cons: Nothing yet. White birds get dirty.

They are still pullets, but so far they are great birds.

Delaware
Description:

Delawares are a fairly heavy-bodied, white (silver) bird with black markings. They were originally developed in the state of Delaware in 1940 from some silver sports (birds that differ from the parent stock, often through mutation) that cropped out by chance from a broiler cross using New Hampshire Reds and Barred Plymouth Rocks. They were recognized as a separate breed and admitted to the APA Standard in 1952. While they were thought of as a broiler originally, today they are recognized as a dual-purpose bird, most useful for the backyard or homestead. As a breed originating in America, Delawares are often kept today by those who are interested in maintaining US heritage breeds. Those interested in the show standards for this breed should know that the APA Standard calls for Delaware males to be 8.5 lbs and have a body that is both broad and deep. The comb should have five even points, and the tail should be clearly barred with the black bars predominant. The female Delaware should be 6.5 lbs and should also have a broad and deep body. She, however, should not have barring in her main tail feathers, which should be black with only white lacing on the outer edges. Her tail covert feathers, however, may show barring. Both genders should have barring in the hackle and have yellow legs.

Details:
DetailValue
Breed PurposeDual Purpose
CombSingle
BroodinessAverage
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ProductivityMedium
Egg SizeLarge
Egg ColorBrown
Breed TemperamentFriendly,Flighty,Easily handled,Calm,Noisy
Breed Colors/VarietiesOne variety, barred silver columbian.
Breed SizeLarge Fowl
APA/ABA Class
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Chicken Breed Info:

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

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: High
Egg Size: Large
Egg Color: Brown

Breed Temperament:

Friendly,Easily handled,Calm

Breed Colors / Varieties:

One variety, barred silver columbian.

Breed Details:

Delawares are great layers and good foragers on range. Their disposition is usually mild and friendly, although fiery Delaware males are not unheard of. Overall, they are an attractive, old-fashioned bird with good utility value, and well bred specimens can be particularly striking in appearance.

LL

Rooster
LL
Hen
LL
Egg
LL
Chick
LL
Adolescent
LL