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By Hurley, Jan 11, 2012 | Updated: Mar 28, 2014 | |
  1. Hurley
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    ...but they aren't blue!


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    The Iowa Blue is a uniquely patterned bird with females showing white heads, a broken penciled chest with the pattern becoming more fragmented and laced towards the tail. Males have a white head with snowy white and draping hackles and saddles. As magnificent as the males are, the females are eye catchers themselves and a lovelier pattern won't be found!

    In cooperation with several small breeders, we have been working to preserve this wonderful breed. The Iowa Blue Chicken is a homesteader breed that originated near Decorah, IA in the early 1900's as a dual purpose homesteader breed that could forage well, produced a nice medium to large light brown egg, and would go broody and raise chicks. The breed is found in two color varieties, Birchen and Silver Penciled. Iowa Blues are notorious hawk fighters and flock guardians, with a proud carriage and an animated, plucky attitude. They are very heat and cold resistant, a necessity in the extreme temperature range in Iowa and will forage for a good portion of their diet if allowed. Though very aware of their surroundings and fierce defenders against predators, the Iowa Blue is not particularly flighty and is friendly towards humans.
    Males mature very early and are avid breeders.

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    Though little was known about its origin, a whimsical folk legend told of a hen emerging from under a building with a clutch of solid and striped chicks unlike any they had seen before. The tale holds that the chicks were sired by a pheasant and the legend grew. The originator of the breed was a gentleman by the name of John Logsdon. The breed was carried by several Iowa hatcheries through the 1960s, but was nearly lost when the hatcheries went out of business and back yard flocks gave way to commercial hatcheries. The breed was rescued by Ken Whealy from a few flocks remaining in the area and has been preserved through the efforts of a few breeders since the late 1980s. At times the breed has been down to just a handful of individuals, but it is making a tremendous comeback. The Iowa Blue experienced a resurgence in popularity in 2011 with breeders coming together to promote and improve the breed, leading to the formation of the Iowa Blue Chicken Club in 2012. The club and its members are passionate about the breed and have been working to bring the birds to standard for acceptance into the APA's SOP and have emassed a large amount of background history on the breed that was unavailable prior to 2012. Breeders are working hard to return the breed to its glory, working on size, structure, and appearance and the Iowa Blue has been given a reprieve from extinction.

    If you are interested in helping us bring this breed back,
    feel free to join the Iowa Blue Chicken Club
    and join in the Iowa Blue Thread here on BYC!
    Connie Hurley DVM, DACVS
    Cedar Creek Poultry - NPIP 35-0591 and Pullorum Tester
    Visit my website for more information on my flock:
    http://cedarcreekpoultry.weebly.com/

    My flock is tested clear for Pullorum/Typhoid. Wisconsin does not test for AI for NPIP status,
    having had no outbreak of the virus since 1968.

    (http://datcp.wi.gov/uploads/Animals/pdf/GeneralFactsheet.pdf)


    I do have hatching eggs available during the warmer months, but we do have a harsh winter here in Wisconsin so check for availability.

    • Iowa Blue Varieties: Silvers, Charcoals, Birchens, Smokeys - Of these, I predominantly raise Silvers, with a handful of Charcoals and Birchens in residence.
    • I also have an "Iowacana" project going, with the goal of a B/B/S Iowa Blue that is LF, lays a blue egg, and has a Pea Comb and Beard/Muffs for even better resistance to the harsh winter cold we have up north.
    • Cream Legbars - I have these birds mostly for their lovely eggs and their autosexing coloration to allow for definitive sexing at day 1. Eggs/chicks may be sporadically available. My birds come from birds hatched from eggs from Greenfire Farms.

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