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Buckeye

Average User Rating:
4.48276/5,
  • Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Comb:
    Pea
    Broodiness:
    Average
    Climate Tolerance:
    Cold
    Egg Productivity:
    Medium
    Egg Size:
    Medium
    Egg Color:
    Brown
    Breed Temperament:
    Friendly,Wild / restless,Noisy
    Breed Colors/Varieties:
    No Variations in color, but also available as a Bantam.
    Breed Size:
    Large Fowl
    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.
  • 120687f4_LL.jpeg dafd4cd3_buckeye-32682-260376.jpeg 62ec409e_IMG_20120530_115935.jpeg 604b8343_2014-07-0110.27.37.jpeg 8f2708e6_2014-06-1209.42.29.jpeg e533d40b_red1.jpeg d482a474_1234816_845971445443250_7542204129984750682_n.jpeg e9579a2f_900x900px-LL-6fd132af__20160301_192328_wm.jpeg e53d7753_LL.jpeg

  • 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.


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    Rooster
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    Hen
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    Egg
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    Chick
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    Adolescent
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Frazzemrat1 likes this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. Devw
    5/5,
    "Awesome birds"
    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.
    Overall:
    5
  2. arrowti
    4/5,
    "My favourite of our chickens!"
    Pros - Beautiful, hardy, great layers, friendly, calm
    Cons - Get picked on a lot!
    We added a few buckeyes to our flock late last spring simply because we needed some filler chicks to get the last 4 easter eggers from the feed store and the only others they had were buckeyes... weren't we lucky?

    I absolutely love our buckeyes. They are beautiful birds with wonderful burgundy colouring and reddish heads. They are the hardiest of our chickens who go out and have dust baths when there's no snow even when it's 20 degrees out and windy! Nothing stops them from going out in the outdoors, whether it's rain, wind, or snow... tough and resilient they are. They fared well with no frost bite on their mini combs or feet this winter, even in the dry, cold, bitter windy weather.

    Our buckeyes lay big, brown eggs almost every day, all winter long. They lay very early in the morning, and we only catch them a few times, but those big brown eggs with the thick shells are hard to miss!

    Our buckeyes aren't going to come running up to sit in my lap like some of the others. But they're friendly and calm, and one of the best words I can think of is 'stoic'. They don't flinch with the others, and are always alert and calm when other birds are panicked from something flying overhead or a scary noise in the woods. They will walk up to you and follow you without you even noticing it, and many times I turned around and nearly stepped on them because I didn't even hear them following me. They are rather routine, hang out mostly together, perch together, and always go to the same areas at the same time of the day. It's hard to see one buckeye without the other nearby.

    The only flaw from mine is that they don't protect themselves. They don't make any effort to get themselves a pecking order, and are routinely attacked by our mean, young rhode islands who are trying to establish themselves. Both our buckeyes have pecked heads every night but they always just sit together and do their best to avoid the mean birds. I only saw one fight back once, and it was when the other hen would not leave them alone, chasing them everywhere, pecking them. She won that little fight and fortunately won her rights to be able to walk around the yard without being harassed.

    If you like a bird who isn't a bully and is tough, hardy, beautiful, and a good layer, the Buckeye is quite possibly a good choice!

    I will be adding more of these to my flock as soon as I can. I really like these girls. They look at you with calm, curious, seemingly thoughtful eyes.
    Overall:
    4.5
  3. welsummer27
    4/5,
    "Good old American breed"
    Pros - Good dual purpose birds,good layers,good foragers,occasionally broody,great in cold weather
    The only american breed developed entirely by a woman,also the only american breed with a pea comb.They are a great dual purpose bird and need more breeders in [​IMG]
    Overall:
    4.5

User Comments

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  1. countrydream7
    looking for buckeyes chicks how much do sell them for need ship to canajoharie ny thanks
  2. chickengeorgeto
    As I have never owned a Buckeye chicken I am unqualified to comment on the good, bad, or ugly aspects of Buckeye Chickens. I would however like to see a photo of your birds at maturity. After reading the latest in this thread I don't think that they are Buckeyes.
  3. kcw0525
    @countrydream7 My buckeyes have since passed away since writing this review. Both of them contracted some sort of disease that never spread to any of our other breeds. It eventually killed them. However, they were great layers and friendly birds. I have no "cons" because they were just good chickens.
  4. countrydream7
    what do you say pros and cons of buckeyes are
  5. countrydream7
    we are getting some buckeyes this year cant wait..hope i have a good experience with them
  6. BirdCrazy24
    If your looking for an all around great chicken then the Buckeyes are it. Temps here have been near zero and they are doing well. No frostbite in the comb. I always feel awful when that happens to the tall comb breeds They are very friendly and under foot. The roo I have is tolerant of people and yet protective of his hens.
  7. CanadianBuckeye
    Yes, to me they do look like Buckeyes. Their pea combs make them super winter hardy but it makes it tough for them to cool down.
  8. Ese_N_Gracie
  9. CanadianBuckeye
    Sorry about your hens :-( -for sure heat is hard on chickens.
    Not sure what you mean exactly, are you talking about the comb? If the birds were red, and they did not have single combs , they may have been Buckeyes, or perhaps Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds.
  10. Ese_N_Gracie
    I just had three hens die from our heat wave (110 degree out of nowhere yesterday was closer to 100)... I loved these girls and I didn't get the chance to find out their breed (they were given to me fairly recently) These are the largest birds in my flock have yellow legs and look like red Buckeyes except they have super fleshy ridges on their face, very thick necks spurs... I can't face taking pics of them right now... they are in the freezer. Does this sound like Buckeys?

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