Average User Rating:
  • Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Climate Tolerance:
    All Climates
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size:
    Egg Color:
    Breed Temperament:
    Friendly, Easily handled, Calm
    Breed Colors/Varieties:
    One variety, barred silver columbian.
    Breed Size:
    Large Fowl

    Delaware aka Indian River was developed in the 1940s in the United States by George Ellis in the state of Delaware. He selected the occasional light colored sport produced from the popular broiler cross of Barred Plymouth Rock roosters and New Hampshire hens. The light coloring of the sports made for a commercially more desirable table bird. The Indian River was later renamed the Delaware for its state of origin, and was the most popular broiler on the east coast for twenty years, before being replaced commercially by the Cornish-Rock broiler.

    The Delaware comes in one color, white with slight black barring on the ends of the hackle, wings and tails.
    It is a very good choice for a dual purpose flock in general and are decent forgers for a free range dual purpose flock. The hens are good layers of very large brown eggs, are occasionally broody and good mothers. The cockerels especially have rapid growth and make for a nice table bird. They have excellent calm temperaments and are good with other large breeds. It is popular today for small flock owners, and is still used in commercial red sex-linked crosses.

    Delaware chick

    Delaware hens

    Delaware rooster

    For more information about this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here:
  • 45552481_IMG_7755.jpeg e3c14fb7_delaware-9901-199859.jpeg 663e5492_delaware-9901-419102.jpeg e3c5f848_GEDC1020.jpeg c0518f4f_TheDelawareclan.jpeg 88171391_2ndhatch2011341.jpeg 38c3b6db_delaware-9901-252914.jpeg 03745b44_106.jpeg d2b28376_116.jpeg 7385991c_-4.jpeg 340edd7c_DSCF5589.jpeg 451fc3aa_unnamed.jpeg e615900d_image.jpeg c83663f8_IMAG0050_BURST004.jpeg 10dc66af_IMAG0236_BURST004.jpeg 9cf5f266_IMAG0236_BURST009.jpeg 557a31bc_dellanestone.jpeg 1b659c0c_della_bug.jpeg LL.jpg

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

    General Egg Info:
    Egg Productivity:
    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.







Recent User Reviews

  1. ageranger361
    "Not My Favorite!"
    Pros - Heavy Breed, Dual Purpose, Decent Layer, Fairly Calm
    Cons - EGG EATERS, Roo’s Aggressive, Poor 2nd Year Eggs
    My first chickens were Delaware’s from McMurry, so some of this could be inexperienceand some could be hatchery, but I was only moderately pleased with this breed. They laid large to xl eggs daily their first year. Started late their second year and never ramped back up to full production. They were great foragers, and the hens are mostly docile with a flighty hen now and again. Not a starting breed in my opinion. Not bad birds, just not beginners birds.

    Excellent for meat if you like a full flavored almost gamey bird and A little tough, but they lay decent and eat ok. Dual purpose for sure.
    Purchase Price:
    Purchase Date:
  2. Wolf
    "Delawares are Good!"
    Pros - BIG! Nice birds!
    Cons - Long grow-out.
    Got eggs of these last May. After having the Silky-sized Peruvian Araucanas - these looked HUGE! The roosters eyeball me, asking for treats, as I sit on the Adirondack-chair in the yard - their heads are above the armrest! I have to guard my food! Mine are not aggressive. They don't like being picked up, but they don't run away, either. They come hang with me when I sit in the pasture. Kinda slow growing, but they put on enough bone to hold them up - unlike Rock x Cornish. Anticipating when they start laying eggs - the hatching eggs were fist-sized! Ate two extra roos already - nice meat! Got these to start a meat-flock while my Araucanas work as layers.
    Schakeitup and bmanty like this.
  3. petunialuvur
    Pros - Broody and good foragers.
    Cons - Distant and difficult too keep pinned.
    The Delaware Turken hen I had would let me hold her but she didn't like it. She was distant to the rest of the flock. I had 2 other Delaware hens and they avoided the flock also. I ended up rehoming them because I couldn't keep them escaping the field. If there was a weak spot in the fence or something they could climb up on to fly over thy always found it.
    Purchase Price:
    Purchase Date:

User Comments

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  1. ChknTndr
    Does anyone in this thread know how I might be able to get my hands on a DE blue hen? The only other thread I can find on the breed has been 'inactive' since 2016.

  2. feathermania
    We have 2 Delawares. One has more black markings (Laverne) on her neck than the other (Ethel). Laverne is the second in command of our flock (our older Barred Rock is the boss). Laverne is a little skittish, but she will come up for a back rub and gentle tail pull when I'm cleaning the coop. Ethel constantly gets in my way when I clean the coop, loves her back stroked and a gentle tail pull. I actually have to move her in order to finish cleaning. They love to free range, eat and dust bathe. We love our Delawares!
      OneEyedDawn likes this.
  3. starryhen
    Our Delawares are quite unusual. The roosters were totally docile. ... and did not grow spurs!!! The hens are aggressive unless ... I pet them!! The down side around here is that they love to roam ... with predictable results. So I need another rooster but I am afraid of introducing "typical" characteristics. I may just do without. The constant crowing attracts young coyotes and foxes. I was going to go back to Buff Orpingtons but these birds are so interesting I may stay with them. Great and unfussy layers of large eggs and ok moms.
  4. Thomas Lamprogiorgos
    The females can participate in the creation of red sex links.
    They have the silver gene.
  5. maddiespoppa
    I've had a total of approximately 50 or so over the years and have found them to be both heat and cold tolerant, good foragers and excellent layers. The down side has been a widespread penchant for egg eating and aggressive roos. The last one I had Ninja'd up on me one too many times. He turned out to be tasty after some time in the slow cooker.
    Can anyone tell me if they've ordered from Cackle Hatchery, especially any Delawares, Rhode Island Reds or Golden Comets, Buff Orpingtons, White Rocks, Barred Rocks, Wyandottes, or Easter Eggers? I got a batch of Black Australorps from Chickens from Backyards (which has great service) that are extremely skidish and unfriendly. Also, if I get any new breeds again, I want to try to make sure that are somewhat friendly, fairly docile and/or at least will fit well in a mixed flock without much aggression (allowing for a normal pecking order of course) and be easy to handle.
      ChickaMama49 likes this.
  7. jake and pippa
    I have 6+ Buff Orphington chicks, fully feathered, in the yard in a sheltered environment. They are living with some young bielefelders, neiderheiners, cream crested legbar, blue copper Marans and Isobar. I also have older blue gold brahma, too beautiful to eat, light brahma, wheaten Sulmtaler, speckled Sussex, buff Wyandote, RIR.
  8. Foristers
    After some research I found that for dual-purpose birds the buff Orpington was largest and best tempered bird that still lay good eggs and hens broody. Have you tried them?
  9. jake and pippa
    I have adult Maran, Bielefelders (super sweet birds, fast growers) Bresse (independent, pretty fast growers, nice personality) Barbexieux (a little aggressive, grow well) and many others. What section should I post in? Meat birds? I gather some people do not like reading about killing or eating birds. I spoke to one chef yesterday, and he is interested. I need to speak to others. The Dorking grow very slowly, are quite sweet. Buckeye also grow a little slowly, but are gentle. My Marans roos are a tad aggressive, but I think I could select for gentle roos over time. My Speckled Sussex are more aggressive than I expected, they started out very sweet.
  10. EggSighted4Life
    I hope I see when you do your blind taste test. I started raising the Marans but they are still chicks. I want them to also raise their yoyng for us to harvest. My hubby is especially curious about the Breese. I will be curious to see how their meat is when they aren't caponized as they do in France. And also if the American version is the same. Also, the Bielfelder is one of my considerations to replace the Marans if I don't enjoy the feathered legs in our wet season. With the added benefit of auto sexing if I decide to sell chicks. If you think about it, try to get my attention when you start the comparison thread so I can follow your experience. This information is valuable to me and sound like you are going about it the right way! Thanks for sharing.

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