are delawares friendly.....or not???

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by kelster6, May 22, 2008.

  1. kelster6

    kelster6 In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2008
    williamsburg, va
    I have read on different hatchery websites that delawares are sweet and docile. then I read a post here and some people said they had delawares that were not nice at all.
    should I not get delawares from a hatchery?
  2. moodusnewchick

    moodusnewchick Songster

    Feb 15, 2008
    mine came from strombergs and they are the friendliest of my six. I thought the orps were supposed to be (of my breeds), but at the moment (6 weeks), the Delawares let me hold them, get closest to me and squawk and follow when i walk away. i say go for it.
  3. Lanissa86

    Lanissa86 Songster

    Mar 26, 2008
    San Antonio, TX
    Go for it. I had a great experience with mine until I lost them at 8 weeks old. They were spoiled and would let me hold them and pet them with no problems at all. I read the post about a person not having a great experience and I would say that must not happen too often, the people I know personally that have had them have nothing but good things to say about them. I will definitely get more in the future.
  4. coopist

    coopist Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    Midwest U.S.
    Hmm, this is a topic that seems to come up a lot lately. It's good to see there's so much interest in the breed. Okay, so here goes:

    The original Delawares, that is, the rare heritage breed that the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy lists as "critical" with less than 500 breeding birds in the US is described on the ALBC site as "calm and friendly." Hatcheries describe their birds likewise, but hatchery stock isn't always pure Delaware and sometimes has a mixed heritage. This makes sense if you think about it since how can a breed be so "rare" if practically every hatchery in the country can sell massive numbers to you for the asking? I'm not saying all hatcheries are selling mixes but a lot of them use Delawares for silver/gold sex-links, and it might be pretty tempting, with such a rare breed, and with a dominant color pattern, to just "make" a lot more Delawares to sell in bulk simply by using a silver roo over gold hens. This makes even more sense when you consider that the rarer heritage types can sometimes have genetic issues from being inbred when they nearly died out. Outcrossing a bit can make sense, but too much will water down the purity of your birds to the point where they're not true to the breed at all. I've seen enough to surmise that some of them are probably doing this; a lot of hatchery birds have red smut and other odd traits. Since these outcrossed birds are not pure, they can have any temperament under the sun, from friendly to aggressive to whatever. Some are fine, and some are not. Not ALL hatchery birds are crosses and not all are aggressive (it might pay to listen to folks on here who have hatchery Dels with correct temperament if you want to go with hatchery stock). But, basically, you do take your chances when you buy hatchery stock. Buying from a breeder (if you can find one) is usually a better option with this breed, just as it is with Buckeyes and Dominiques--you're really better off with breeder stock with any of the really rare heritage birds. Here's the ALBC description of the breed:
    Last edited: May 22, 2008
  5. kelster6

    kelster6 In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2008
    williamsburg, va
    wow. thanks for all the info. really helpful! I am glad I asked.
  6. newbiecaroline

    newbiecaroline Songster

    Jan 21, 2008
    I agree Coopist...there has to be something gone wrong with the ones I just got. All I read about them says they are very nice calm birds etc....I wouldn't have ordered otherwise with small grandsons around. I am one of the unlucky ones, next time I would try a breeder too....or at least a hatchery that produces good stock.
  7. mbleily

    mbleily Songster

    Feb 20, 2008
    Quote:I got one Delaware from Meyer's hatchery. she is the sweetest on of all the 27 others. She talks to me all the time and come over wanting me to pick her up. When I do she does even more talking very softly to me. She sits on my knee while I am siting out there watching the birds. I named her Sissy because she is so sweet.
  8. Meesh

    Meesh Songster

    Feb 12, 2008
    Rocky Mountains
    Mine are from Ideal and they are lap chickens - the friendliest chickens possible. One of them likes to lay down on my lap and she all but purrs when you pet her.


    I do have to hide my arm freckles, they get inspected and pecked.


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