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Blue Hen of Delware

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by L&Schickens, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. L&Schickens

    L&Schickens Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Washington State
    I got a book for my son called "pocketful of Poultry. In it there is "The Blue Hen of Delaware. It is the state bird of Delaware and a few hundred years old. They seem like an interesting bird indeed.


    It's recounted that the popularity of the "Blue Hen Chicken" goes back over 200 years. It's almost universally agreed that the origination of the "Blue Hen Chicken," as Delaware state bird, was during the Revolutionary War and that the battling ferocity and fearlessness of Delaware soldiers in battle was associated with the Kent County Blue Hen Chickens owned and bred by Captain Jonathan Caldwell. The courage and intensity demonstrated by the Delaware soldiers caused them to be referred to alternately as fighting "gamecocks" and as the "Blue Hen's Chickens."

  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Hi L & S,

    I recently got interested in the Delaware Blues, and am very excited about getting some eggs in March. My FIL graduated from U of D way back when, (he's 84) and the mascot is "The Fighting Blue Hens". He has always been quite interested in my chickens, and was over the moon when I told him I was going to hatch some!

    They are beautiful birds. Are you going to get some? [​IMG]
  3. L&Schickens

    L&Schickens Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Washington State
    I would get some, but do not like the tendancy to fight. I like to be able to house my birds together if I ned to and also let them free range together also. I do keep breeds seperated during "egg Season" but still let them out to roam one cage at a time. A fighting bird would beat himself up fighting through the pens with the other roos. [​IMG]
  4. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    I have a flock of Delaware Blue's and they free range fine with the rest of the group...I have them separated now for breeding purposes, but my Delaware blue gets along fine with my cochin. The hens are sweeties and get along with everyone as well. They are not the aggressive birds they once were.

    I have to brag though..my roo is much prettier than that one... [​IMG]


    Here they are all free ranging together, before I separated them for breeding

    And here are the 2 roos together
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  5. L&Schickens

    L&Schickens Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Washington State
    WOW! Very pretty!!
    I am glad to hear they are not as aggressive as they were. [​IMG]
  6. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    No, not at all. I think they have the feistiness bred out of them. The roo is a little ornery towards me, but none of the other chickens.

    That pic you have is the best pic I have seem actually published somewhere! When I first got mine, I looked everywhere for a good pic that wasn't hand drawn!
  7. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    Thats really neat. Wow I learn something new everyday on here [​IMG]

  8. flyingmonkeypoop

    flyingmonkeypoop Crowing

    Apr 30, 2007
    Deer Park Washington
    From what I have been seeing the last few years is that the deleware blues are just a mish mash of blue birds. I have seen eggs for sale and when you look at the flocks they vary from looking like modern games to orpingtons, some with white earlobes and some with red earlobes. In my opinion they are just a mix of blues. I cant find a standard of any sort on them and I cant find them mentioned in any of the old books I have. It seems that there may have been a breed of fighting birds in Deleware ages ago that were blue but the birds today look nothing like a fighting bird, most of them look like andalusians.

    I hope no one takes offense, I dont mean to sound grumpy or anything, thats just my thoughts on them.
  9. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    The University of Delaware has a breeding group and the only way to get true Blue Hens is from them (or me of course because I have a breeding flock as well [​IMG] ) I am sure others have pure blue hens, but most mix them. People have taken them, crossed them and still pass off the babies as Delaware Blue Hens even though they are mixes. They are not yet a recognized breed, but they are very close. They are actually supposed to have white earlobes, but as with any breed of chicken, there are faults.

    I do kinda take offense because the University has been working very hard for years on this breed.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  10. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Guess I'd like to see some more photos from folks on here who have them... just so we can all compare.

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