Chicken Breed Focus - Delaware

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sumi, Sep 1, 2016.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Delaware aka Indian River

    The 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 .


    Breed purpose: Dual Purpose
    Comb Type: Single
    Broodiness: Occasional, very good mothers.
    Climate Tolerance: Cold Hardy.
    Weight: 8.5 lbs roosters, 6.5 lbs hens.
    Egg Productivity: Good
    Egg Size: Large/Jumbo
    Egg Color: Light Brown

    It was accepted into the APA in 1952.
    It is on the Livestock Conservancy’s Watch list.

    Pic by @JamesA

    Pic by @Lacy Blues

    Pic by @NestingHillsSC

    Pic by @NestingHillsSC

    Pic by @NestingHillsSC

    Pic by @Barred Rocker

    BYC Breed reviews:

    General breed discussions & FAQ thread:

    Link to the Standard thread:
  2. Nardo

    Nardo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2014
    North Texas
    My Coop
    I have only one Delaware, and she is named Della, of course.
    She is absolute last on the totem pole; everyone outranks her.
    She likes to be petted, she is sweet, but timid.
    She lays very round light brown sort of pinkish eggs.
    Here she is:


    2 people like this.
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Pretty Birds!

    Thanks for the info Sumi!
  4. TampaBK

    TampaBK Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 14, 2015

    Pretty Girl. I have a mixed flock with one Delaware named Sparkle. She is actually the Alpha girl in our flock. She is vocal and demanding, but also secretly enjoys it when we pick her up and scratch under wings.

  5. ChickenMomma22

    ChickenMomma22 New Egg

    Sep 1, 2016
    North Carolina
    I have two! Liz and Fancy. I do believe Liz is a rooster! They're pretty great chickens. I have 2 Delawares 18wks, 3 Barred Rock hens 18wks, 2 Americauna pullets 2wks, and 1 Buff Orpington Pullet2wks. Its been fun and they all have personalities!
    Here's a pic of Liz and Fancy, what do y'all think, Rooster and Hen right?! lol[​IMG][/IMG]
  6. ChickenMomma22

    ChickenMomma22 New Egg

    Sep 1, 2016
    North Carolina
    Hey y'all! i have two delwares, 18 weeks old this saturday, they were sold as pullets but I do believe one is a rooster! No problem though, I love them dearly. Our flock is getting pretty big now, were up to 8, and we love it! I'll post a picture of my delwares, aka Liz and Fancy, and let you all decide if I do indeed have a rooster. We have the 2 delawards 18wks, 3 Barred Rocks 18wks, 2 Americaunas 2wks, and 1 Buff Orpington 2wks old. Its been a lot of fun and learning, and I'm so grateful for them all.
    What do y'all think, "Liz" is totally a "Leo" right? lol.
  7. Diane W

    Diane W New Egg

    Sep 1, 2016
    I LOVE my Delaware chickens. I was unfamiliar with this breed when I received a roo chick from eggs hatched in a classroom. He is so beautiful that I purchased 6 female Delaware chicks from the feed store this past spring. Those pullets are the sweetest chickens I have. Very "chatty" and they like being picked up especially by one of my granddaughters. Plan to eventually replace all my hens with Delawares.
  8. Katieboosmama

    Katieboosmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2014
    Advance, NC
    Just added one to my flock, meet pearl with her stepsisters, midnight (black austrolorp) and Princess Eugenia Fluffybutt (silver laced wyandotte)

  9. rottlady

    rottlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 20, 2016
    Georges Mills, NH
    I love mine. I hatched out 8 this spring and kept the best 2
    Some people don't like them because they are super nosy and curious and they also explore everything with their beak which means the chicks bite. A breeder of Dels and I joke the chicks are compysaurs from Jurrasic park
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
  10. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I chose Delaware when I first got chickens in '08 and have had them ever since. Finding non hatchery Dels wasn't easy. I love my Dels they are easy going and will take in any hen I put in with them. The roosters don't bother the chicks either. If I have youngsters to grow out I just put them in with the Dels and switch them all to a grower feed. They are my best winter layer.

    I got them for their temperament. They do well in confinement, if you need to leave them in the run, but as with all birds don't over crowd them.

    They are hard to bring to SOP though, which is why I think folks give up on them.

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