Delaware Blue HEN?? Or ROO???

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by cheeptrick, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I'm appears the Delaware Blue Hen made popular by a Revolutionary war hero by staging 'cock' fights is a ROOSTER? So why would the state legislature, U of DE, and almost EVERY encyclopedia refer to this breed as a recognized chicken and have cock fights as a HEN AND adopt its name (The Fighting Delaware Blue Hens)? It was just a mutt chicken used for cock fights? YET...the state claims it as a state bird??

    Is this the HEN or the Roo that is revered?

    IS it a chicken or a pheasant??

    Is there such a breed here that anyone owns?

    Am I confused...or is Delaware confused??

    HEre is what MSN Encarta says...
    Blue Hen Chicken, common name for the state bird of Delaware. Unlike the Rhode Island Red, the Blue Hen Chicken is not an officially recognized chicken breed. Rather, the name refers to a tradition that dates back to the American Revolution (1775-1783). According to one account, an American military battalion was raised from the lower counties along the Delaware River in December 1775. Its leader, Captain Jonathan Caldwell, was a fan of cockfighting. His troops would stage cockfights using a breed known as the Kent County Blue Hen, distinguished by its blue plumage. The Blue Hens became famous for their ferocity and fighting success. As Caldwell’s battalion gathered the same reputation, they were nicknamed The Blue Hen’s Chickens. In 1911 the Blue Hen was adopted as the University of Delaware’s mascot, and in 1939 the Delaware General Assembly named the Blue Hen Chicken as the official state bird. Delaware is nicknamed the Blue Hen State.

    Although chicken strains called Delaware Blue Hens still exist today, they are not descended from the historic bird. In fact, blue plumage is not a true breeding trait in chickens. Like all domestic chickens (see Fowl), the Blue Hen Chicken is descended from the red jungle fowl. The red jungle fowl is found in tropical and sub-tropical habitats and is still a wild native of India and Southeast Asia. It first became domesticated more than 3000 years ago (see Poultry Farming).

    Scientific classification: Like all domestic chicken strains, the Blue Hen Chicken belongs to the pheasant family, Phasianidae, in the order Galliformes, and is classified as Gallus gallus.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2009
  2. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    I think where some of the confusion comes in, is the difference between historical recognition and the later appearance of APA recognized.

    At that point in history the gamebird type structure with blue feathering was recognized by the general public and not to be confused with the APA standard Delaware dual purpose fowl later developed and accredited to the state.

    As a further note: I do hope that people understand that cockfighting was mentioned in this discussion as a historical reference only and is not done in such manner to create debate or discussion of a banned subject here on BYC.

    Thank you
  3. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    I own 6 of them.

    All of that information is correct.

    To answer your questions

    It is a breed or soon to be breed that Delaware has been working on for a long time now. They breed true, but they are working on getting strictly the blue genes only. As with any breed with blue, there is a science to it. Genetics, Blue X Blue does not equal 100% blue. It isn't like a mixed breed that could throw anything out, they all look alike and the babies look and are built like their parents. They breed just like any other pure bred chicken, it has just taken a while to get them where they are today. The story is supposed to be how they came about. They are very close right now and hopefully soon they will be a recognized breed.

    This IS a chicken, not a pheasant. It says ALL domestic chicken strains are from the pheasant family, doesn't mean it is a pheasant...hehee

    Yes, I have 6 of them, 5 hens, 1 roo

    You are, just kidding

    Kstaven is correct
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
  4. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Thanks Bec... [​IMG] DH is from Milford....he said I was confused too!! LOL His grandfather is an artist and the old DE Blue Hen Fighting Poster from the U of DE was by might know it.....the one with the ROOSTER'S in formation with full battle scars and weaponry!

    Would you be interested in selling me some of your eggs?? [​IMG]
  5. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  6. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    Quote:GREAT....I'll check out the link and take a photo of the painting to post for you. U of DE sold prints of it in their store between 1985-1995 I believe...dh is alumn.
    It is a beautiful painted sketch.

    [​IMG] I will have a VERY nice hatch for my swap now...your eggs will definitely round out this one perfectly!

    Maybe I'll even enter your hatches at the Cheshire Fair here in NH for show!! DH is going to be thrilled! [​IMG]
  7. Bec

    Bec THE Delaware Blue Hen

    Hopefully you will get an egg laid by Blackie, my black Delaware funny. But from what I have read, Blue crossed with black produces nice blues and being that I have my blue roo and 1 black hen,that should be awesome!

    I thought about taking Ceasar to the fair this summer too!
  8. coke73man

    coke73man New Egg

    May 5, 2009
    Hello Bec,


    My name is Timothy. I live in Texas. I saw that you had posted that you have 6 Blue Hen Chickens. I am curious as to where you got them? I have been trying to lay my hands of them for a long, long time. I have even called The University of Delaware's College of Agricultural and Natural Resources maintains a breeding group of these birds. I got transferred from one person to another. I never did talk to anyone who knew anything about them.

    I would love to have some of these birds simply because I love rare birds and don't want them to extinct. If you have any eggs, I would love to buy some. Or, If you know how I could get some, I would greatly appreciate it.


    [email protected]

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