Opinions and names of your Delawares

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by mcjessen, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. mcjessen

    mcjessen Chillin' With My Peeps

    458
    5
    111
    Mar 22, 2011
    Coeur d Alene ID
    The country store called about my chick order and told me that the Ameraucana I ordered wouldn't be coming in. So, I chose a Delaware instead. They are very pretty birds. This bird along with a new Speckled Sussex will be pets and will be joining a Black Australorp and two Barred Rocks.

    Does anyone have experience with them? And, if you've named your birds, what are the names? I've read they are great birds but I'd like experiences.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Queen of the chickens

    Queen of the chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    234
    4
    93
    Oct 7, 2011
    Unionville, MO
    I got one in my first 15 assorted pullets. I didn't know what she was for a long time. I was confused because I also had some Light Brahmas and she kind of looked like one of those at first. She was my friendliest bird of that flock and was an excellent layer. I called her Maude. I was very sad when I lost her to a predator. I hope you will enjoy your Delaware for many years.
     
  3. mcjessen

    mcjessen Chillin' With My Peeps

    458
    5
    111
    Mar 22, 2011
    Coeur d Alene ID
    Thank you. I love her name. I've heard all good things in the research I've done. I'm glad you've had a good experience as well. It sounds like the Delaware will be a perfect 4-H chicken for my daughter. We're thinking her name will be either Snow or Ashes. I'm leaning toward Snow. :)
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Years ago, I started by hatching chicks from a friend's McMurray hatchery Delaware pair. They were horrible, flighty and aggressive so I sold them all. A breeder I knew from another forum talked me into hatching as a fertility test for her up and coming Delaware cockerel, though her secret agenda was to convince me that my experience with hatchery Delawares was not indicative of the true breed traits. I reluctantly did it and WOW! What a difference!

    Isaac, the rooster I ended up keeping, is over 3 now, a sweetheart of a rooster, easygoing and friendly with us, easy to handle, alert, a great forager, etc. I have only two hens now, having encountered a little glitch with genetics that made me sell off a few of them, but they are great layers. They are heavy birds, heavier than they look.

    The main drawback to them is that they are not as heat tolerant as you would expect a white bird to be, possibly due to their dense musculature, which is the only reason I can think of. I almost lost Isaac several times last summer. The Delawares are first to pant and hang their wings down, even before the huge Orps, like the rooster in my avatar. I hope Ike lives through this summer.

    Isaac is in the picture below with the main flock. Afterward, pics of his two hens, Georgie and Ellie, who still hadn't recovered their tail black after their molts when those pictures were taken:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2012
  5. mcjessen

    mcjessen Chillin' With My Peeps

    458
    5
    111
    Mar 22, 2011
    Coeur d Alene ID
    Thank you SpeckledHen.

    As far as the temperament of your hens, how would you judge them? When you were raising your first pair, did you spend a lot of time "taming" them as chicks?

    I only ask because some people see their chickens only as workers. Our chickens are pets and are expected to behave as such with the realization that they are after all chickens. LOL! I know that the more you handle them, the more familiar and friendly they become. Although some don't ever "tame". Isaac is a very handsome boy. All of your chickens are pretty. Thanks for the input. [​IMG]
     
  6. mcjessen

    mcjessen Chillin' With My Peeps

    458
    5
    111
    Mar 22, 2011
    Coeur d Alene ID
    BTW, thank you for the heads up on the heat tolerance issue. I had so Buff Orps that had issues last summer and we installed a fan in the coop. I'll be sure to do that again.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member



    LOL, if you only knew! We handle all our birds on a daily basis. In fact, we spend a great deal of every day with them. The first bunch was just a bad tempered strain-their own McMurray parents were culled for bad temperament at a year old. Their chicks refused to be handled at all so I sold every one of them before they matured.

    The breeder quality ones out of Janet Holtman's stock have been super friendly, to the point of being a trip hazard, especially in Georgie's case. If you don't pay attention to her, she'll make you by biting your leg and she bites HARD, too. Ellie isn't as irritating, only occasionally claws your shoe with her foot if she wants to be picked up. Both are friendly, even on the nest. This is the true Delaware personality/
     
  8. mcjessen

    mcjessen Chillin' With My Peeps

    458
    5
    111
    Mar 22, 2011
    Coeur d Alene ID
    That's too bad about the hatchery parents. It's interesting how that trait gets passed down the line.

    I'm so glad to hear that your current ladies are such a joy to the point of being "irritating". LOL!

    We handle our birds a lot too. Out of my three original (2 Buffs & an Australorp), the Buffs have since died (bad hatchery batch I guess) and the queen Aussie still prevails. She's completely tamed but her flock mates now (2 BR) are not. They were full grown and laying when we got them from a farmer who didn't tame his birds. We've been working with them and have just now been able to actually catch them if we need to. Otherwise, while they come for treats and know their names, they shy away from being touched. Almost to the point of being offended if we try. LOL! We can pick up the Aussie and hold her for quite a while. She'll be my daughter's 4-H bird this year. She's a great bird, but is a bit conceited and is clearly the boss and definitely knows how to pose for the camera LOL! She is very concerned when I have to catch the BR's for any reason and is right there to see what I'm doing to them. She's displaying some aggression with me this time of year but I show her I'm her boss. I'm looking forward to raising the Delaware and the Speckled Sussex. I've heard great things about both. Thanks for your input. I surely value it. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by