The Buckeye chicken is a surprisingly unique breed, and maybe not for quite the reasons that you think it is unique. On this page, we are going to look at the Buckeye chicken and give you a bit of information about what this awesome brings to the table (quite literally, in some cases).
Buckeye Chicken at a Glance
|Eggs||120 – 150 per year|
|Use||Eggs + Meat (Dual purpose)|
|Weight||Male: 9 lb (4.1 kg)|
Female: 6.5 lb (2.9 kg)
|Country of origin||United States|
The Amazing History Of the Buckeye Chicken
The Buckeye Chicken was developed in Ohio, in the United States. It appeared in the beginning of the 19th Century. Remember earlier when we said this chicken breed was special?
Well, it is because of this chicken breed being initially bred by a woman. That was Mrs Nettie Metcalf, of Warren, Ohio, USA, somewhere between 1890–1905.
Yeah. Other chicken breeds have been bred by women, but none of them have become officially recognized chicken breeds.
Now, no one actually knows the exact breeds that went into the creation of the Buckeye chicken, but we do know that she used a combination of these breeds to create hers:
- Barred Plymouth Rocks
- Light Brahmas
- Black Langshan
- Buff Cochins
The original intention was to create a breed of chicken that just wouldn’t destroy her yard. Over time, we assume that she realized she loved the whole idea of breeding chickens, and she continued to breed until she got the Buckeye to the point where she was proud of it.
Half the chicken breeds she used were only used because she wasn’t a fan of the look she created, or the personality, and she wanted to continue to refine the breed.
The problem being faced by the Buckeye Chicken is that there isn’t really much to the breed. It is not available in a multitude of colors. This means that it is not shown as much as it was in the past.
There isn’t really anywhere that you can go with the chicken. This means that it is now one of the rarer chicken breeds in the country, and it is unlikely that this is something that is going to be improving in the near future.
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The Look of the Chicken
Here is another interesting, unique fact about the Buckeye Chicken. As we said before; it was bred in Ohio. As a result, it had to deal with some pretty cold winters.
The original breeder of the chicken knew this. As a result, she knew that she had to develop a pea comb type for the chicken. That is exactly what she did.
Today, this is the only chicken that has been fully bred in the United States that has a pea comb.
We have no idea why other people have not attempted it, and it would be a great shame if this chicken ended up dying out, because it means that we are going to lose something very interesting about a breed that we simply won’t get back.
This is a largish chicken, with incredibly broad shoulders. As we mentioned before; this chicken is only available in one color. Thankfully, this color is incredibly beautiful. It is a nice mahogany color. The tails are black.
The feathering on these chickens is soft and, in the United Kingdom, this is regarded as one of the defining characteristics of the breed by official chicken breeding associations.
While the chicken is designed for meat and egg production, it is also a brilliant show chicken, and many people will have them as ornamental chickens to brighten up their yard.
Luckily, they were bred to the point where they are not all that destructive! The egg and meat production is just a nice little bonus on top of this.
Due to the size of the Buckeye Chicken, it is often used for meat. Perhaps not commercially, because there are breeds that a whole lot better for that.
However, if you did raise the Buckeye Chicken, you would have a tremendous meat chicken, owing to the breed being on the larger side of things.
Buckeye Chicken Eggs
This is a dual-use chicken, but the vast majority of the time, people are going to be raising them for their eggs.
The Buckeye chicken egg color is brown.While it is not a top egg producer or one of the best chickens for eggs, you will be able to get about 150 eggs per year from the chicken.
However, do not let this deter you.
You must remember that this was a chicken that was bred for use in colder climates.
As a result, it is one of only a few chicken breeds that is able to continue to pump out eggs, even as the colder months roll in.
As a result, some people will introduce a few Buckeye Chickens into their flock.
It is worth noting that beside being able to do well in the cold, the Buckeye chicken can adapt to heat over time.
Is the Buckeye Chicken for your Backyard?
This is where things become a little bit more interesting. You see, the Buckeye Chicken is a hunter. A lot of people will actually use the Buckeye Chicken as one way to hunt pests.
They are brilliant at capturing mice and other small rodents. They will actively seek them out, in some cases.
Obviously, for some people this may be a little bit weird, mostly because other chicken breeds do not like it, but the chicken was bred in this way.
As we said before; one of the main purposes for this chicken to be bred was that the breeder didn’t want chickens that destroyed her yard.
As a result, you will have an active, yet gentle and quite a clean and tidy chicken (yep, in comparison to most other breeds). It doesn’t really destroy things, but it certainly loves to explore.
This means that it will need a ton of space to explore.
The Buckeye hens are friendly the vast majority of the time, and they are more than happy to ‘hang out’ with humans. They are known to be exceedingly protective mothers.
However, some people have noticed that the roosters can be aggressive on occasion. That being said, they aren’t as aggressive chicken breed as the vast majority of other breeds, so this isn’t an issue.
If you only buy hens, then we reckon that this is going to be a fantastic breed to raise for a family. The chickens are just so nice and calm.
There are no health issues with this chicken breed, which makes them easier to raise.