The Delaware Chicken used to be one of the most important chicken breeds in the United States. Nowadays, it is on the brink of dying out. The only people who really seem to be keeping this beautiful chicken breed alive are those who look after backyard chickens. If you like this chicken and you already know this breed, then you can find Delaware chickens for sale at the end of this article.
Now, let’s take a little look at this beautiful creature and what it is able to offer the world.
Delaware Chicken at a Glance
|Eggs (per year)||150 – 200 (Very good)|
|Use||Eggs + Meat (Dual purpose)|
|Weight||Male: 8.5 lb (3.9 kg) |
Female: 6.5 lb (2.9 kg)
|Country of origin||United States|
The Origins of the Delaware Chicken
The origins of the Delaware Chicken are somewhat on the weirder side.
This is because it wasn’t really intentionally aimed for. Instead, it is a breed that came out of some mutations.
We won’t go into depth on how the world of breeding chickens worked, but the breed of the Delaware Chicken started in the New Hampshire Red and Barred Plymouth Rock.
Every so often, these two would create a mutation. Just a rare genetic abnormality. These chickens would then be bred together. The Delaware Chicken would just so happen to be the result of that.
Luckily, the Delaware Chicken was everything the meat industry wanted. It was white (which meant it looked good if not all of the feathers were plucked from it properly), it matured quickly, which meant it could be slaughtered faster for a bit of meat and, perhaps more importantly, it was a good egg-layer. It is really no surprise that the Delaware Chicken ended up dominating the commercial farming industry for many, many years.
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The Look of the Chicken
Since the chicken was bred from white mutated chickens, it is a white breed. There are a few black speckles on them too, but these are not something which will always make an appearance. There are five points to their comb, which tend to be on the larger side. Since this was a broiler chicken for a while, as you may expect, it is a chicken that is somewhat on the larger side of things. That is why it is in the top 10 largest chicken breeds.
Delaware Chicken Temperament
If you want a chicken that is quiet (well, as quiet as a chicken can be), then the Delaware Chicken can be a great breed for you. They barely make any noise.
Of course, you do have the odd one that is going to buck that trend, but for the most part, people report that their Delawares are incredibly quiet. Hopefully, you are going to have the same experience with one!
They are a very good breed for beginners. They are calm, friendly and fast maturing chickens. The Delaware hen will start laying eggs at 6 months of age.
Delaware Chicken Eggs
The Delaware hens lay brown-shell eggs and make good broodies.
Generally speaking, you should be able to get at least 3-4 eggs per week from your Delaware Hen. These eggs are going to be fairly large, so just a small flock of Delaware chickens should be more than enough to feed a family.
Do bear in mind that their production is going to taper off a little bit when they are molting, but even then, you should still be able to get at least 3 eggs per week, which is going to be more than enough for some people. Yes. We know that they are not brilliant egg layers in comparison to some other chickens, but they are going to reach egg laying maturity a little bit faster than other breeds.
You can expect 150 – 200 eggs per year.
At heart, Delaware chickens have always been meat producers. They are broiler chickens. They have been designed to reach maturity fast in order to be slaughtered. So, if you love a good bit of fresh chicken on the table, then you may find that the Delaware is one of your best bets.
They weigh a decent amount, and it won’t be long after you get them before they can be slaughtered. The only real problem is that the Delaware isn’t that broody, so you need to find a chicken that can help you to hatch eggs, or find some other way to get a steady supply rolling in. It can be a lot of hassle, but this chicken does taste fantastic.
Apart from this, there isn’t really anything that should concern you about the chicken breed. In general they do well in both hot and cold climates.
The only thing that you really need to think about is their larger comb. It can cause issues during the winter months, so you are going to need to think of ways in which you can help to protect the comb from the elements.
Delaware Chickens for Sale
If you are lucky enough to live near a local hatchery where you can find Delaware chickens for sale, that is great. If, however, you are among the unfortunates that are unable to do so, consider the following hatcheries as good options:
- Cackle Hatchery – Delaware Chickens for sale
- Mayer Hatchery – Delaware Chickens for sale
- Freedom Ranger Hatchery
- McMurray Hatchery
- Purely Poultry
The general cost per chick ranges on average from:
- not sexed Delaware chick $2.2 – $3,
- female $2.95–$3.9
- male $1.6 –$2.6.
As an advice, you should opt for straight run chickens when you need a lot of chickens and you are not too fussed what their gender is. If you are only using your chickens for meat, then straight run chickens is a good way to go, and the other way around, if you are using the chickens for eggs then you want lot of hens right?