Iowa Blue Chicken – A Decent Dual-Purpose Breed

It wasn’t too long ago that the Iowa Blue Chicken was sitting on the brink of extinction. It is a real testament to a few breeders that it has been brought back from that cusp. While we wouldn’t exactly say the Iowa Blue chicken is thriving, we will say that it is unlikely to be disappearing in the near future.

Let’s take a little look at this stunning bird, shall we?

Iowa Blue chciken
Iowa Blue Flock (picture source @karimw)

Iowa Blue Chicken Facts at a Glance

EggsAround 200 per year
Egg Color Brown
UseEggs and Meat
Comb TypeSingle
Weight Male: Standard: 7 lb (3.2 kg)
Female: Standard: 6 lb (2.75 kg)
Country of origin Iowa, United States

The Myth Behind the Iowa Blue Chicken Origin

As the name suggests, this is a breed that originated in Iowa, United States. Although, unlike what the name suggests, this is a breed that is not blue in color.

To be honest, we are not really sure how it got that part of the name. That being said, this is a breed that isn’t really standardized in the way it looks, so it doesn’t really have a staple color anyway. It has never been recognized by APA or ABA.

Apart from knowing where it originates from, no one actually knows all that much about the breed other than the fact that it appeared in the 1900s. No one even knows which breeds it came from, although there are various suggestions floating around.

But, it has an interesting story in which we want to believe.

There are some that seem to believe that the Iowa Blue Chicken originated from non-chickens. They believe that a pheasant was cross-bred with a White Leghorn chicken at some point. However, this is unlikely and is nothing more than a myth.

What we will say, however, is that the Iowa Blue Chicken is pretty similar to the original junglefowl that chickens were bred from. This creates a ridiculously unique chicken that many people seem to love. You really are not going to get a chicken with such unique behavior or such a unique sound anywhere else.

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The Look of the Iowa Blue

This is the thing. There isn’t really a determined look for the Iowa Blue Chicken. During the research stages of this article, we found several breeders who have mentioned that, in the past, they tried to buy the Iowa Blue Chicken, but the breeders had mislabeled the bird. This is something that tends to happen.

While efforts have been poured into creating a breed standard for the chicken, nothing has really come to fruition. Part of the reason is because the bird is so rare. Nobody, at this time, really cares for the bird (sadly)

iowa blue chicken rooster
Iowa Blue Rooster (picture source @brucelanthier)

As we said before, though, this is a breed that looks pretty similar to a junglefowl. Their feathers are most-likely going to be white on the top half of their body, with darker feathers down the lower end. They are incredibly light in comparison to most other chicken breeds, with the males barely scratching 7lbs in weight.

This is a bird that can produce sex-linked chickens, though. This is part of the reason why they used to be quite popular before other birds took their place. For this, you would need to match Iowa Blue Rooster with a Plymouth Rock Hen or a New Hampshire Hen.

The only thing that really seems to be agreed upon about the look of the Iowa Blue Chicken is the red wattle with six points on it. Outside of that,pretty much everything seems to be fair game.

As a Show Chicken

You will rarely find chicken shows for the Iowa Blue. For starters; the breed is so rare that nobody really bothers. It seems that the only club dedicated to the raising of this breed closed membership a good while ago now.

So, all in all, do not expect it to be a good show chicken.

See also: What are the best show chickens.

If that wasn’t enough, this is not even recognized as a breed by major chicken breeders. Again, this is part of the reason why the breed isn’t kicking around too much. Unless a chicken is wildly productive, it is not really going to thrive unless it is used for shows.

The Iowa Blue Chicken for Egg Laying

Iowa Blue Chicken
Iowa Blue Hen (picture source @brucelanthier)

The Iowa Blue Chicken is a dual purpose breed that is known as a good forager. Actually, this is a decent dual-purpose breed.

We are not going to say it is the best dual-purpose breed in the world, but it certainly does well. If you have an Iowa Blue hen, then you can expect it to lay around 200 eggs per year.

These will be of a medium size. They should be able to produce brown eggs throughout the year, so you won’t really have that much ‘down time’ if you have a decent flock of the birds.

A lot of people raise the Iowa Blue Hens because it can get quite broody. While this will obviously be dependent on the individual chicken, most of them should be perfectly fine raising the chickens of other breeds. So, if you have a less broody chicken in your flock, why not bring an Iowa Blue into the mix?

Is Iowa Blue Chicken a Good Meat Breed?

As a meat chicken, it also does pretty well. These chickens are quick to mature, although do bear in mind that they are going to be smaller in comparison to other meat chickens.

No, they are not drastically small as a bird, but if you are expecting something that is massive in size, then you really are not going to get that here. Roosters weigh 7 lb (3.2 lb), while hens can go up to 6 lb (2.75 kg).

See also: Best meat chicken breeds.

Iowa Blue Chicken Care

Describing the personality of the Iowa Blue Chicken is hard. This is because it is so different to other chickens. In fact, a lot of people go for the Iowa Blue simply because it is such a unique chicken.

It is interesting to watch. Don’t get us wrong, it is a friendly breed of chicken, but it will act completely different to anything that you have seen before.

This is part of the joy of owning the Iowa Blue. Although, to be honest, this may be one of the reasons why the breed isn’t that popular. Not many people want something that is different. That being said, the personality isn’t going to impact how you care after it.

Other than that, to care for Iowa Blue chicken is not different than any other chicken breed. You will likely need to have a lot of space available if you intend to raise this breed. They absolutely love to forage!

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