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Raising Delaware Chicken (How To Care)

The Delaware chicken is considered a rather new chicken breed, created in 1940 by George Ellis who crossed New Hampshire hens with Barred Plymouth Rock roosters. Despite being a new kid on the block, the Delaware chicken has quickly become a favorite due to its dual purpose, friendly and docile disposition, and good egg production.

Two delaware chicken in snow

Raising Delaware chicken isn’t a difficult process, especially when you consider how easy going these birds are. Delaware chickens can be raised for both their meat and their eggs, and their friendly personality makes them ideal for backyard chicken coops.

Unfortunately, Delaware chickens are almost extinct. At one point, the Delaware chicken was a popular bird because of its friendly personality, good egg production, and tender meat. It was a favorite of the chicken industry until Perdue decided to go with the Cornish Rock chicken for their warehouses.

When this happened, all eyes fell off the Delaware chicken, and the Cornish Rock took over. This has left the Delaware chicken on the American LiveStock Breed Conservancy’s critical list since 2009.

However, you can help keep the Delaware chicken from going extinct by simply adding them to your flock. This bird was bred and raised in the United States and is only found in this country. It is a hardy bird with few problems and has a great egg production rate.

How Big Does Delaware Chicken Grow?

The size of the chicken breed can affect how much room they need in their coop, as well as how much feed they require. That is why it is important to know how big the Delaware chickens can get.

Delaware chickens reach heights of 26 inches or less, which makes them about the same height as your average chicken breed. They are, however, quick to produce feathers. 

The above heights are simply an average and a chicken can be a little shorter or taller than that size. With that said, however, the average height is a good indicator when trying to determine what chicken breed to add to your flock.

What Is The Average Weight Of A Delaware Chicken?

Brass scale

Delaware chickens are considered medium-sized birds that don’t take up much space but do provide an abundance of eggs. And because they are a dual-purpose breed, you can also use them for meat as well.

The average weight of a Delaware rooster is about 8 ½ pounds, while the hens are a little smaller, weighing only about 6 ½ pounds. Keep in mind, however, that several factors, such as the health of the bird, can affect how much they weigh.

When Will A Delaware Chicken Start Laying Eggs?

Chickens will start laying eggs at different ages depending on the breed and health of the chicken. Hybrid breeds, for example, typically lay a little earlier than non-hybrid breeds. But when do Delaware chickens start laying?

The Delaware chicken can start breeding and laying eggs at about 16 weeks of age. With that said, however, most people will see their Delaware chicken starting to lay eggs once the bird reaches 24 to 28 weeks old.

Will Delaware Chicken Lay White Or Brown Eggs?

White and brown eggs beside the nest

The two most common colors of eggs that chickens lay are white and brown. Those are not the only colors, however, since some breeds can produce green, blue, and pink eggs as well. But what color eggs do Delaware chickens lay?

The Delaware chicken will lay brown eggs that are large or jumbo in size. These large eggs are one of the benefits of this chicken breed. Another benefit is that the Delaware hen doesn’t get broody, which means you can easily collect the eggs without problems.

The downside to this is that the hens aren’t interested in hatching the eggs, so you will need to take care of that yourself if you want to hatch your own chicks. If you’re just wanting the Delaware hens for eggs and not for chicks, then this anti-broodiness will benefit you.

Do You Need A Same Breed Rooster To Get Delaware Chicken To Lay Eggs?

For those who are new to the whole chicken raising game, you may wonder if you need a rooster of the same breed to get Delaware chickens to start laying eggs. Let’s take a look at this question and find out whether or not you need a Delaware rooster.

Delaware chickens do not need a rooster to lay eggs. They will, however, require a rooster if you want those eggs fertilized. A Delaware rooster is only needed if you want to hatch chicks that are a full breed.

If you’re not worried about hatching full-blooded Delaware chicks then you can use any breed of rooster. If you only want the eggs for consumption and not for chicks then you don’t need a rooster in your coop.

That doesn’t mean roosters are only necessary if you want to hatch chicks. Roosters provide a wide array of benefits to a flock, including protecting the chickens and keeping the hens from bullying one another. However, you can use any breed of rooster to get these benefits.

What Is The Lifespan Of A Delaware Chicken?

Hour glass, clock and letter blocks

Chickens don’t live as long as most people would like, and the Delaware chicken, unfortunately, doesn’t live as long as other chicken breeds.

The lifespan of a Delaware chicken is 5 or more years. While this isn’t as long as some other breeds, you can help increase their lifespan by ensuring the birds are well cared for and their health monitored. This means regularly checking them for any potential problems, such as parasites.

The overall health of the chicken, as well as how well you care for them, can decrease or increase this average lifespan. Keeping them protected from the elements and predators, as well as ensuring they get high quality feed, can go a long way to increasing the Delaware chicken’s lifespan.

Are Delaware Chicken Friendly?

The temperament of a chicken breed is important info you should know, especially if you plan on having the birds near your family. After all, you don’t want a flock in your backyard that will chase you back inside whenever you let them roam free.

Delaware chickens are friendly and easy-going. They can, however, get a little pushy in the flock, but they don’t bully the other chickens. These gentle birds do well in backyard coops where they have regular contact with children and pets.

How Many Eggs Can A Delaware Chicken Lay A Day?

Brown eggs in nest

The amount of eggs a chicken can lay will vary depending on the breed of hen you are raising. If you plan on raising chickens for their eggs, then you should know the average amount of eggs it can lay in a day. This can help you determine which breed of chicken is the best option for your needs.

Delaware chickens lay, on average, 4 eggs a week and a little over 200 eggs a year. These eggs are large to jumbo in size and have a light brown color. Keep in mind that this amount is simply an average and could be more or less depending on the individual hen.

Remember that the overall health and age of the hen will have a direct effect on their egg production. The best way to get the most eggs from your Delaware hen is to ensure they are healthy.

When Will A Delaware Chicken Stop Laying Eggs?

As the years pass, hens of all chicken breeds will experience a slow down in egg production. This is, unfortunately, a natural process that occurs in all breeds of chickens. However, some will start to experience a decline sooner than other breeds. Let’s look at when you can expect Delaware chickens to stop laying eggs.

Delaware chickens will continue to lay for several years. As they age, however, the amount of eggs they produce will start to dwindle a bit. If the hen is healthier and well cared for, it should continue to lay for many years.

Keep in mind that the exact time when a chicken will start to reduce the amount of eggs they lay varies on several factors. A healthier hen is more likely to continue to lay for many years, while unhealthy hens can see a decline in their egg production much sooner than one would expect.

At What Age Is A Delaware Chicken The Most Delicious?

Delaware chicken in shade

The age when a chicken becomes the most delicious can vary from one breed to the next. Some chickens take longer to mature, while others, such as the Delaware chicken, mature much faster.

Most people who raise Delaware chickens as a meat bird can start butchering them at 16 weeks of age. After this time, they can start to be a little tough. Once they reach 18 weeks old, you may find that their meat is best when used in stews.

The older the chicken is when it is butchered, the tougher the meat is. That doesn’t mean you cannot consume the meat of a chicken that is several years old. You just may find it works better for meals that require slow cooking, such as in a slow cooker.

Best Housing Setup For A Delaware Chicken

While the Delaware chicken doesn’t require any special type of housing, they do need plenty of room to grow and stretch. If they are not given enough room, they can become unhappy and unhealthy.

Delaware chickens love to free roam, so you should aim to give them plenty of room to forage. For their coop, they will need at least 8 square feet per bird. Perches should be provided and measure about 9 to 10 inches each, and their nesting boxes should measure 12×12.

This article was first published on November 14, 2022 by Pentagon-Pets.

Even though these birds aren’t large, they do need a little extra space than some other chicken breeds. Not providing the Delaware chicken with their optimal space could result in your chickens being unhappy. When a coop is too crowded, you will also see an increase in fights between the chickens. This is because, like humans, chickens can get too anxious and stressed when they are confined to a small area that is overcrowded.

Typical Health Problems Of A Delaware Chicken

Hand with blue gloves holding the chicken

Health problems are, unfortunately, something that anyone who has ever raised chickens will have to deal with at some point in time. These health problems can range from annoying to something more serious.

Delaware chickens are considered fairly healthy birds with few problems. The most common issues are parasites, which is a problem for all breeds of chicken, and frostbite if you live in areas with cold weather. Thankfully, you can help protect their combs with Vaseline.

Even if you are sure your birds are healthy, you should still complete regular inspections of the flock, looking for any potential problems. If problems are found, treat accordingly and quickly to help maintain the health and wellness of your chickens. One of the worst things you can do is let issues, such as parasites, go on for too long. The quicker you address the problem, the better for not only the chicken but the entire flock as well.

Typical Problems Raising Delaware Chicken

Before you even start raising chickens, do your own research to find out what problems, if any, that you may experience with that breed. This can help you narrow down to which type of chicken is best for your situation.

Pentagon Pet is the owner of this article that was first published on November 14, 2022.

You shouldn’t have many problems raising Delaware chickens, since these birds have an easy-going nature with few problems. They can tolerate heat and cold if they are provided with good shelter. They also don’t require special care and can fit in well with other birds in your flock.

That doesn’t mean that other problems cannot arise when a raising Delaware chicken (how to care), since any chicken breed can experience health problems or other issues even if it is not common. Thankfully, if you keep your flock as healthy as possible with regular inspections, treating for parasites, protecting them from the elements and predators, and giving them good nutrition, you will have little to no problems with your chickens.

What Type Of Food Is Best For Delaware Chicken?

Three Chicken eating feeds

Proper nutrition is important for all chickens, not just the Delaware variety. Not providing the chickens with the right type of food is one of the quickest ways to harm their health and wellness.

Delaware chickens don’t require any special food requirements, and ensuring they have access to high-quality commercial chicken feed and fresh water is all that is really needed. The chicks of this breed, however, will need their diet to consist of 24% protein for the first 8 weeks.

After this time, they can consume the same food as adult chickens. You can also enhance your chicken’s diet by giving them room to forage and scratch, and offer them vegetables and fruits as a snack. Just make sure the vegetables and fruits are not rotted or fermented before giving them to your birds.

This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on November 14, 2022.

Don’t give your chickens anything when you are unsure as to whether or not it is safe for the birds. Erring on the side of caution when it comes to what human foods they can have will go a long way to protecting your flock.