Delaware Blue Hen

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Blue Hen of Delaware
Nicknames Blue Hen Chicken
Country of origin United States of America
Use Cockfighting and Egg Laying
Traits
Weight
  • Male: 5 lb.
  • Female: 4 lb.
Egg color White
Comb type Single
Face color Red
Notes
State Bird of Delaware

The Delaware Blue Hen is a blue strain of American gamecock. It was adopted on April 14, 1939, as the state bird of Delaware. It is one of three U.S. state birds that is not a species native to the United States.

History[edit]

The Blue Hen is not a recognized chicken breed.[1] According to one story, during the Revolutionary War, the men of Captain Jonathan Caldwell's company, recruited in Kent County, took with them game chickens that were said to be of the brood of a famous Blue Hen and were noted for their fighting ability.[2]

The sports teams of the University of Delaware are called the Blue Hens, and their mascot, YoUDee, derives from the bird.[citation needed] In the 1960s S. Hallock duPont, who bred Blue Hens (though not derived from the original Kent County stock), gave twelve birds to the University, which keeps a small flock at its College of Agriculture & Natural Resources.[1][2]:76 The birds have been cross-bred with birds of the Blue Andalusian breed from Spain, and have acquired many of its characteristics.[2]:76 They are Mediterranean in appearance, and no longer resemble the original fighting birds.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Paul H. Sammelwitz The Delaware Blue Hen: Fact and Fancy. University of Delaware Department of Animal Science and Agricultural Biochemistry.
  2. ^ a b c Carol Ekarius (2007). Storey's Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing. ISBN 9781580176682.