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The Delaware

The Delaware was developed in the 1940s for the broiler industry. At that time, New Hampshire hens and Barred Plymouth Rock cocks were crossed to produce broiler chicks. Typically, the female chicks were barred, male chicks red or black. Occasionally, a “sport,” or mutation occured, and a chick displayed the Columbian plumage pattern – white, with black barring on the neck, tail, and wing feathers. Ellis began to select these sports for breeding, hoping to develop a replacement for the Barred Rock as a broiler sire. The new breed was first called the Indian River, then the Ohio Beauty, and finally the Delaware. For about 20 years, the Delaware was widely used; when the Cornish-Rock hybrids became ubiquitous, the Delaware all but disappeared.

Although it was bred for the meat industry, the Delaware is an excellent dual-purpose farm bird.

Delaware Rooster