Contact us

Reporting from:

The Iowa Blue

The origins of this extremely rare breed are obscure. Sometime in the early 20th century, around Decorah, Iowa, a White Leghorn emerged from her nest, hidden beneath a farmhouse porch, with a clutch of chicks striped and spotted like little chipmunks. Local opinion held that they had been fathered by a pheasant.

Whatever its origins, the breed was lovely and productive; it was carried by several small hatcheries in Iowa through the 1960s. When these hatcheries went out of business, the Iowa Blue came perilously close to disappearing. Ken Whealy, of the Iowa-based Seed-Savers Exchange, has coordinated rescue efforts.

Iowa Blue Hen