Blue Hen Chicken – Delaware state bird

Blue Hen Chicken

Blue Hen Chicken

Blue Hen Chicken

Blue Hen Chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus)

Description: A Revolutionary War historical icon and University of Delaware mascot, the Blue Hen Chicken is known for its blue plumage.
State(s):Delaware
Year Designated: 1939

Overview

Key Facts

Life Span4 to 8 Years
FlightFlightless Bird
Tastes LikeChicken

Conservation Status

Conservation StatusLeast Concern

Type


Gamebirds

Dimensions

Weight3-4 kg
Wing Span60-90 cm
Length25-40 cm

Taxonomic Serial Number            176086

Compared to the Average State Bird

How the Blue Hen Chicken measures up:

  • Wing span54 cm and 150% larger than the average state bird’s wingspan, (36 cm).
  • Weight3,915 g4,606%, and 47 times heavier than the average state bird’s weight (85 g)
  • Length13 cm and 48% longer than the average state bird’s length (27 cm)

Scientific Classification

KingdomPhylumClassOrderFamilySpecies
AnimaliaChordataAvesGalliformesPhasianidaeGallus gallus domesticus

Appearance

Appearance Description

AppearanceResembles the Mediterranean breed of chickens more than English gamecocks. Only half of blue chicks by blue parents will be blue, the other solid black or white. Beaks are yellow, eyes are red in hue. Red waddle and comb on head. The head, hackle, cape, and saddle vary between the shades of brown, yellow and orange. Their front neck, lower body and tail are blue.

Behavior

Lifestyle

DietSeeds and grains
Communication StylesFrequent clucks and crows.
Migratory BehaviorNon-migratory

Habitat

Domestic farms and yards.

Predators

hakws, coyotes and snakes.

Mating and Breeding

Breeding Overview

Breeding BehaviorPolygamous
Breeding SeasonYear-round
NestingMan-made coops or free-range straw nests.

Eggs

Blue Hen Chicken Eggs
ColorWhite to light brown
Clutch Size1 egg(s)
Egg Laying MonthsYear-round

Chick description

Grey-blue, white or black down feathers.

Birding

Birding Facts

Interesting FactDuring the Revolutionary War, the men of Captain Jonathan Caldwell’s company, recruited in Kent County, brought Blue Hens known for their fighting ability. The officers and men amused themselves by pitting their Blue Hen chickens in cockfights. When in battle, the Delaware men fought so valiantly that they were compared to these fighting cocks.
Best Season to ObserveAutumnSpringSummerWinter
Observation TipsThe University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture & Natural Resources maintains a breeding group of the Blue Hen Chicken on the campus farm.
Other NamesBlue Hen of Delaware, Kent County Blue Hen

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