Delaware Chickens


Delawares are a relatively recent breed. They were developed in 1940 from a cross between New Hampshire Red hens and Plymouth Rock roosters.  Occasionally, the cross would produce an off-colored sport, and those were used as parent stock for the Delaware. Delawares and Delaware crosses once had a place in the broiler industry, but have now been superseded by Cornish X Rocks.  The Delaware was accepted into the Standard of Perfection in 1952.

Qualities of Delawares

  • Gentle – Delawares are gentle, friendly, and docile. An occasional rooster may be aggressive.
  • Brown Egg Layer – they are good layers of brown eggs.
  • Meat Production – because they mature quickly and are good sized, Delawares are a good source of meat for the home grower.
  • Broodiness – Delawares have some tendency to go broody, and when they do, they tend to make good mothers.
  • Heat Tolerant – Delawares tolerate warm climates well and are a good choice for the Southern States.

Delawares are a gentle breed that are friendly and may follow you around the yard.  They are a dual purpose breed that can be raised for meat and eggs.  They are easy to keep, forage well and tolerate confinement well.

Physical Appearance of Delawares

  • Comb, Wattle, and Earlobes – bright red and moderate in size.
  • Coloration – Beaks are reddish horn. Eyes are reddish bay. Skin, shanks and toes are yellow.
  • Plumage – Body and breast are white to silvery white. Hackle, tail, and wings are white with some black barring.


To check the availability of Delawares on the Murray McMurray website, visit the link below:


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5 Responses to Delaware Chickens

  1. mike winter says:

    My delawares are very friendly; plus I still have black star I got from mcmurray in 2007 —
    still one of my best looking hens

  2. Bryan C. says:

    Bought a variety of chicks from McMurray May 2014.
    One variety I wanted to try was the Delaware, we live at mile high elevation, 5000 feet plus, high desert valley in Central Idaho. Not all breeds do well in our climate. Some hybrids have problems.
    Bought 5 pullets and 2 cockerel’s, McM shipped extra Delaware cockerel’s, so they were dressed out at six months.
    Went into this Spring with the four pullets and two roosters, have hatched out chicks using brood hens and in the incubator.

    Hens lay a nice big egg, bigger than our old favorites Speckled Sussex.
    I like them and flock of Delaware’s will larger next year.

    However the Delaware is a little flighty, great foragers and pretty to watch.

  3. sarahr says:

    My Delaware, Dolly, is the sweetest, calmest and full of personality member of my flock. Can’t speak highly enough of the breed.

  4. Maggie says:

    I have 2 Delaware hens and I love them. However, they are noisy and I couldn’t imagine having a whole flock of them cackling up a storm. I decided against ordering any this season because they do attract the hawks. They have gotten quieter as the weather has warmed though. The website says, “They aren’t noisy if well kept” or something to that effect. I can’t imagine there are chickens who are better kept who aren’t living in the house. Anyway, I enjoy the two girls who live here.

  5. LindaG says:

    Great post. Thank you. Living in Central Louisiana, I am always interested in hearing about chickens that are heat hardy.
    Thank you for all your hard work. God bless.

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