Mar 20, 2019

Hen Varieties in New Pen

Spring is here and I really love our flock of chickens.  They sure have varied dispositions and mannerisms.  I've put off naming this bunch that we purchased as young pullets last year.  Maybe, because every time I give something a name and show my love for it a predator will come along and take them away. 

Its chick days at some of the hatcheries so guess this could just be the time to give them names.  We purchased these last year and now they are laying in full force!

Today is a journal post as I will be keeping track of their egg laying.  While doing the research I found out many interesting things about these breeds. I wanted to link the egg colors to each hen so this will help me in the future.  Some are a given, but then some are so similar it's almost impossible to tell which hen layed/laid which.

 Exciting times, young hens, farm fresh eggs, and maybe new chicks to come soon!


The Livestock Conservancy credit and information on the Delaware Breed

Though its economic dominance was short lived, the Delaware still makes an excellent dual-purpose bird.  It has well-developed egg and meat qualities, and a calm and friendly disposition. The breed is noted for rapid growth and fast feathering of the chicks.  Cocks grow to 8 pounds and hens to 6 pounds.  They have moderately large combs and medium sized head and neck.  Their body is moderately long, broad, and deep.  The keel is also long, extending well to front at the breast and rear of the legs.  The legs are well set apart and are large and muscular. source

Delaware Hen Egg Colors credit

Breed Facts

Heritage Poultry Breed
Formerly known as:  Indian River and Ohio Beauty

Status: Watch List

  • Use: Dual - Eggs, Meat
  • Egg Color:  Brown
  • Egg Size:  Large to Jumbo
  • Market Weight:  5.5 - 7.5 lbs
  • Temperament:  Gentle, Docile, Curious, Intelligent, Can be aggressive if afraid, Love to chat with you and are said to be good with children,
  • Characteristics:  Fast growth, can be eaten at any age, Not Broody, Can be noisy, combs are subject to frostbite so a little bit of Vaseline may be called for, Still a rare breed, Very Healthy Breed,

Our Experiences With The Delaware Breed
I read where they can be quite noisy, and from our experience, they can.  'Precious', the name we gave her is the leader of the new chick pen.  She is so bossy, but they follow her lead.
It seems to be that she harps, whines, and at the same time is very loving. We love this young hen though she has such a personality.  She likes, in fact expects us to pick her up when we enter the pen, and will stay in the way until we do.
She loves to pull at my pants, and peck my shoes while talking to me. Did I say talk? Yes, I did, she loves to chatter/talk to us and does it daily.  I love her, I really do.



The Livestock Conservancy Dominique credit  and information


The Dominique chicken is recognized as America's first chicken breed.  The exact origin of the breed is unknown, although their initial creation may have involved European chicken breeds and later in its refinement, some Asian varieties.  The name of "Dominique"may have come from birds that were imported from the French colony of Saint-Domingue (today known as Haiti), and which are thought to have been used as part of the development of the Dominique breed. source

Whatever their exact origin, the smallish, barred Dominique type was well known before 1750.  One hundred years later, one poultry writer would state that Dominique chickens were "so familiar as to need no description."  They were sometimes describes as Dominickers, Pilgrim Fowls, Puritan Fowls, or Plymouth Country Fowls, Both rose- and single-combed birds were seen, although the rose comb seemed to be more common.  An often-heard expression was "spunky as a Dominicker rooster."   President Abraham Lincoln was known to have some of this breed. source

Dominique Eggs credit

Breed Facts

Heritage Poultry Breed
Recognized as Americas First Chicken Breed

Status:  Watch
  • Use:  Eggs, Meat
  • Egg Color:  Brown 180 - 260 annually 
  • Egg Size:  Medium
  • Skin Color:  Yellow
  • Market Weight:  4 – 6 lbs
  • Temperament:  Calm, Docile, Genial, Nurturing,
  • Characteristics:  Rose Comb, Good forager, Likes to range, Tend to be good mothers, Broody, Homesteaders used their feathers in pillows and mattresses,

    Our Experiences With The Dominique Breed
    I once ordered fertilized Dominique eggs online.  Incubated and hatched 6 out.  I lost 1 but 5 survived.  They were so blame adorable with the softest, fluffiest feathers and sweetest dispositions of any chicks around.  Sadly, this was before we put herd protector dogs on the property, so we lost everyone of them.

    Our next experience was with a purchase from a local feed & seed store.  We purchased 6 chicks guaranteed to be pullets.  Out of the 6 we had 2 that died 2 Barred Rock Hens,1 Barred Rock Rooster, and the only Dominique we had was 1 Rooster.  Before any laid an egg they all died.  By the time of their death many months later we had invested money, energy and expectations.  All of the time and energy to heat lamp and grow.  Moral of this story, Know your breeders.  The following year our Buff Orphingtons began to lay.  They kept us in eggs along with the older hens.

    We now have one Dominique that is alive and laying.  We are excited and hopefully she "Dottie" will live long and contribute many beautiful eggs.  I named her after my mama.  She always as they all did in those day have Dominique hens.  She said that they were her favorites. She would name them and play with them.  We have our own Dottie now!



    Welsummer credit Murry McMurray Hatchery

    Welsummer  credit

    Dark Brown Speckled Eggs credit Meyer Hatchery


    The Welsummer is a single combed, clean legged variety of chicken that originated in Holland. This breed has a docile temperament, is cold-hardy, and is known for its good production of a rich dark brown egg credit.

    Welsummers are a rare breed of chicken with Dutch origins, named after the village of Welsum, Holland.  They are coveted for a dark reddish-brown speckled eggs.  Welsummers are still considered fairly new to North America, imported in the early 1900s.  They adapt well to any environment and are excellent foragers.

    The roosters of this breed are a beautiful sight, and in fact, the rooser you find on the Kellogg's Cornflake cereal box is a Welsummer named Cornelius.

    The Welsummer Hen's most common color is Partridge. Eggs are especially notable and a favorite for egg baskets.  The egg colors vary and have dark brown speckles.  No two eggs are alike.   credit

    Breed Facts:

    • Use:   Meat, Eggs, approximately 160 - 250 a year
    • Egg Color: Dark Brown speckled; which varies from reddish brown:  terracotta to mahogany
    • Egg Size: Large average 180 per year
    • Market Weight: Large, 
    • Temperament:  Docile, Gentle, Easily handled, Bears confinement well, but they are generally very submissive and may be bullied by larger breeds.
    • Characteristics:  Good egg producer, Cold tolerant, but do not lay well in colder weather, A very intelligent breed, 

    Our Experiences With The Welsummer Breed
    "Addie" is our first experience with the Welsummer Breed.  We purchased 2 last year but sadly, one died.  She is adorable hence her name.  She wants, longs to be held and has a quiet manner of chatting with us.  She is constantly chatting although, quietly.  We do love her.  She has such a loving personality.  There isn't a day that goes by that she and Precious don't greet us both talking up a storm.




    Black Minorca Breed Murray McMurray credit

    Black Minorca

    Minorca chicken has a wonderful temperament and thrives on human contact. But care needs to be taken with boundaries while raising this breed, because they can be flighty.  They are excellent foragers and prefer to free range.  They are perfect breed for farmyard and will also do well in confined condition.   credit

    The Minorca chicken came to America from England.  We know that the breed was imported into England by Sir Thomas Acland in 1834.  But we also know that it was to be found in Devon and Cornwall before this time, possibly as early as 1780.  Minorca chickens were imported into America in 1884 by Mr. J.J. Fultz of Mount Vernon, OH.

    Minorca chickens are the largest of the Meditterranean class.  They are non-sitters, excellent layers of large white eggs, laying perhaps the largest such, and very hardy and rugged fowls.  The breed has proven for itself due to its great egg laying ability combined with its hardiness and proclivity to excel on range.  The breed produces a large carcass, but the meat tends to be dry.  Historically Minorca chicken breasts were stuffed with lard, that is "larded," before roasting.  credit


    Breed Facts

    Status:  Watch List with The Livestock Conservancy

    • Use: Eggs 
    • Egg Color:  Chalk white eggs
    • Egg Size:  Very Large
    • Market Weight:  6.5 - 7.5 lbs
    • Temperament:  Very Active, Flighty,
    • Characteristics:  Great foragers, large frame, likes to range, Comb Face & Whattle are bright red in color, Earlobes are very large almond shaped, and are white in color

    Our Experiences with The Black Minorca Breed
    This is our first experience with this breed.  We have 2 of them.  I've found them to be quick moving for sure.  They live up to their flighty, active description although I've yet to have any trouble with them leaving the coop.  They also do very well when confined.  They don't seem to be very docile, but time may tell more about that.  They may just take longer to bond with humans.  They are beautiful birds.  I love the chalk white eggs they lay and they are extremely large and long in shape.  We were amazed to see the size of them even upon first laying as they have all in this pen just begun to lay.



    Murray McMurray credit


    This breed is also known as Easter Egger because it will give you an assortment of colors from blue, to green, to light brown.  The American breed comes from the Araucana and Ameraucana mix and has different color plumage variations. 

    Americana Light Blue Eggs 1 -5 Our eggs

    Breed Facts

    • Use: Eggs 240 a year average We here see more I do believe
    • Egg Color:  Colored Eggs, Lt Blue, Green, Lt Brown, Pink, 
    • Egg Size:  Medium
    • Market Weight:  Light Bird 4.5 - 6.5 lbs
    • Temperament:  Skittish to docile and gentle, Generally a friendly bird that doesn't like to be picked up and cuddled,
    • Characteristics:  Beards and Muffs, Legs & Feet are slate blue to black in color, Their skin color is white, non-broody, Hardy in all climates, Well in confinement,

    Our Experiences With The Americana Breed
    We have had many of this breed because of the blue egg layers they are the most prevalent.  I also have owned a rare Araucana that laid the most beautiful eggs and was Lavender in color. Jassie was his name and you can see and read about him here. One Americana we had you may remember was Motley Crow, he was one of my all time favorites.  We own three in this new pen and they lay so well.

    In the past I have bred to receive a green egg.  You can read about that here.  That hen recently passed away.  I miss her and her beautiful eggs. 

    The one thing I've noticed with this and all blue egg layers is that they lay the most in our flock and the best eggs with harder shells!  They never disappoint!  I would not like to be without them.  They outlay any so far in our Hibiscus Hen House History!



    Chickens that lay colored eggs credit and story Purina Mills

    EGG COLOR CHART Backyard Chickens for reference


    Thinking of adding some backyard chickens?
    If you have the time and space I say go for it!
    I think this will be a good resource for me to look back on
    Blogs can be journals and contain quite a lot of information
    That comes in handy later on

    Have a great week!


    1. I love that you have chickens and that you have researched and know so much about them! We had lots of chickens as a kid and they were assorted. As a kid, I never paid any attention as to what kind they were...only that they laid eggs and some were nice and some were mean. lol

      I hope you have a great Thursday-xo Diana

      1. Hey Diana!
        I know my grandparents never gave two hoots about theirs except they fed them ate them (some of them) and enjoyed their eggs. Grandpa would be so ashamed of me and how I can't seem to eat mine and feed them long before they die. Yes I have an ole folks chicken home and they eat, sleep, all day no eggs....Yep they would have been in a pot years ago...LOL...
        For some reason I just wanted to log what we have for a change and learn more about them, who knows why?

        I sure hope you have a great Thursday too my friend! xoxo Dolly

    2. Thank you for leaving your sweet comment on my blog! Have a blessed weekend!