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Conservation Status: Threatened 


Comb: Moderately Large Single

Use: Eggs, Meat

Egg Color: Brown

Egg Size: Large to Jumbo 200-280 a year

Average Weight: Rooster 7.5 – 10 lbs, Hen 5.5 – 6.5 lbs

Temperament: Gentle

Characteristics: Fast Growth, friendly, good foragers

APA Class: American

Color Description: Males: White with black barring on the neck and tail. Females: Same, except that the entire tail is black, edged in white

Breed Details: The Delaware breed was developed for the same reasons Cornish Crosses were, and the popularity of the Cornish Cross eclipsed the Delaware. Now the breed is slowly beginning to find its way into more backyard flocks, due to its hardiness, friendliness, beauty, and usefulness. George Ellis bred Barred Plymouth Rock Males with New Hampshire females in 1940 and were used for the production of broilers. The offspring were called "silver sports" and “Indian Rivers” it was the offspring of those chickens that became what we call the Delaware chicken today.

A few were produced that were almost white with black barring on the hackle, primary, secondary, and tail feathers. A Delaware color pattern is very similar to a Colombian color pattern, but feather barring replaces the black sections. For about 20 years the Delaware was the most popular broiler on the Delmarva Peninsula, because of its ability to produce offspring with predominately white feathering. The Delaware and the Delaware x New Hampshire were replaced in the late 1950's by the Cornish x Rock cross.

The Delaware was accepted into the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection in 1952 but SOP is difficult to achieve in the heritage breed and we strive very hard to maintain this in our line of birds.

The Delaware makes an excellent dual-purpose bird and they are cold-hardy. It has well-developed egg and meat qualities. They are utmost calm and friendly disposition of just about any breed of chicken hands down. The breed is noted for a nice growth rate but not too rapid to damage bone health. Their body is moderately long, broad, and deep. The keel is also long, extending well to the front at the breast and rear of the legs. The legs are well set apart and are large and muscular. IF, you are into that… or … They also live a long life, show good at FFA / 4H & the Poultry shows.

Ancona Breed Facts

Conservation Status: Threatened

NPIP Code: R6

Comb: Rose & Single Comb

Use: Eggs

Egg Color: White

Egg Size: Large – 200-220 per year

Average Weight: Rooster 6 lbs. Hen 4.5 lbs.

Temperament: Highly Active

Characteristics: Excellent layers generally non- setters. Heat tolerant tends to get frost bite.

APA Class: Heritage Mediterranean

Color Description: Black Beetle Green ground tipped with white.

Breed Description: All around the Mediterranean there are small-bodied landrace chicken breeds that lay a large number of white eggs. Several of these have traditionally been bred for centuries, and geographic isolation has contributed to their unique qualities. The Ancona chicken is one of these.

The Ancona was originally bred in the Italian central east coast in the Marche region, and gets its name from the seaport city, Ancona. They were developed from a mixture of breeds, including early Leghorns, resulting in a hardy and prolific bird.

The breed existed for centuries before being “discovered” by English poultry enthusiasts around 1850, where it was maintained until a second importation in 1883 when it began to gain some popularity. Around 1888 Ancona chickens from England arrived in America. The first importation was made by Francis A. Mortimer of Pottsville, PA, but he died soon after and interest in the breed waned. In 1906, H.C. Sheppard of Berea, OH, also imported some of the best Anconas he could find in England, where they were increasing in popularity, and they soon became a well-known and popular breed.

Ancona chickens were recognized in the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection in 1898 for the single comb variety (largely on the strength of their popularity in England) and in 1914 for the rose comb variety.

Early imports were coarsely mottled, and were often more white than black which few people found attractive. But by 1906, Anconas in England had become darker, and in America, the darkest birds were preferred so that many show winners were almost black. This color preference caused a revival of interest in the Black Leghorn, so eventually fanciers chose their breed based on their personal preference.

The current Ancona chicken standard calls for a distinct plumage color pattern – black ground color mottled white (v-shaped specks). On the ideal bird, one out of every five feathers is tipped with white. As with other mottled colored breeds of poultry, there is a tendency for the mottles to increase in size and quantity as the chicken ages – historically called “going gray” – so darker birds are preferred when they are young. Older breeding birds that were nicely mottled when in their prime can be used for breeding even after exhibiting too much white in their plumage. But a word of caution, young stock should not be culled for excessive white too early as many, when mature, will be nicely colored.

The breed has many similarities to Leghorn chickens, and has even been referred to as Mottled Leghorns by some poultry men. They are the same size as Leghorn chickens and nearly the same shape. However, they differ in that the back on Ancona chickens slants downward from shoulders to tail and shows a slight angle where these two sections of the body meet. While the Leghorns may be referred to as “flighty”, Anconas may be referred to as “pheasant-like.”

Ancona chickens have clean, bright yellow legs, often with a few black mottles, reddish bay/orange-red eyes, and yellow beaks with black stripes on the upper mandibles, white or pale-yellow skin, and white ear lobes. Single combs are more common, but they can also have rose combs. The single comb on females tends to flop to one side. Males weigh 6 lbs. and females weigh 4.5 lbs.

Both varieties are non-sitters (not broody) and excellent layers of white-shelled eggs. Anconas can lay about 220 eggs per year. The chicks hatch a canary and black in down color, and feather and grow quickly. Pullets will often begin laying at five months of age.

Ancona chickens are very hardy, fertile, and prolific. They can be a bit wild in their habits – easily flying to avoid potential dangers and ranging over a great area when foraging. They stand frost and snow quite well, although care must be taken with the single combed variety to avoid frostbite. They are not as prolific annual layers as Leghorns, but they surpass Leghorns as winter layers.

This chicken was once very popular and one of the prime egg producers in Europe. They are currently popular in the US and England, but are rare in the native area of the breed, Italy. However, in 2000, an initiative was launched to re-establish Anconas in the Marche region to preserve their biodiversity.


Conservation StatusWatch


Comb: Rose

Use: Eggs, Meat

Egg Color: Brown

Egg Size: Medium – 230-275 per year

Average Weight: Rooster 6 lbs, Hen 4 lbs

Temperament: Calm and Genial

Characteristics: Good forager, likes to range

APA Class: American

Color Description: Distinctive, irregular, black and white barred (“cuckoo”) pattern.

Breed Description: Apple pie, baseball, and Dominiques! As the oldest American breed, the Dominique holds a special place in the poultry fancy of this country. 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. They are prized for their ability to forage, their egg-laying abilities, and their ease of keeping. Dominiques have a rose comb and are a cold hardy breed. They are one of our personal farm favorites as a friendly lap bird and often like to visit when they our out on their daily forage.

Barred chickens with both rose combs and single combs were somewhat common in the eastern United States as early as 1750. As interest in poultry breeding increased, attention was given to develop a uniformity in chicken breeds. Early names of these fowl include Blue Spotted Hen, Old Grey Hen, Dominico, Dominic, and Dominicker. The breed was widely known on the eastern coast of the U.S. as the Dominique.

The Dominique was plentifully bred on American farms as early as the 1820’s, where these birds were a popular dual-purpose fowl. In 1871 the New York Poultry Society decided that only the rose combed Dominique would become the standard for the breed and the single combed Dominiques were relegated to and folded into the Plymouth Rock breed – popular in New England, created by crossing large, single comb Dominiques with Java chickens. Dominiques were never used commercially, and the breed was eventually eclipsed on the farm by the gradual shift to the larger “Plymouth Rocks.”

In 1874 the Dominique breed was officially admitted to the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection.

The Dominique enjoyed popularity until the 1920’s at which time interest in the breed waned due to the passing of aged,

long-time Dominique enthusiasts and breeders. The breed managed to survive during the Great Depression of the 1930’s due to its hardiness and ease of up-keep. By the end of World War II as industrial poultry operations began to take a foothold in the U.S., the Dominique once again experienced decline. By 1970 only 4 known flocks remained, held by: Henry Miller, Edward Uber, Robert Henderson, and Carl Gallaher. Through the effort of dedicated individuals the remaining owners were contacted and convinced to participate in a breed rescue. From 1983, following published reports on the breed by The Livestock Conservancy, until 2006, Dominiques steadily rose in numbers. As of 2007, it has been observed by the breed’s enthusiasts that numbers are once again beginning to decline, as old time breeders of Dominique age and are no longer involved with keeping and promoting the breed.

The Dominique is a medium-sized black and white barred (otherwise known as “cuckoo” patterned) bird. The barred plumage coloration is also referred to as hawk-colored and serves the Dominique in making the bird less conspicuous to predators. The Dominique sports a rose comb with a short upward curving spike that is characteristic to this breed. The males average at seven pounds and can be a protective flock member for their free-ranging hens. The females at five pounds make good mothers. The Dominique’s tightly arranged plumage, combined with the low profile of the rose comb, make this breed more resistant to frostbite than many other breeds of fowl. Dominiques are also known to adapt well to hot and humid climates. Historically the close feathering of this breed not only protected the birds in cold weather, but provided ample material for the pillows and featherbeds of their owners.

Dominiques carry their heads high up on well-arched necks. The males of the breed have an almost “u” shaped back outline. Their body is broad and full with long and full tail feathers that are held the highest of the American breeds. Females have back outlines that slope from head to tail. Although categorized as a dual-purpose breed, these birds are first and foremost egg producers with hens historically averaging 230-275 small- to medium-sized brown eggs.