Delaware chickens tend to be quiet and friendly, lay plenty of eggs, and tolerate small living areas well. This breed originated in 1940 and is a cross between New Hampshire and Barred Rock chickens. Delawares were developed as a dual purpose bird (for egg laying and meat), so they are good sized, yet produce eggs at an above average rate.

Delaware chickens are almost completely white with a touch of barred black striping on their necks and tail areas. While they are cold hardy, these birds do have a prominent comb. In cold winter climates, their combs should be rubbed with petroleum jelly to prevent frostbite.  

During the middle of the 20 century, the Delaware became the most popular breed of broiler chicken on the East Coast. At that time, nearly every meat bird was raised in the state of Delaware, and most of them were its namesake breed. A few years later, Cornish crosses came into favor as meat birds and the Delaware faded.

Today, the bird is considered an endangered heritage breed. It is unfortunate that they’re not more popular, because many Delaware owners consider them a perfect overall bird for backyard flocks. They are some of the friendliest and quietest chickens around, plus they lay lots of eggs.

Delaware Facts


Medium, hens 6-8 pounds, averaging 6.5 pounds each.


Mostly white with black barring on neck and tail.


Lays at above average rate of 4-5 eggs per week. Eggs are large and brown.


Friendly and quiet.


Hatcheries have them, but Delaware chickens are less common than most others on this list. Therefore, finding them locally may be difficult.

Here is a picture of a Delaware hen.

 Delaware Chicken