The “Blue Hen chicken” Is The Official State Bird Of Delaware. On April 14, 1939, The “Blue Hen chicken” Was Adopted As the official state bird. The Blue Hen Chicken had a long been used as a motif in numerous political campaigns and in many publications. The Delaware State Bird “Blue Hen Chicken” Is a Domestic bird and therefore has no place in Audubon’s Birds of America. The Bird is Comprised Exclusively of wild birds native to North America.
The Scientific Name Of “Blue Hen chicken” Is “Gallus Gallus”. The history of Delaware State Bird starts during the Revolutionary War. This bird is not only the State Bird of Delaware and the mascot of the University of Delaware but has an interesting story to go along with it. Cockfighting was a regular pastime in Colonial America. It is even said that Washington and Jefferson kept fighting birds.
Captain John Caldwell of the Kent company, which was part of the Delaware regiment, was a devoted gamecock owner. His troops fought throughout the entire war and gained a reputation for their bravery and fighting abilities in battles with the British in Trenton, Princeton, White Plains, and Long Island. During downtime, the troops entertained themselves by staging cockfights with a blue feathered breed dubbed the Kent County Blue Hen. Word quickly spread that these “blue hens” were the birds to beat.
In time, the regiment came to be known by the nickname “Blue Hens’ Chickens” in respect for the fighting abilities of both the fighting regiment and their birds. The State Bird Of Delaware we know today is a unique strain that was developed from Old English Games. Over the years individuals continued to keep these birds, including Hallock DuPont, who donated six pairs of these birds to the University of Delaware in the 1960s because the bird was their mascot.
Blue Hen of Delaware Facts:
Size: Male: 5 Ibs. Female: 4 Ibs.
Comb, Wattles & Earlobes: They have a small single comb that has five points that stand upright. They have small, thin, smooth wattles and earlobes. All of these are bright red. The Combs, earlobes, and wattles are dubbed (cut off) in roosters for show.
Color: They have a yellow beak, reddish bay eyes, and willow shanks and toes. The head, hackle, cape, and saddle can be in shades of yellow and orange. The front neck, lower body, and tail are steely blue.
Place of Origin: Delaware
Special Qualities: They are the Delaware State Bird