The Delaware Blue Hen is known as a blue strain of the American gamecock. It was introduced as the state bird of Delaware on April 14, 1939. It comes under one of three US state birds that do not belong or are native to the United States.
Interesting Facts About Delaware Blue Hen
- The Blue Hen does not belong to the chicken family and is not a chicken breed.
- In 1775, a company from the Delaware River area was called fighting blue hens. The members were instructed by Jonathan Caldwell and he was the one who raised gamecocks. He often used to say there was no cock as fierce as his blue hens. Later, his company adopted the name “fighting blue hens.” Soon the group was also acknowledged as the Fighting Delawares, Caldwell’s gamecocks, or Sons of the Blue Hen. They brought game chickens with them that were called the brood of a famous Blue Hen. Blue hens were famous for their fighting skills and abilities.
- Why is Delaware’s mascot the Blue Hen? Surprisingly, the University of Delaware sports teams are nicknamed the Blue Hens, and their mascot, YouDee, obtains from the bird. Hence, the fighting blue hen is also recognized as the mascot of the University of Delaware.
- S. Hallock DuPont provided 12 birds to the University in the 1960s and they kept a small flock at its College of Agriculture & Natural Resources.
- These birds have been cross-breed with the Blue Andalusian breed that is from Spain. Blue hens obtained many of their characteristics.
- The Delaware blue hen chicken was announced as the Delaware state bird in 1939, by defeating the scarlet cardinal which was its competition and was suggested by the Women’s Clubs of Delaware. Scarlet cardinal is already holding the title of state bird in seven other states. So they picked blue hen.
- These birds look like Mediterranean and no longer resemble the real fighting breeds.
- Blue hens are small, smooth wattles, thin and earlobes. These birds have reddish eyes, a yellow beak, and willow shanks and toes.
- During the Civil War, this blue hen chicken was the name of Kent County militia and also known as the Blue Hen’s Chickens.
- The blue hen has blue chest feathers and tail feathers.
- The blue hen chickens from Delaware lay brown eggs. Because these chickens were bred for cockfighting earlier, they are playful and flighty.
- The Delaware blue hen chickens have been well-known as fierce fighters, but cockfighting is strictly prohibited in Delaware today.