This Delaware Blue Hen was nominated in 1939 to be the Delaware state bird alongside the red cardinal. Despite the songbird’s beauty, Blue Delaware won and to this day is the premier State Bird of Delaware.
Delaware Blue Hen Characteristics
Blue Delaware is believed to have been developed from the Old English Game and native jungle birds. This beautiful bird is characterized by its typical blue suit and aggressiveness. They have a small simple five-point ridge that always remains raised.
Their earlobes are bright red. Its head plumage is orange and yellow, while most of its body is covered in a beautiful steel blue mantle. Hens are regular producers of white to dyed eggs, and occasionally they tend to hatch.
Delaware Blue Hen History
Before this blue hen was chosen as a Delaware state bird, the National Federation of Women’s Clubs of Delaware recommended the scarlet cardinal. The cardinal is a beautiful bird that resides year-round in Delaware. Members of the club touted the cardinal’s good traits, yet he was no match for this beautiful blue hen.
On April 14, 1939, the Delaware General Assembly made “The Delaware Blue Hen” the official bird of its state.
Delaware Blue Hen Breed recognition
The Delaware Blue is not a recognized breed and its choice as a state bird is more related to historical events than to breed selection and development standards. The fame of the Blue Hen dates back to the American War of Independence: During the War on December 9, 1775, Congress resolved that a military battalion would be formed for the lower three counties along the Delaware River. Thus was born the Delaware Regiment, a group made up of eight companies representing New Castle, Kent, and Sussex counties.
The 2nd Battalion consisted of Kent County soldiers and was under the command of Captain John Caldwell, who was an avid fan and owner of fighting cocks. Troops often amused themselves by staging cockfights featuring a rare breed of rooster known to soldiers as the Kent County Blue Soldier, recognizable by his blue plumage.
The popularity of these chickens spread rapidly during the time when cockfighting was a popular form of entertainment (currently this activity is prohibited in the United States and many countries around the world), and these bluebirds “acquired a great reputation for his ferocity and success in combat.
During the War of Independence of the United States, these birds were known by the soldiers with the name of “the warriors of Delaware”, however, the Haslet regiment named this bird as the “blue Delaware”, and that name was adopted formally by the Delaware General Assembly in 1939 when Blue Delaware was named the official state eve of Delaware.
Delaware Blue Hen Additional data
The nickname for the University of Delaware sports teams is the Delaware Blues. (Some students refer to the teams as “The kicking roosters…”) The University of Delaware mascot, known as Youde, is also a blue Delaware. The University of Delaware College of Agriculture and Natural Resources maintains a breeding group for this breed on its campus farm.
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