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What is Iowa Blue chicken

Iowa Blue is an American breed of poultry developed in the vicinity of the city of Decorah, in the state of Iowa at the beginning of the 20th century. This rare bird has never been officially recognized by the American Poultry Association.

Image credit Iowa Blue chicken club

Iowa Blue Characteristics

Despite being named the Iowa Blue, the breed is not really blue by poultry standards. The head and neck are white or silvery-white, with a thin black stripe down the center, which transitions to black feathers with white laces.

The remaining plumage is bluish-black or gray. It has a simple red crest with six well-defined points. Iowa blue roosters weigh about 3.2 kg, while hens can reach the weight of 2.7 kg.

Iowa Blue Breed temperament

With a daring demeanor, proud posture, and rapid growth, the Iowa Blue is a dual-purpose breed, also known for being an excellent forager. Roosters are excellent guardians of the henhouse, they are talented fighters and are always on the alert for possible attacks from their predators. Although they are always alert and ready to defend themselves from any danger, the breed is quite docile to its keepers. Chickens lay a fair amount of brown eggs, and they tend to hatch.

Iowa Blue History

In the early 1900s a man named John Logston, who owned a small farm outside Decorah, set out to develop a dual-purpose breed for his town. What resulted was a breed that far exceeded his expectations. Not only was his creation adapted to Iowa’s inclement climatic diversity, but these birds were so independent that they could survive and fight their predators without human intervention. Blue Iowa came to possess traits only seen in this breed, but despite this desire for self-defense and self-sufficiency, they came to enjoy the attention of their keepers.

A popular American legend tells the story of a white Plymouth Rock hen emerging from under a destroyed building with a handful of solid brown-striped chicks.

The breed was kept on various Iowa farms until the 1960s when industrialization saw the need for chickens to produce eggs or meat. With this cultural change, many heritage races were on the verge of disappearing. Without a club to protect it, Iowa quickly declined in popularity and by 1989 only a fertile herd of Blue Iowas remained in the United States.

Iowa Blue In recovery

The breed was rescued from near extinction and has been bred and preserved thanks to the efforts of some breeders since the late 1980s. The Iowa Blue grew in popularity in 2011 thanks to the effort and dedication of a group of dedicated breeders who work to preserve and return the breed to its original type and purpose.

Iowa Blue Additional data

In the early part of 2012, people interested in preserving and promoting this breed came together and formed the Iowa Blue Breeders’ Club and quickly put a plan in place to prevent this breed from disappearing. They now have a club, a standard was set, breed numbers have expanded, and demand for this breed has far exceeded supply. The next goal of this long-standing surviving breed is to be officially recognized by the American Poultry Association.

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