Originally called Indian Rivers, this rare breed was developed in 1940 by George Ellis in Delaware, USA from a cross between Barred Plymouth Rock males and New Hampshire females. Mating a Delaware female with a New Hampshire or Rhode Island Red male will result in a sex linked chick. They were, at one time, the most popular broiler chicken in America and remain a popular dual-purpose bird as they are productive egg producers. They are predominantly white birds with some black barring on the tail and neck hackle. They possess a single comb and are virtually unknown outside the USA and are considered rare within North America
The Delaware is a calm, friendly, fast maturing chicken which is robust and both heat and cold hardy. They lay well, producing a good number of brown eggs and will continue to lay throughout the winter too but they can become broody. They are adaptable birds, happy to be confined within a run or free ranging. Cocks can weigh around 8lbs while hens average 6lbs.