Originally named “Indian Rivers,” were developed by George Ellis of Delaware in 1940. They were bred specifically to be broiler chickens which means they are bred specifically to be a meat bird. A cross of Barred Plymouth Rock roosters and New Hampshire hens, they are a beautiful white with black tipped hackles. This coloration is very similar to the Colombian color pattern, but with the barring substituting for the black sections. For about twenty years the Delaware and the Delaware x New Hampshire cross were the most popular broiler chickens on the Delmarva Peninsula. Their popularity declined with the introduction of the Cornish Cross and its use as an industrial standard breed.
Delaware males may be mated to New Hampshire or Rhode Island Red females and produce chicks of the Delaware color pattern. Delaware females mated to New Hampshire or Rhode Island Red males produced sex-linked offspring; the males having the Delaware color pattern and the females having the solid red color of the sires.
Though its economic dominance was short lived, the Delaware still makes an excellent dual-purpose bird. It has well-developed egg and meat qualities. Better yet, they typically have a calm and friendly disposition.
A beautiful bird that comes in nine distinct feather patterns, Marans originate from the port town of Marans, France. They were created from the local chickens who were descended from fighting game chickens carried to France from Indonesia and India. Considered a dual purpose bird, they are known for both their incredibly dark colored eggs and their meat quality.
Aside from their odd name, Dorkings are a handsome breed of chickens with their beautiful red combs, bright plumage and interesting history. If was for this reason AND their listing as critical that made them an attractive choice for Firefly Farms.
The Dorking chicken is an ancient breed first developed as a landrace in the area of Kent, Sussex, and Surrey counties in England. This area was famous for producing poultry of the highest quality for the table; the five-toed Dorking having been the most sought after of these chickens. It is the town of Dorking, once called Darking, for which the breed was named.
Popular history is that the Romans brought five-toed fowls with them when they invaded England in 43 A.D. Curious is the fact that these five-toed fowls were so respected by the Romans for their fine table qualities, but none are to be found in Italy. Dorking chickens are to be found in several colors, the most ancient of these being the White, the Colored (or Coloured), and the Silver Gray. Much old literature speculates that the White Dorking chicken is the original variety. Exactly when Dorking chickens arrived in America is a bit of a mystery. We do know they were well distributed here before 1840, and were even shown at the first poultry show in America in 1849. By 1904 they were the most popular breed in their native England.