When we first started raising chickens for eggs we had a hodgepodge of birds - no two were alike. Our layers are now only Delaware’s. We first learned about Delaware chickens during a pastured poultry workshop during the 2006 PASA Conference. Delaware chickens were developed in 1940 and for many years were among the most popular broiler chickens on the Delmarva Peninsula. This appealed to us as we had spent many vacations in Ocean City, MD.
Delaware chickens are mild mannered, good foragers, and prolific layers of brown eggs. We regularly eat the roosters, which take about 20 weeks to reach a processed weight of 4 to 5 pounds. They are single-breasted and delicious. The ALBC currently lists their status as critical for becoming extinct.
Cornish Rock Cross
Our primary meat bird is the Cornish Rock cross. These birds are amazingly efficient at converting feed to meat, and usually reach a dressed weight of 4 pounds by seven and a half to eight weeks of age. We raise them on pasture and feed them a custom ration that we have mixed locally. They are double-breasted, easier to process than the Delaware’s, and also delicious.