From Memorial Day to Flag Day to the Fourth of July, Americans show their national pride by hanging bunting, flying flags and wearing every imaginable combination of red, white and blue. While some people continue their all-American exhibits throughout the summer, most folks pack away their patriotic decor before mid-July. For poultry owners, however, there’s a way to display the red, white and blue all year long: Choose chicken colors to show your patriotism!
Here are five full-colored breeds you can raise to create the perfect red, white and blue poultry flock.
Beloved by Queen Victoria, the feather-legged Cochin is a favorite with families because of its gentle, friendly nature. The bantam version of this chicken breed is just as affectionate … and comes in red, white and blue colors.
This colorful Bantam Cochin trio is ideal for chicken owners who have small yards, small children or both … or who simply want beautiful, full-feathered birds.
One of America’s most popular backyard birds, the Orpington has earned its place in chicken owners’ hearts with its reliable egg production, amusing antics and mellow disposition. While the Buff Orpington can be commonly found in flocks throughout the country, White Orpingtons and Blue Orpingtons are slowly gaining prominence with poultry keepers.
The Red Orpington, developed by W. Holmes Hunt in 1911, remains a fancier’s favorite. But this breed can be purchased from specialized breeders as well as some commercial hatcheries.
This sweet, serene bantam was described as a chicken with “hair like cats” by explorer Marco Polo in the 13th century. Today, the Silkie is kept for companionship, for exhibition and for its fabulous mothering instincts.
Silkies come in both bearded and beardless chicken varieties, and both come in white and blue colors. Red Silkies are challenging to find. Your best bet is to check with Silkie breeders who dabble in color projects.
What better breed to display the colors of our country than the chicken that practically has America in its name? This cold-hardy heritage hen is known for the beautiful, sky-blue eggs that it lays.
Ameraucanas are cheery, sociable chickens that enjoy roaming, foraging and satisfying their endless curiosity. Blue Ameraucanas and White Ameraucanas are recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA), as is the breed’s brown-red variety … which may not be fully red but hopefully that can be overlooked due to its patriotic name!
Although this breed originated in the Livorno region of Italy, the Leghorn has become almost synonymous with American egg production. Despite historic—and ongoing—ties to commercial egg farms, the non-industrial Leghorn is actually a hardy heritage bird well suited for homesteads and hobby farms.
This extremely active chicken is an instinctual forager that can hunt and scratch for most of its food if given the opportunity. The Leghorn also lays an average of 300 eggs per year, one of the highest rates-of-lay in all poultry. The Red Leghorn and the White Leghorn are recognized by the APA. The Blue Leghorn is officially recognized in the United Kingdom but not in the U.S., though specialized breeders may produce this variety in America.