Day Old Buckeye Baby Chicks
Chicks hatching March to September.
Buckeye Chickens are among the most cold-hardy of all breeds. Many who raise them also report that they are exceptionally friendly birds.
Production: This breed is raised more often for meat than for egg production, but hens do lay a significant quantity of large, brown eggs.
Temperament: Many people who raise Buckeyes say that they are so friendly and curious they will jump into humans’ arms, or stay underfoot just to see what is going on. Roosters can sometimes be slightly aggressive.
History: Several factors make the Buckeye an unusual American breed. It is the only American breed with a pea comb, and it is also the only American breed that was developed solely by a woman.
In the 1880s, Nettie Metcalf lived in northern Ohio, and wanted chickens that would be able to thrive during the harsh winters there. She was also interested in having red chickens. At that time, Rhode Island Reds had not been adequately introduced in the mid-west, so Ms. Metcalf did not know of their existence when she began her project.
Using Cochins, Plymouth Rocks, and Game chickens, Ms. Metcalf developed the Buckeye Chicken, which is an extremely cold-hardy and active breed. They are large, making them great meat birds, and also great foragers.
Once she had the breed fully developed and was beginning to show it, she discovered the Rhode Island Reds and realized the similarities between the two breeds. She communicated with breeders of the RIR, and even went so far as to exchange stock with them. For a short time she even called her chickens Pea-combed Rhode Island Reds, but realized quickly people were more interested when she called the Buckeyes.
The Buckeye was accepted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1904.
Colors: Buckeyes are a deep, lustrous red, but with a slate bar in their under-feathering.
Status: American Livestock Breeds Conservancy Conservation Status: The Buckeye is categorized as Threatened by the ALBC. This means that there are only 7 or 8 breed flocks in the US and that the total population is less than 5,000 birds. More breeders interested in preserving this breed to standards are needed.
Weights: Cockerel 8 lbs, Pullet 5.5 lbs
APA Class: American