Are you looking to add a chicken to your flock that will give you plenty of eggs and has a non-aggressive temperament? In that case, you might like to consider a relatively new breed called Whiting True Blue Chicken. However, before you commit to getting some, it is important to know more about the Whiting Ture Blue Chicken breed.
In this article, we will tell you all you need to know to decide if the True Blues are the right breed for you. We cover their history, their temperament, egg-laying ability, appearance, and how to look after them. So keep reading to find out what the Whiting True Blues are like.
The Origins of Whiting True Blue Chickens
The Whiting True Blue is a fairly new breed, having been created in the 1990s. Despite its relatively short history, the breed is widely known and popular among chicken keepers.
The breed has its roots in Delta, Colorado, where the breed’s creator, Dr. Tom Whiting, was trying to create roosters with perfect feathers for fly-fishing tackles. It was while he was working to create a chicken with large hackle feathers that he thought of producing a chicken that lays blue eggs.
To get his blue eggs and feathers for tackles, Dr. Whiting crossbred Ameraucanas with White Leghorns. It took him over ten years before he was happy with the result. By crossing the two breeds, Dr Whiting didn’t just get a breed that produces blue eggs, he also created a breed that is capable of producing around 300 eggs per year.
What Are Whiting True Blues Like?
One of the most important factors when getting a new breed is its temperament. It has to be right for your chicken coop setup and in a mixed flock, the right match with the other breeds. If the setup is not right, you could get depressed chickens and when mixed with unsuitable breeds, you could get excessive pecking among the chickens.
The Whiting True Blues are charismatic chickens who value being able to roam free. They are active, energetic, and can be quite noisy, which means they are not best suited for small chicken runs or if you live very close to your neighbors.
If you are after a docile breed that works well as a pet chicken, then the Whiting True Blues are not the best breed. They are not pet chickens and will not appreciate being picked up. This doesn’t mean they are aggressive. Even though they don’t like to be petted, they are still a friendly breed. They just like to have their own space.
Are the True Blues Good With Children?
Because the True Blues are not fond of being picked up or petted, they are not always the best chickens to have a round if you have children. Especially if your children are still young and do not yet understand that these chickens need their own space.
Of course, you can still keep them if you have children, but it is best to supervise your children near the chickens, especially true blue roosters.
Keeping Whitings True Blues in a Mixed Flock
When keeping Whiting True Blues in a mixed flock, they should not be put together with more aggressive breeds. Because they are peaceful chickens, they can easily get bullied by more assertive breeds.
Whiting True Blues Are Self-Sufficient
The Whiting True Blue chicken is a great choice for anyone looking for a self-sufficient breed. You don’t need to do much for them to be happy. Just let them have their independence. They love to free range and while they supplement their diet with foraging, they also help to keep your garden free of pests.
Whiting True Blue Egg Laying
As mentioned, the Whiting True Blues are excellent egg producers. Even the less productive True Blue hens will give you more than 250 eggs in a year. The size of their eggs varies from small to extra-large eggs. You can try to help your hens to lay bigger eggs by ensuring they get the right nutrition.
An interesting fact about the Whiting True Blue eggs is that the egg color is blue inside, too. While brown eggs will be white on the inside, the pigment oocyanin in the blue eggs means the color goes through the egg. However, the egg itself will be of normal color.
If you are thinking of growing your own Whiting True Blues from eggs, you may need a lot of patience. The True Blues are not known to be broody hens and these active chickens prefer wandering around over setting on their eggs until they hatch. You may need to find a surrogate mother or use an incubator to get True Blue chicks.
The Appearance of the Whiting True Blues
While all Whiting True Blues will lay blue eggs, not all True Blues will look the same. Instead, they come in a range of patterns and colors, which include solid blue, silver blue, blue-red, blue wheaten, lemon blue, black-breasted red, and black.
The Whiting True Blues get small pea combs and yellow legs from the Leghorns. Some get long beards from the Ameraucana chickens, while others will have no beards. They are medium-sized birds with males weighing 7-9 lbs and females around 5.5 lbs.
Looking After Whiting True Blue Chickens
The True Blues may be self-sufficient and keen foragers, but they still need regular feeding, checking that they are healthy, and ensuring their coop is set up correctly. When your True Blues are happy and healthy, you will get the most out of them.
Setting up the Coop and Chicken Run
When setting the living space for Whiting True Blues, you need to remember they need plenty of space to roam. If you cannot let them roam free, then you need to ensure your chicken run provides them plenty of space to explore. Provide them with things such as toys, different-level perches, and dust baths to keep them busy.
You also need to provide your Whitings with a safe space to sleep. Give them at least 4-5 square feet of space each. Also, make the perches high enough so they feel safe. Your Whiting True Blues need one nesting box between 3-4 hens. Clean the nesting boxes when you collect the eggs as this can encourage them to lay more often.
Whiting True Blue Feed
The best thing to feed a laying Whiting True Blue hen is layer feed. It will have been specially formulated to give laying hens the nutrients and vitamins they need to keep producing eggs and stay healthy. Because calcium is really important to laying hens, you can also give them extra calcium, for example, oyster shells.
If you are growing your chickens from chicks, you need to give them a starter feed that is high in protein and helps them develop properly. Keep them on the protein-rich feed until they are about 3.5-4 months of age. When they are ready to start laying eggs, they can switch to layer feed.
Because the Whiting True Blues are such an active breed of chickens, they can easily become dehydrated. Therefore, you need to ensure they have constant access to fresh water. You also need to check that the water is kept clean so change it regularly because dirt, droppings, and feathers can easily end up in the water container.
Whiting True Blue Health
While the Whiting True Blues are quite a hardy breed, they can still get sick. Some bacterial diseases can spread through a flock quickly. These include avian influenza, salmonellosis, avian tuberculosis, and egg drop syndrome.
You must keep your chickens’ vaccinations up to date. It is equally important to know your chickens so you can spot when they are not feeling well quickly. Symptoms of diseases can include diarrhea, sneezing, loss of appetite, inflammation, and lower egg production.
How to Prevent Diseases
While keeping the vaccinations up to date is one key element in preventing diseases, there are other key actions, too. Diseases are spread through contaminated surfaces, water, or mold. Ensure you keep the chickens’ living environment clean and change their water often.
Making sure that your chickens get the correct nutrients and vitamins is also important. Ready-prepared feeds are often the easiest way to do this. You can also supplement their diet with healthy snacks high in vitamins, calcium, and other nutrients.
The Whiting True Blues are great chickens for people who want plenty of eggs. They are self-sufficient free-rangers so ensure you can give the chickens the space they need. They dislike being confined and need to be supervised around young children who might try to pick them up or pet them.
Hopefully, you now have a good idea of whether the Whiting True Blue chicken is the right breed for you. If you would like to ask us anything about the breed, you can write your question in the comments section.