Chickens are extraordinary and varied. These days, you can find chickens in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. Some lay green eggs and others, like the Whiting True Blue chicken, lay ones the color of robin’s eggs. The stunning blue color of their eggs, along with their winning personalities, make the Whiting True Blue chicken breed popular throughout the world. Yet, if you are considering adding a Whiting True Blue or several to your flock, you have to ask yourself: Is this breed right for me? Let’s find out.
Whiting True Blue Breed Overview
Let’s take a look at some quick facts about this chicken breed:
|Breed Name||Whiting True Blue|
|Place of Origin||United States|
|Colors||White, gray, and black|
|Egg Production||300 eggs per year|
|Climate Tolerance||Very heat tolerant|
|Personality||Friendly and low maintenance|
History of the Whiting True Blue Chickens
This breed has been available since the 1990s. Although relatively new to the world of chickens, the Whiting True Blue chicken is well-known and loved. This breed was created by Dr. Tom Whiting from Whiting Farms in Delta, Colorado over a decade of crossbreeding White Leghorn chickens with the Ameraucana breed. Dr. Whiting did not initially seek to create such a successful chicken breed. Being that his hobby was fly fishing, he wanted to create roosters whose feathers could be used as tackle to support his fishing. During his research, he decided to try creating a chicken that laid blue eggs, and that is when he began his work.
Dr. Whiting took two breeds of chickens known for their blue egg genes — Ameraucana, namely — as well as ones who could lay a load of eggs, being Leghorns. Leghorns, if you are unaware, are very resourceful birds that can lay between 280-320 eggs per year. They are highly intelligent and loud. Whiting True Blues gained those same characteristics. It is also believed that Araucanas were also used in creating this breed. Shame Whiting True Blues do not have those adorable ear tufts. Regardless, Dr. Whiting’s efforts paid off. The world now has the Whiting True Blue, which has the best qualities of both breeds.
Whiting True Blue Appearance and Breed Standard
The Whiting True Blue is currently not accepted by the American Poultry Association (APA) and thus has no breed standard by which to compare. That said, it may one day be included. Whiting True Blue chickens are unique, in that they do not have a set appearance. What is constant is the color of the eggs that the hens lay. These chickens are born with a vast range of colors and patterns, and so many chicken keepers eagerly await how their Whiting True Blues will look once they have matured.
Some of the colors common in this breed are:
- Silver blue
- Blue wheaten
- Blue red
- Lemon blue
- Solid blue
- Black-breasted red
Due to their Leghorn traits, Whiting True Blue chickens have yellow legs, small pea combs, and the possibility of beards. Some end up with long beards comparable to their Ameraucana cousins. Others have no beard and tend to look more similar to their Leghorns. It’s a roll of the dice with these birds, and that adds to the fun of having them!
Whiting True Blue chickens are considered medium-sized. Hens reach an average of 5.5 pounds, and roosters weigh around 7-9 pounds. Their size and diet does have some influence on how large these birds get, but you should not overfeed them in hopes of making them bigger.
Can Whiting True Blue Chickens Fly?
Yes, these chickens can fly! They have full wings and can take flight with no problems. However, they cannot fly far. That said, your chickens will not fly often, unless they are under threat. Additionally, Whiting True Blue chickens will not leave the backyard willingly, because if they feel safe where they are, they have no reason to try going elsewhere.
Personality and Temperament of the Whiting True Blue
Whiting True Blue chickens have excellent personalities, but not in the way that you may expect. See, they are freedom-loving birds who will happily forage your yard and keep pests from getting out of control. In fact, they love to free roam so much that any attempt to rein them in may fail. Whiting True Blues should not be contained for too long. Otherwise, they will become depressed. There is an upside to their independence, though. You don’t have to do much for them.
In fact, if you want a flock of birds that is self-sufficient, this is the breed for you. Conversely, if you want companionable chickens, you may want to look elsewhere. Whiting True Blue chickens are not known for being friendly. They do not like to be handled, and they will refuse to sit on your lap. That said, they are very calm and peaceful. They do well in mixed flocks of non-aggressive chickens. Do not put them together with more aggressive breeds, because they will be bullied.
Because these chickens are so active, they run the risk of becoming dehydrated. Make sure you keep a close watch on their energy levels and replenish their food and water whenever necessary. However, being that they can be quite noisy, they may just let you know how hungry or thirsty they are first. If you live near a number of neighbors, the Whiting True Blue could be annoying. As such, it is recommended that you have a larger fenced in yard with some distance between you and others.
Egg Laying and Broodiness
What makes the Whiting True Blue so special? Their blue eggs! Interestingly, the blue color is formed during bile production and is linked to a pigment called oocyanin. Unlike brown eggs which are colored on the outside but white on the inside, the blue pigment goes through the entire egg. So when you crack the egg of a Whiting True Blue open, you will see the interior is also blue. Does that change the eggs at all? No. You still get a delicious and nutritious egg. The package is just prettier!
One of the greatest characteristics of the Whiting True Blue chicken is that they can lay up to 300 eggs per year. Even when they are not as productive, these chickens regularly exceed 250 eggs annually. Being that there is no fixed size to eggs this breed lays, you may end up with a clutch of small, medium, large, or extra-large eggs. Nutrition plays a key role in how large their eggs grow.
These chickens are not broody, so having them reproduce may take some effort. The good news is that Whiting True Blue chickens will continue laying 300 eggs yearly for up to 3 years. After that, they will slow their egg production, but you will still get large blue eggs for years after.
Although Whiting True Blue chickens are known for their prolific egg-laying, they are less known for meat. That is because they are not very large or heavy. Hens are used solely for their eggs. Roosters, on the other hand, are slightly larger than their female counterparts and may be used for food.
That said, this is not a breed of chicken you would keep around for their meat. Instead, use your Whiting True Blue chickens for their large eggs. They can produce more than enough to feed your entire family.
Health Issues and Caring for Whiting True Blues
Chickens are not invincible. Your flock can fall prey to diseases and viruses. Although Whiting True Blue chickens are rather hardy and very heat tolerant, they still have their issues. Bacterial diseases are one of them. Here are some other common pathogens that your chickens may get:
- Infectious Coryza
- Avian Tuberculosis
- Avian Influenza
- Egg Drop Syndrome (EDS)
- Avian Encephalomyelitis
Unfortunately, pathogens like these are being transmitted amid bird populations with increasing frequency. It is important that you take your chickens to a reputable veterinarian to keep their vaccines up to date. Other signs that your chickens are ill include loss of appetite, diarrhea, reduced egg production, sneezing, and inflammation.
If you give your Whiting True Blue chickens plenty of love and care, they will live between 5-10 years.
Feeding & Nutrition for Whiting True Blues
Any breed of chicken that lays loads of eggs will require far more feed than less productive breeds. Whiting True Blues mature quickly, and so they need loads of nutritious feed available. For example, your chicks need around 18-20% protein to develop properly. Around 19 weeks old, you should reduce their intake to around 16% protein. Furthermore, give them plenty of vitamins, including vitamin C, since the chicks do not have enough in their bodies to synthesize it.
Ensure that you are giving your chicks a starter meal that is chock full of phosphorus, magnesium, copper, and calcium.
Being that Whiting True Blues are so active, they have an enormous energy need. The roosters, especially, need seeds and grains to maintain their energy levels. Fortify your Whiting True Blue chickens with nutritious foods like broccoli, lettuce, and similar to boost their immune system. Hens should be consuming about 18% protein every day, because they are laying so many eggs. Sprinkle in a little calcium to assist their egg production.
Housing Your Whiting True Blues
As mentioned earlier, Whiting True Blues love their freedom. These birds need space to move around; they won’t be happy unless they can do their own thing. The only thing you truly need to give them is somewhere safe to sleep at night. Ensure the perches in the coop are high enough for them to feel safe. Due to the amount of eggs Whiting True Blue hens lay throughout the week, you should give them a bigger nest box than you would other breeds. Your nest boxes should be able to house 3-4 hens at once.
When you go about collecting eggs, clean out the nesting boxes too. Since Whiting True Blue hens lay so often, ensuring that they have someone open and free to lay will encourage them to do it more often.
The Whiting True Blue is an excellent breed for those who are looking for colorful eggs and hardy. While many chicken keepers will mistake these birds for Araucanas, Ameraucanas, and Easter Eggers, these are completely different chickens! They are strong, curious, and can survive hot temperatures. Furthermore, they are low maintenance, so long as you give them the space these birds want to roam. You are bound to love the Whiting True Blue.
Valerie has been content writing since 2016 for websites and companies all around the world. A traveler, dancer, martial artist, Valerie loves gathering experiences and wisdom. Her travels have taken her to over 20 countries, and she hopes to see more of the world soon.