Dekalb White breed of chickens: characteristics, care and feeding

Decalb White chickens are known to poultry farmers for their stamina and good egg production. How to contain these layers and how to feed them in order to receive large eggs all year round, we will describe later in the article.

Cross breeding history

Dekalb White appeared on the agricultural market relatively recently, but during its existence it managed to gain good authority among farmers of various types.

Did you know? Each year, the world's population eats about 567 billion eggs. In this case, only the inhabitants of Germany annually consume almost 16 billion eggs, which is an average of 200 pieces for each German .

About a hundred years ago, when the breeders of the well-known in the United States of America company “Dekalb Poltri Research” tried to convey to the whole world information about the merits of their new development, advertising experts called these birds “princesses of poultry farming”.

Over time, the promising slogan was fully justified - despite the youth of the breed, it quickly spread throughout the world and, moreover, occupied a leading position in the ratings of egg productivity. Owners of large bird production gave her special preference.

Today, developers continue to improve the positive qualities of cross-country, focusing on increasing the mass of eggs, and now it is Decalb chickens that give record performance in egg productivity.

general characteristics

Many poultry farmers consider breeding this cross to be a very profitable business, because chickens give a high-quality product year-round, without requiring special conditions for keeping and needing a small amount of feed.

And although they are not much different in appearance from their relatives, they nevertheless hold primacy in prevalence. What was the reason for this, let's understand in more detail.

To the egg breeds of hens also include such breeds as amerukana, shaver, legbar, blue, blue dian, minor, and leghorn.


The breed standard provides a clear exterior, deviations from which are considered disqualification of the bird. Knowing the features of the appearance of thoroughbred chickens is necessary so as not to fall on the hook of unscrupulous sellers-poultry houses.

The table below will help you with this:

Features of the appearance of Decalb White chickens
Headsmall (smaller than average size)
Crestleaf-shaped, bright red, large, often hanging to one side, covering one eye (the size of the crest of the Decalba surpassed even their close relatives, Haysekov)
Beaksmall, sturdy, dirty yellow
Eyesdark or brown red
Neckshort and wide
Chestprotrudes slightly, slightly rounded
Torsocompact, medium size
Stomachquite voluminous
Taillong but not very lush
Backnot wide, thin
Pawsshort but steady
Plumage and colorwhite, feather cover is not thick, but dense (during maximum egg laying, chickens look stripped due to nutrient deficiency)

Productive qualities

The Dekalb White breed represents the egg type of chickens and today demonstrates maximum egg laying rates. But along with this dignity, representatives of the cross in question are poor hens and have skinny carcasses.

Important! In order to determine the freshness of a chicken egg at home, you need to dip it in a glass of water - a fresh product will sink, and a stale one will pop up.

More detailed information on the productivity of thoroughbred birds is presented in the table below.

Decalb white chicken performance
Weight of adults, kghen1.5–1.7
Daily Chicken Weight, g40
Breed directionegg
Puberty4.5–5 months (peak laying occurs at 40 weeks of life)
Average annual egg productionabout 330-350 eggs
Egg qualityweight g60–63
shell colorlight coloured
shell qualitystrong
Taste quality of meathigh
Instinct of incubationvery low (it is not profitable to plant such a brood hen because of the loss of about 22 eggs that she could lay during this time)
The safety of the livestock, %young animals99, 4

Important! Experienced poultry farmers advise buying a purebred rooster in another farm once a couple of years to preserve the main features of the Dekalbov breed.


Representatives of the breed Dekalbov differ:

  • peacefulness;
  • calm disposition;
  • moderate activity.

These hens never arrange bloody fights between themselves and get along well with other animals in the yard. On farms on a large industrial scale, they feel good at the cage maintenance, and on private farmsteads they do not show aggression with free-range.

However, a significant flaw in chickens is their poor adaptation to new conditions and low stress resistance. In addition, the described birds are characterized by increased timidity and, therefore, because of this, they can bring discomfort with their loud clucking.

Advantages and disadvantages

Regardless of the purpose of breeding chickens, the choice of breed always requires a thorough analysis of all its advantages and disadvantages.

  • Benefits
  • high egg production (especially in the first years of life);
  • precocity;
  • good egg quality (large sizes, appropriate weight and satisfactory shell density);
  • almost one hundred percent livestock survival;
  • friendly disposition;
  • a small need for feed (in adults, the daily serving of food does not exceed 100 g);
  • high immunity, resistance to common chicken diseases;
  • undemanding to the conditions of detention.

  • disadvantages
  • poor adaptability to new conditions (especially painful Dekalby react to a change in their usual environment);
  • low stress resistance;
  • excessive shyness;
  • noisiness
  • poorly developed maternal instincts;
  • unsuitability for meat purposes.

Content Rules

Although the Dekalbes have their drawbacks, their maintenance will not disappoint even novice farmers. The bird of this breed is quite unpretentious and for minimal attention will thank the owner with good indicators of egg production.

Did you know? The ranking of the most amazing chicken breeds is led by rare representatives of the Indonesian Ayam Tsemani. They differ completely black plumage, claws, skin and comb. Even the meat and internal organs of the original birds are also black. By the way, this color does not fade after prolonged heat treatment. Many people believe that black birds bring eternal success to their master, so they are ready to pay 5 thousand dollars for a couple.

And in order to achieve the most comfortable conditions for her, it is necessary to properly equip the house and the walking area, as well as observe the diet.

Bird house

Unlike other relatives, Decalb White chickens do not require much space and can provide high productivity even in cramped conditions. The main thing is that for every square meter of the chicken coop there should be no more than 5 adults.

Such a landing will allow the bird to feel comfortable in the cold season, without reducing its egg production.

When arranging a bird house, it is important to take care of good ventilation and the absence of drafts. Otherwise, wardship diseases cannot be avoided. Windows are ideal for ventilating such rooms, but in order to save energy, they need to be equipped with sealed double-glazed windows.

Before the onset of cold weather, experienced poultry farmers advise checking the walls and ceiling of the room for cracks and insulating the structure. In the autumn-winter period, the air temperature in the house should correspond to the level of 15-17 ° С.

If the thermometer goes down, the wards may have a significant decrease in oviposition. In order to avoid this, it is recommended to equip the chicken coop with heating devices or infrared lamps. It is important not to forget about the fire safety requirements.

It will also be useful to examine the sex, making sure that the chickens do not have neighbors in the form of rodents. In addition, it definitely needs flooring in the form of sawdust or straw from boneless crops. The same litter is suitable for nests, which should be enough in the chicken coop - at least 2-3 for 10 individuals.

Perches for chickens should be strong, it is desirable to make them of wood. If there are many individuals in the chicken coop, then a multi-tiered arrangement of poles is allowed. The main thing is that the birds sitting on the upper ranks do not get dirty with litter of neighbors from below.

In addition, feeders and drinking bowls are required from the internal utensils in the chicken coop. They can be made in any configuration, but must be placed in a separate well-lit area. It is inadmissible for stagnant water in the containers or for the rest of the feed.

Did you know? The color of the lamp affects poultry in different ways. For example, blue calms birds, orange stimulates the reproductive system, green promotes growth, and muted red prevents laying hens to peck eggs .

It is also important to replace the litter on the floor and in the nests as necessary.

Patio for walks

Each species of poultry requires a space for walking for full development. To protect the wards from wild relatives who are carriers of infections, this territory should be fenced with a grid from the sides and top.

The size of the enclosure is calculated based on the number of birds: the main thing is that the walking area does not hamper their motor activity.

It is advisable to pre-sow the allotted area with any grass suitable for grazing chickens - alfalfa, clover, sainfoin, goatskin, amaranth, lawn mixture, knotweed, barley, mustard. It is also important to leave an ash zone inside, where the whales will carry out swimming.

Experienced poultry farmers are advised to put a special tank for this purpose and fill it with a mixture of sand, wood ash and fine grain taken in equal parts.

An important detail of the walking yard is a canopy, under which the wards can hide from the sun or from the rain. Drinkers are also needed. Some breeders plant high shrubs on the north side, which will provide chickens with shade and protect them from the wind.

Feeding troughs and drinking bowls

The range of farm products for poultry equipment today amazes even the most demanding customers with its wealth. But it’s much cheaper to build a drinker and feeder on your own. However, the origin of these containers does not matter at all to the birds: the main thing is their practicality and convenience.

Experts advise choosing wooden feeders for dry food, and metal or glass vessels for wet mash. Lattice structures are ideal for fresh or dry greenery.

In addition, when choosing such utensils, the shape of the containers should be taken into account. For example, rectangular flat trays with low sides are designed for feeding and watering chickens, as adults will climb inside and scatter the contents.

Gutter-shaped structures with bounding removable grilles and special compartments for different types of food should be located outside the enclosures, providing for access for pets to them. There are also variations of hopper feeders, which greatly facilitate the process of their maintenance (can be filled once with a daily portion).

For large poultry farms, the best option for drinking bowls is the nipple system. By the way, it can also be built at home by drilling holes in a plastic bucket and equipping them with nipples.

Did you know? The best taste is characterized by the French breed of hens La Bresse Gauloise. She is known for the fact that since 1957 she is the only owner of the AOS quality mark. For the sake of this bird, a magnificent chicken show is organized annually in the country, where farmers have the opportunity to compete in the competition for the best carcass, which is very prestigious to win. In addition, each manufacturer is encouraged with a cash prize of 10 thousand euros.

In the chicken coop, feeders and drinking bowls are placed under the lamps in a place remote from the recreation area. Depending on the mounting methods, they can be placed on the floor or hung with brackets to a vertical support.

The main thing in choosing such containers is to comply with the following requirements:

  1. Vessels for feeding and drinking chickens should be made in such a way as to exclude the possibility of birds to climb inside, scatter the contents and contaminate it with its paws.
  2. Drinking bowls and feeders should be as simple as possible to maintain (as necessary, you will have to free them from the rest of the feed, wash and change the water).
  3. The containers are considered ideal if they are not cramped for pets (they are calculated by leaving a distance of about 15 cm for each adult), lightweight, their shape and dimensions do not interfere with regular washing and cleaning.

Seasonal molt

Unlike other chicken breeds, Decalbes do not stop rushing even during seasonal molting. At the peak of oviposition, they lose many feathers, which is not the best way affects their appearance.

Under adverse conditions, birds can only slightly reduce the intensity of the process, or the quality of the eggshell will decrease. That is why veterinarians advise to strengthen the nutrition of chickens and take care of their comfort in such a period.

The breeder should know that:

  • the first chicken molt begins at 4 weeks of life, when a feather appears instead of fluff in chickens;
  • the second molt is expected at the age of three months, when contour feathers appear in young animals;
  • the third molt occurs in the spring and is considered normal for young individuals who are not yet 1 year old;
  • subsequent molting should occur annually in the fall (it will take about 6–8 weeks for a complete change of plumage).

According to experts, despite the unpresentability of molting Decalbes, individuals that intensively discard old feathers have the greatest value. If the chicken begins to molt since the summer and at the same time reduces its egg laying, it is worth paying attention to its state of health.

During the period when molting begins mass shedding, it is recommended to enrich the nutritious diet of the wards with compound feed (must contain at least 22% protein) and additionally with protein complementary foods (fish, earthworms, legumes), as well as dairy products, cabbage, meat and bone meal, greens.

Important! Decalbs can be prematurely molted by stress, poor nutrition, and health problems .

How to feed an adult herd

High oviposition rates of the described cross are largely dependent on the nutritional value of its diet. Decalbes eat quite a bit, so the breeder must wisely balance in a small amount of food all the components vital for birds.

To this end, experts advise:

  • from the moment of the beginning of oviposition until the onset of its peak, gradually increase the daily portions of feed (by about 40%), as well as carry out its qualitative change;
  • during the period of maximum productivity, make sure that the amino acid composition is increased in the pet food (approximately 7% more than usual);
  • it is preferable to add ground grain to wet mixers (its particles should not exceed a diameter of 0.5–3.2 mm);
  • give food in 3 doses, while leaving about 60% of the daily portion for the second half of the day;
  • arrange nightly snacks for chickens by arranging additional lighting for 2-3 hours at the right time. This will protect them from underweight;
  • take care of round-the-clock access of birds to fresh drinking water. Keep in mind that in hot weather, the need for chickens to drink doubles;
  • regularly mix vitamin and mineral supplements into the feed.

Addiction to disease

Decals are distinguished by strong immunity, however, due to their high productivity, they are often exposed to various diseases.

It will also be useful for you to find out what chicken leg diseases exist and how to treat them.

Among the most common veterinarians are:

  1. Helminthiasis - Ascarids and nematode larvae are most often found in birds of this species. Progressive disease is evidenced by: refusal of food, weakness, exhaustion, signs of diarrhea, as well as pallor of the crest and catkins. It is important to immediately begin therapeutic measures in relation to the entire livestock, which consists in taking medications. Typically, in such situations, “Pirantel”, “Febtal”, “Avatek”, “Filiksan”, “Phenothiazine”, “Levamisole” are mixed in with drink or wet food (the dosage and number of doses can be found in the instructions).
  2. Vitamin deficiency - occurs due to an unbalanced diet, severe depletion due to continuous oviposition and the presence of a pathogenic environment in the internal organs of the bird. It is characteristic that diagnosing this ailment at home is very difficult, since its symptoms have many similarities with other pathologies. Usually observed in such a chicken: lethargy, decreased appetite and motor activity, rapid breathing, attacks of paralysis. To get rid of the disease, you will need a radical adjustment of nutrition with the addition of fruit, vegetable and protein components, as well as the injection of vitamin-mineral complexes. You should be prepared for the fact that vitamin deficiency is treated very hard, and a full recovery can occur only after a year.
  3. Colibacteriosis - is an acute infectious disease, which chickens are more susceptible to until the age of two months. The disease is expressed by a sharp increase in body temperature (up to 44 ° C), wheezing during movements, poor appetite, lethargy, and intense thirst. Therapy consists of taking Lexoflon or Enronit antibiotics.
  4. Пастереллёз — распространяется на кур любого возраста и в большинстве случаев заканчивается гибелью. Начало патологии легко распознать по начавшемуся жару (температура тела часто поднимается до 43, 5 °С), снижению двигательной активности, слизисто-пенистым выделениям из носовых отверстий, хрипам, затруднённому дыханию, полному отказу от корма, а также красной уплотнённой сыпи, что появляется на гребне. В данном случае важно не потерять время, поскольку недуг очень быстро развивается. Спасти поголовье можно лишь антибиотиками («Левомицетин», «Тетрациклин», «Авидокс», «Спелинк», «Флорон», «Доксициклин»).
  5. Оспа — проявляется красными небольшими пятнами в зоне клюва. В дальнейшем оспенная сыпь распространяется по всему телу, а в неоперённых участках сливается воедино, образуя упругие наросты. Избежать болезни можно лишь путём своевременной вакцинации. Для этого используют такие препараты: CT Diftosec, Nobilis, FOWL Pox.
  6. Кератоконъюнктивит — появляется при плохих условия содержания, когда птица живёт в тесноте. О начале патологии свидетельствуют покрасневшие веки и дыхательные пути, затруднённое дыхание, отёчность. Лечение болезни заключается в создании надлежащей посадки для поголовья.
  7. Каннибализм — это явление противоречит спокойному нраву Декалбов, но имеет место при условиях длительного светового дня, чрезмерно яркого освещения курятника либо дефицита минерально-витаминных веществ в составе привычного корма. Причём подобные выпады агрессии чаще случаются у самок, нежели у самцов. Расклёванные места нужно обрабатывать йодным раствором и дёгтем.

Did you know? Периодическая темнота имеет значение для всех без исключения птиц. В это время формируется костная ткань, изменяется кальциевый обмен (что важно для прочности скорлупы), вырабатываются факторы иммунитета.

Breeding chicks

Из-за слабо развитых материнских инстинктов кур Декалб никогда не садят на яйца. Разведение породы в домашних условиях осуществляется путём подкладывания яиц под других кур, а в производственных масштабах — с помощью инкубатора.

Egg incubation

Период созревания зародыша в яйце длится 20–21 день. Но успех вылупки зависит от температурного режима инкубатора, влажности воздуха и качества отобранных яиц.

Опытные птицеводы знают, что для репродуктивных целей пригодны лишь свежие экземпляры, которым не больше 5 дней. Помимо того, они должны характеризоваться одинаковым размером, целостной скорлупой и отсутствием любых визуальных дефектов.

При возможности желательно перепроверить отобранные яйца на овоскопе. Таким образом можно обнаружить двухжелтковость, тёмно-серую пятнистость под скорлупой, грибковые проявления, гибель зародыша. Тщательный осмотр яиц позволит уменьшить количество «болтунов» и болезненных новорождённых цыплят.

После проверок все подходящие экземпляры рекомендовано продезинфицировать с помощью «Экоцида», «Глютекса», «Вироцида» либо марганцовки, и только тогда их закладывают в инкубатор. Важно следить, чтобы при закрытии крышка контейнера не повредила крупные яйца Декалбов.

Также стоит позаботиться о влажности на уровне 60–63 % и температурном режиме. Учтите, что созревание эмбрионов и вылупка цыплят должна осуществляться в условиях, приближенных к естественным. Перегретые птенцы проклюнутся очень быстро, но будут мелкими и хилыми. А у недогретого выводка возникнут трудности с заживанием пуповины.

Весь процесс инкубации куриных яиц специалисты разделяют на 4 этапа:

  1. Длится первую неделю с момента закладки отобранных экземпляров в инкубатор. В этот период эмбрион начинает своё формирование.
  2. Стартует через 7 дней после закладки яиц и длится 4 последующих суток. Отличается повышенными требованиями к контролю влажности воздуха. На этом этапе категорически недопустима сухость в помещении.
  3. Длится с 12 дня закладки яиц до появления первых звуков ещё не вылупившихся, но уже сформировавшихся цыплят. В это время под скорлупой налаживаются процессы газообмена и обмена веществ.
  4. Вылупление птенцов. На этом этапе важно осмотреть каждую появившуюся на свет особь, убедившись в ясности и выпуклости его глаз, мягкости пуповины, отсутствии обвислого живота — именно такими должны быть здоровые Декалбы.

Important! Представители породы Декалб Уайт характеризуются коротким периодом эффективности. Для сохранности хорошей яйценоскости каждые 2 года поголовье следует полностью обновлять.

Baby Care

Особого внимания цыплята всех пород кур требуют в первые 10 дней после вылупки. Для этого заводчик должен заблаговременно обустроить специальный тёплый и сухой загон вне птичника. В нём важно предусмотреть хорошее проветривание, но исключить даже малейшие сквозняки.

Опытные птицеводы знают, что на каждый квадратный метр отведённого помещения должно приходиться не более 20 новорождённых птенцов. Уже через 6 недель посадку нужно будет сокращать до 17 голов на ту же площадь, а через 12 недель — на 10 особей.

Изначально до пятидневного возраста выводок помещают в просторный деревянный ящик с застеленным бумагой днищем и накрывают сверху решёткой. В этот период крайне нежелательно насыпать птенцам подстилку, поскольку их чувствительные лапки ещё очень ранимы.

К тому же корм в таких условиях птица будет видеть лучше, поэтому сразу же маленьких Декалбов желательно покормить пшеном или кукурузной крупой.

Ящик с цыплятами ночью нужно дополнительно обогревать инфракрасными лампами, а днём в солнечную погоду выносить на улицу. На первой неделе жизни комфортной для выводка является температура 29–30 °С, а по мере роста молодняка её можно постепенно уменьшать до 26 °С.

Когда курам исполнится 4 недели, их можно содержать при 18 °С. Даже при наличии наседки молодое потомство к выгулу приучают постепенно.

Chicken Diet

Уникальность птенцов белых Декалбов заключается в их миниатюрных формах и хрупкости тела. Однако при правильных условиях содержания цыплята интенсивно набирают вес, крепнут и полноценно развиваются, демонстрируя высокую сохранность поголовья. Чтобы помочь молодняку окрепнуть, эксперты советуют с первых дней организовать правильное питание.

А для этого нужно руководствоваться нижеприведёнными рекомендациями:

  1. В первые 10 дней после вылупки следует кормить птенцов сваренными вкрутую яйцами, крупами, а также измельчённой зеленью. Не стоит забывать о небольших кормовых запросах породы, поэтому для того, чтобы рацион был сбалансированным, желательно приучать выводок к смесям.
  2. С 10 дня жизни нужно постепенно выводить яичный ингредиент, заменяя его комбикормами. Важно, чтобы в составе выбранного продукта было не менее 22 % белковой слагаемой.
  3. В период подрастания цыплят кормят зерном. Для лучшего усвоения его рекомендовано подмешивать к мелко нарубленной зелени. Кроме того, такому молодняку уже можно каждый день давать рыбий жир (суточная доза равна 1 г на каждого цыплёнка).
  4. Нужно добавлять в рацион маленьких Декалбов варёные корнеплоды, а с восьминедельного возраста их можно давать сырыми.
  5. Следите, чтобы птенцы имели доступ к питьевой воде. Она должна быть чистой и не холодной.
  6. Не забывайте о регулярных дезинфекциях поилок и кормушек.

Куры Декалбы порадуют своих хозяев высокими показателями яйценоскости, тем более что для этого им достаточно элементарных условий содержания и минимального внимания человека.

Important! Взрослым курам требуется постоянное пополнение запасов кальция в организме, поскольку изрядное его количество тратится на формирование яичной скорлупы.

Надеемся, наша статья поможет вам обеспечить высокую продуктивность своему птичнику.

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