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Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

Poultry Breeds - Red Cap Chickens

Poultry Breeds - Red Cap Chickens

Red Cap

Red CapOrigins: The Redcap originates from England although the precise area in unknown. It is however, closely connected with Derbyshire and is sometimes called the Derbyshire Redcap. It is not known when this breed showed up, but it is thought to be one of the older English breeds. The Redcap came to the United State in the 1800’s and was spread largely across the country by 1870.

Characteristics: Redcaps are known for their unique coloring and fancy headdress. The Redcap is considered a large fowl with a broad back and closely kept medium sized wings. The tail is positioned at an angle with black and dark red with a beetle-green sheen on the sickels. The plumage around the saddle, back and neck hackles are red to mud brown with black half-moon spangles. The most notable feature of the Redcap is the rose shaped comb. On the males this comb can be up to 8.5 cm x 7 cm. The females are similar only smaller. The wattles are red as well as the earlobes, which is unusual because the Redcap lays white eggs, although the correlation between the color of the earlobes and the color of the eggs has not been proven. The shanks are ashen blue and the skin is white.

Standard Weights:

  • APA
    • Cock: 7.5 lbs; Hen: 6 lbs; Bantam Cock: 30 oz; Bantam Hen: 26 oz
  • PCGB
    • Cock: 2.70 - 2.95 kg; Hen: 2.25 - 2.50 kg; Cockerel: 2.50 - 2.70 kg; Pullet: 2.00 - 2.25 kg

Varieties: None

Egg Shell Color: White

Uses: The Redcap could be call a triple threat as a great egg layer, up to 150 - 200 eggs per year, a great table bird with white meat, and a show bird for its red rose comb and unique feathering.


Chicken Breeds and Varieties (A2880), John L. Skinner, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Derbyshire Redcap." Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Rare Breeds Survival Trust, n.d. Web. 07 July 2015.

Ekarius, Carol. "Chickens: Redcap." Pocketful of Poultry: Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub., 2007. 138-39. Print.

"Redcap Chicken." The Livestock Conservancy. The Livestock Conservancy, n.d. Web. 07 July 2015.

Roberts, Victoria. British Poultry Standards (6th Edition). Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 7 July 2015.

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Updated November 18, 1996


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