Breeds

Calico Princess – A Complete Guide

By Chicken Fans Editorial Team

If you've never heard of the Calico Princess chicken, don't worry! It's a fairly new breed that didn't go viral on social media yet. But they look stunning! Calico Princesses are hardy and low-maintenance, and the hens are excellent egg layers.

Let's find out more about this new chicken breed.

Here are the most important features:

  • Calico Princess hens lay over 300 eggs per year
  • It’s a crossbreed mixing a Barred Rhode Island Red rooster and a Colombian Sussex hen
  • They are beginner-friendly and easy to take care of
  • Day-old chicks can be color-sexed by verifying the color of their down
  • Calico Princesses are hybrids, not a recognized heritage breed
EggsOver 300 eggs/year
Egg ColorBrown
Egg SizeLarge
Weight5 - 7 lbs
HardinessCold and heat
TemperamentDocile, low in maintenance
Beginner-friendlyYes
ColorLight reddish-orange and white

Characteristics

Calico Princesses are large birds with a very attractive plumage color. Roosters weigh around 7 pounds (3.1 kg), and hens are tipping the scale at 5 to 6 pounds (2.5 kg). They have a red single comb and red earlobes and wattles. Their legs are yellow and clean.

The hens are overall light brown to orange and have some playful white spots in their plumage. The Princesses have black tails and black flight feathers that show on the tip of the wings. Some hens have black stripes in their hackles, a heritage from their Columbian-colored mothers.

Calico princess hen
Credits: @home_sweet_home_tennessee (IG)

The roosters are off-white with black hackles and a black tail. Their plumage has some brown shades and spots.

Their attractive look makes Calico Princesses gain popularity, although the breed is not yet widely known. It's no wonder many backyard poultry keepers fall for their striking appearance and colorful plumage.

Calico Princess Breed

The Calico Princess is not an actual chicken breed recognized by the American Poultry Association, it's a hybrid bird. They result from crossing a Barred Rhode Island Red rooster and a Columbian Sussex hen. A Calico Princess is relatively new to the chicken breeding world.

The breeding process for the Calico Princess was started by a breeding company in the Czech Republic. The breeder itself does not use the name Calico Princess but refers to the bird with a less exotic name: Dominant Red Brindle D459.

Close-up of a Calico Princess hen
Credits: @home_sweet_home_tennessee (IG)

So, the name 'Calico' does not find its origin in its creator. It's a marketed retail name referring to the variety of colors on the chicken. The name 'Calico Princess' is a trademark registered by Hoover's Hatchery in September 2021.

Color-Sexing Breed

The Calico Princess is a color-sexing breed, so its sex can be determined a day after hatching by inspecting the color of the chick's down. Male Calico Princess chickens are white, and females are reddish brown, so determining the sex of day-old chicks is quite easy. It's a widely used chicken-sexing method in the poultry industry and by hatcheries.

The mother of a Calico Princess chick is a white Sussex that carries the Silver S-gene. By cross-breeding an S-gene female with an s-gene male, the male offspring acquires the dominant allele of the mother's S-gene and is white. The female offspring receives the recessive allele from the father's s-gene and is brown.

red brindle calico princess breeding diagram from sussex mother and rhode island red father

Sex-linked chickens are always hybrid birds: cross breeds of heritage or purebred chicken breeds. The color-sexing gene makes it easy to determine the sex of a day-old hatchling, which is interesting for hatcheries.

Egg Production

A Carlito Princess was bred to be a good layer, so it could be exported to Europe, Asia, and North America to produce eggs on self-sufficient farms. They lay over 300 eggs annually. The eggs of a Carlito Princess are large-sized, weighing around 2.1oz (62gr), and are brown in color.

The breed is very hardy in both warm and cold temperatures and keeps on laying during winter. However, egg production may slow down a bit. The Carlito Princess hens can go broody, which makes them excellent mothers. But, if you're not planning on hatching eggs, it's something to keep in mind, as egg production temporarily stops during broodiness.

Personality

Calico Princess chickens are docile and calm birds that are low in maintenance. They don't need much extra care, only food, water, and shelter. They are very beginner-friendly and an excellent choice for families with small children.

Since they are larger birds, they need more space than the bare minimum, or you can let them free-range if that's possible. Check out the minimum space requirements with the help of our Coop Size Calculator.

They love to forage all day, looking for bugs in the dirt but are also excellent companions when you're outside doing backyard chores. Calico Princesses love to be around humans and enjoy all kinds of attention.

Calico Princesses are hardy birds and can thrive in any climate. They stand both cold and heat well, although extra care during extreme weather conditions is necessary. But overall, they can be kept in both Medditerarian climates and cold Northern environments.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5O0zg1niJ4&ab_channel=TheOldSwede%27sFarm

Summary

If you're looking for a docile bird that's easy to maintain and provides many eggs, the Calico Princess is a good choice! On top of that, you can enjoy their beautiful tricolored plumage.

They're excellent egg layers, calm, good mothers, and easy to take care of. A Calico Princess can be kept in warm or cold climates; a hardy bird stands in both hot and colder temperatures.

To learn more about chicken breeds, check out our 'Chicken Breeds Page' to see every specific breed we address. Or go to our listicle breed summary on 'The Classroom', or, if you're unsure where to start, take a look at our 'Chicken Breeds: Ultimate Beginners Guide'.

Related Questions

What color eggs do Calico Princess chickens lay?

Calico Princess hens lay large-sized eggs that are brown-colored.

Are Calico Princess chickens good egg layers?

Yes. Calico Princess chickens are excellent egg layers and lay over 300 eggs annually.

What age do Calico Princess chickens lay eggs?

Calico Princess hens start laying around 20-22 weeks of age. Some are a bit sooner, around 19 weeks, and some start laying later. More than 90% of all Calico Princess hens are laying when they're 29 weeks old.

Credits Featured Image: @home_sweet_home_tennessee (IG)

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Chicken Fans Editorial Team

The editorial team consists of 3rd generation chicken owners Kat, journalist, editor-in-chief, and Nick, working with illustrators and specialists in the field.

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