Calico Princess Chicken – A Complete Guide
If you’ve never heard of the Calico Princess chicken, don’t worry! It’s a fairly new breed that hasn’t gone 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 300 eggs yearly
- Cross breed of Barred RIR with Colombian Sussex
- Hybrid chicken that’s color-sexed
- Beginner-friendly and low in maintenance
|Over 300 eggs/year
|5 – 7 lbs
|Cold and heat
|Docile, low in maintenance
|Light reddish-orange and white
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 single red 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A Calico 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, that’s almost an egg daily. The eggs of a Calico 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 Calico 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.
Calico Princess chickens significantly decrease egg production after only two to three years. They also seem to have a shorter lifespan than hybrid breeds, and many won’t live longer than four years.
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.
If you don’t have a large flock, meaning less than 8 chickens, and are looking for a decent-sized chicken coop that’s low in maintenance and parasite-free, take a look at our ‘Coops‘ page or check out whether the ‘Omlet Coop is Worth the Money?’.
Calico Princess chickens 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.
If you want to protect your Calico Princess and other chickens from common nighttime predators, maybe installing an automatic chicken coop door is a solution. Many brands are available, including ChickenGuard, Omlet, Vevor, Chickcozy, and Run Chicken. We’ve tested all these doors personally.
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.
There are hundreds of chicken breeds in the world! If you want to get to know them all, rare or common, heritage or hybrid, go to our ‘All Chicken Breeds & Types Worldwide: List of 500+ Breeds‘.
Calico Princesses are excellent egg layers, calm, good mothers, and easy to care for. 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‘.
If you’re interested in the best and most beginner-friendly brown-colored chickens, take a look at ‘Top 15 Brown Chicken Breeds: All Beginner-Friendly‘.
Calico Princess hens lay large-sized eggs that are brown-colored.
Yes. Calico Princess chickens are excellent egg layers and lay over 300 eggs annually.
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)