Derbyshire Redcap Chicken, also known as Coral, is a true native English Breed
BREED NAME: DERBYSHIRE REDCAP CHICKEN
BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Derbyshire Redcap Chicken, also known as “Coral”, is a true native English chicken breed. It was developed in the English countryside, in the county of Derbyshire and has been popular and noted in literature since the early 19th century. It’s ancient roots go deep into the English countryside.
The term: Redcap, refers to its crowning and large rose comb that must exceed 3” in length to comply with the breed standard. This bright rose comb is a spikey cluster with a distinct “leader” point off the back of the head.
If the cap is sloppy, too large, too small or not well formed, a Derbyshire Redcap chicken is disqualified from competition. A hen is judged by her cap, too. A decidedly less elaborate comb than the males, as with most breeds, a proper Redcap hen will advertise her breeding with the signature comb.
Wattles and lobes should be bright red as well. Feathering compliments the red of combs, wattles and lobes with rich dark hues of mahogany-red, black and brown. Beaks are horn colored and the tails of hens and roosters are black.
Most body feathers end in a curved black edge for males and females. The Derbyshire Redcap is similar to the Hamburg, but with a decidedly more exaggerated comb structure.
The Facts: Derbyshire Redcap
Size: Standard Male: 7.5 Ibs. / Standard Female: 6 Ibs. / Bantam Male: oz. / Bantam Female: oz.
Comb, Wattles & Earlobes: Red rose comb, wattles and lobes.
Color: Red, brown, black
Place of Origin: Derbyshire, England
Conservation Status: Vulnerable/Critical
Special Qualities: Derbyshire Redcap hens are not broody, but are good layers of large white eggs. There is a bantam variety of the Redcap, though its numbers are few, possibly 100 or less in Great Britain. The bantams have a reputation as hardy and active, and unlike the standard variety, the hens have more brooding instinct.
This is a slow growing breed and of average size, which has resulted in the breed falling from favor. More commercially viable breeds have become more and more preferred in the past century, though the Redcap is still a classic choice for the barnyard as a lovely dual purpose farm chicken. They do very well when free ranged and are hardy.
The complete history of the breed has been lost to time, but the Derbyshire Redcap resembles two extinct breeds in conformation: the Yorkshire Pheasant and Lancashire Moonie.
The Golden Spangled Hamburg, Black-Breasted Red Game, Old English Pheasant Fowl and Dorkings are suspected in the development of the Redcap as well.
Redcaps were accepted into the APA in 1888 and are on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy watchlist.