N is for Nondescript

There are Naked Necks, Nankins, Narragansett Turkeys and New Hampshires, and yet the maker of these cards went with Nondescript! Sometimes called Utility birds, back in the early 1900s, these chickens of mixed heritage were commonly seen on small farms. Not superlative layers, like  the purebred Leghorns, but they were inexpensive to procure and thrifty to raise.

As you can see by this image, they could also be quite interesting and beautiful.



nondescript poem

Lately there’s been an upswing in small hatcheries offering mixed breed hens. These chickens often have hybrid vigor. Do you have any? What’s your experience with a nondescript hen?


  1. I guess I have one hen that is nondescript. I had been looking for a white Leghorn hen locally about 2 years ago and having no luck I resorted to accepting a whitish cross-bread of questionable age and parentage from a young friend. Gussy turned out to be a valuable addition to my flock. Her eggs are large and a pinkish colour and although few and far between now, they came fast and furiously for over a year. Gussy is one of those hens that is wise and a natural leader. She adapted into the existing flock of 4 different breeds of hens like she had always been there and is cautious but friendly with people. She is not the beautiful glossy white colour of a leghorn but kind of looks slightly dirty. She is a perfect example of `you can`t always judge a book by it`s cover.`