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... documenting the history of the University of Delaware

Delaware Blue Hen

Becoming Blue Hens

Delaware Blue Hen

University of Delaware Athletics Media Relations

No student could become a Blue Hen without the University’s long time mascot and Delaware’s state bird. The name “Fightin’ Blue Hens” has been used by Delaware teams since 1911, but a much longer tradition stands behind this title. During the Revolutionary War, Delaware raised a regiment of soldiers from all three counties. Some of the soldiers from Kent County kept a group of chickens for cockfighting (then a popular sport) and these Blue Hen chickens developed a reputation for ferocity. The entire Delaware regiment came to be known as the “Blue Hen’s Chickens” for their bravery and fighting prowess. Their contributions to the war remained a part of Delaware history, and their name adopted by the University of Delaware to demonstrate our own strength and tenacity.