Smokey Pearl Chickens: Uncover the Secrets of This Unique Breed!

NameSmokey Pearl
OriginHybrid breed developed by Hoover’s Hatchery in the early 2000s
ColorSmokey gray with black barring or ghost barring
Egg ColorBrown
Egg SizeLarge
Egg Production200-280 eggs per year
TemperamentCalm and docile
HardinessHardy and easy to care for
MaturityHens start laying at 5-6 months of age
Weight4-6 lbs
Lifespan6-8 years
DietStandard chicken feed
HousingCoop with a run
OtherGood for beginners
Eggs280 eggs per year
Egg ColorBrown
Egg SizeLarge
Weight4 – 6 lbs
HardinessCold and warm
TemperamentCalm, docile
ColorBarred grey
TemperamentCalm, Docile
Weight4-6 lbs.
Eggs per Year280
Egg SizeLarge
Egg ColorBrown
Cold HardyYes
Heat HardyYes

The Smokey Pearl Chicken, a unique bird with a lovely greyish color, is an increasingly popular addition to backyard flocks.

This hybrid bird, often described as having ghost barring, is not just a beautiful sight but also a calmer brown egg layer, making it a perfect choice for those looking for friendly birds that are still good layers.

This guide is essential for prospective owners and enthusiasts alike because it offers in-depth information about the Smokey Pearl Chicken breed.

From their physical characteristics to their egg-laying capabilities, this guide covers all you need to know about these beautiful birds.

Whether you’re considering adding Smokey Pearl Chickens to your flock or simply intrigued by this unique breed, this article will provide you with valuable insights.

Key Takeaways

  • Unraveling the Mystery: Smokey Pearl Chickens are a unique hybrid breed with a distinctive appearance and personality that sets them apart from other chicken breeds.

  • Beauty in Feathers: With their unique ‘Ghost Barring’ color pattern, Smokey Pearl Chickens are a sight to behold, adding a touch of beauty to any backyard flock.

  • Egg-cellent Layers: Despite their shorter lifespan, Smokey Pearl Chickens are remarkable egg layers, even during winter, making them a valuable addition to any flock.

  • A Special Breed: The Smokey Pearl Onyx Chicken, a unique crossbreed, offers a fascinating variation to the original Smokey Pearl Chicken, adding diversity to your flock.

  • Embracing the Smokey Pearl Lifestyle: From understanding their unique characteristics to providing the right care and environment, raising Smokey Pearl Chickens can be a rewarding experience for any chicken enthusiast.

Understanding the Smokey Pearl Chicken Breed

The Smokey Pearl Chicken is a unique breed known for its lovely greyish color, often described as ghost barring. These birds are also recognized for their calm nature and efficient egg-laying capabilities.

The breed’s origins can be traced back to Hoover’s Hatchery, a renowned hatchery known for producing high-quality breeds.

The Smokey Pearl Chicken is a result of specific breeding practices that combine the traits of several other breeds, contributing to its unique characteristics.

The Smokey Pearl Chicken is a hybrid bird. This means it’s a product of crossing different breeds to create a new breed with desirable traits.

Understanding the hybrid nature of the Smokey Pearl Chicken is crucial. This knowledge helps in setting realistic expectations regarding the bird’s behavior, egg-laying capabilities, and overall care requirements.

It also assists in appreciating the breed’s unique qualities that make it stand out from pure breeds.

Table: Comparing Smokey Pearl Chickens with Similar Breeds

BreedEgg ProductionMature WeightPersonality
Smokey Pearl280 large brown eggs per yearHens tipping at a calm mature weight of 5-6 poundsFriendly, calm
Barred Plymouth Rock200-280 brown eggs per yearHens tipping at a calm mature weight of 6-7 poundsFriendly, docile
Buff Orpington200-280 brown eggs per yearHens tipping at a calm mature weight of 8-9 poundsFriendly, gentle

Appearance of Smokey Pearl Chickens

The Smokey Pearl Chicken is a beautifully colored bird, with a distinctive greyish hue that sets it apart from other breeds.

This color, similar to that of the California Grey, is a result of a unique pattern known as ‘Ghost Barring’.

The ‘Ghost Barring’ pattern is a fascinating feature of the Smokey Pearl Chicken breed. This pattern gives the bird’s feathers a smokey, grey hue, hence the name ‘Smokey Pearl’.

The barring is not as pronounced as in some other breeds, leading to the term ‘Ghost Barring’.

Differentiating between hens and roosters in the Smokey Pearl Chicken breed is quite straightforward.

The hens are usually lighter in color, tipping the scales at a calmer mature weight. The roosters, on the other hand, are darker and larger, with roosters weighing significantly more than the hens.

Understanding the appearance of Smokey Pearl Chickens is crucial for proper identification and care.

Recognizing the unique color patterns and physical characteristics can help in differentiating this breed from others.

Moreover, it can also assist in identifying any abnormal behavior or health issues at an early stage.

Key Features of the Smokey Pearl Chicken’s Appearance:

  • Beautifully colored feathers with a unique ‘Ghost Barring’ pattern

  • Hens are lighter in color and weigh less than roosters

  • Roosters are darker and larger in size

  • Both hens and roosters have yellow beaks

  • The breed is known for its hardy nature, making it suitable for various climates and environments

  • Despite being a hybrid bird, the Smokey Pearl Chicken breed has a consistent appearance across the flock, making them easy to identify.

Personality and Temperament

Smokey Pearl Chicken - Personality and Temperament

The Smokey Pearl Chicken breed is known for its friendly and calm temperament, similar to the Hampbar Chicken.

These birds are not just beautiful but also quite sociable, making them a great addition to any backyard flock.

Their calm nature makes them compatible with other breeds, allowing for a harmonious coexistence in a mixed flock.

This trait also makes them suitable for different types of owners, from beginners looking for low maintenance birds to seasoned poultry farmers seeking to diversify their flock.

Understanding the personality and temperament of the Smokey Pearl Chickens is crucial for creating a comfortable and stress-free environment for these birds.

Their calm nature requires a peaceful environment, and any form of stress or discomfort can affect their egg-laying capabilities.

Unique Personality Traits and Behaviors of Smokey Pearl Chickens:

  • Friendly and sociable: Smokey Pearl Chickens are known to establish a good rapport with their owners and fellow flock members.

  • Calm and peaceful: Unlike some other breeds, Smokey Pearl Chickens are quite peaceful, making them an excellent choice for a mixed flock.

  • Low maintenance: These birds are hardy and can adapt to various climates and environments, making them a low maintenance breed.

  • Good layers: Despite their calm nature, Smokey Pearl Chickens are efficient egg layers, producing large brown eggs consistently.

  • Adaptable: These birds can thrive in different environments, from urban backyards to spacious farms.

  • Hardy: Smokey Pearl Chickens are known for their resilience and ability to withstand varying weather conditions.

Life Expectancy of Smokey Pearl Chickens

The average lifespan of Smokey Pearl chickens is between 4 and 5 years. However, some chickens have been known to live for up to 8 years.

There are a few factors that can affect the lifespan of a Smokey Pearl chicken, including:

  • Diet: A healthy diet that is high in protein and low in fat can help to keep chickens healthy and prolong their lifespan.

  • Environment: A clean, dry, and well-ventilated coop can help to prevent disease and keep chickens healthy.

  • Health care: Regular health checks and vaccinations can help to prevent diseases and keep chickens healthy.

  • Genetics: Some breeds of chickens are naturally more prone to certain diseases or conditions, which can shorten their lifespan.

Smokey Pearl chickens are a hybrid breed, which means that they are a cross between two different breeds of chickens. Hybrid breeds are often bred for specific traits, such as egg production or meat production. However, hybrid breeds can also have a shorter lifespan than purebred chickens.

It is important to note that the lifespan of any individual chicken can vary depending on a number of factors. However, by providing Smokey Pearl chickens with a healthy diet, a clean and comfortable coop, and regular health care, you can help to ensure that they live a long and healthy life.

Here are some additional tips for caring for Smokey Pearl chickens:

  • Provide them with a balanced diet that includes a variety of grains, vegetables, and fruits.

  • Keep their coop clean and dry, and provide them with plenty of fresh water.

  • Rotate their bedding regularly to prevent the build-up of ammonia, which can be harmful to their health.

  • Vaccinate them against common diseases.

  • Monitor their health regularly for signs of illness.

Table: Comparing the Average Lifespan of Smokey Pearl Chickens and Similar Breeds

BreedAverage Lifespan
Smokey Pearl4-5 years
Barred Plymouth Rock6-8 years
Buff Orpington8-10 years
Rhode Island Red5-8 years
Leghorn5-7 years

Egg Production

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Yes, Smokey Pearl Chickens are good layers. They are known for their consistent egg production, making them a valuable addition to any backyard flock.

Smokey Pearl Chickens lay large brown eggs, which is a trait highly appreciated by owners and poultry enthusiasts alike.

Smokey Pearl Chickens typically start laying eggs at around 5 to 6 months of age, which is relatively standard for most chicken breeds.

One of the standout traits of Smokey Pearl Chickens is their ability to lay eggs during winter.

Unlike some breeds that reduce or stop egg production during colder months, Smokey Pearl Chickens continue to lay eggs, making them great year-round egg layers.

When compared to breeds like the Golden Comet Chicken, Smokey Pearl Chickens hold their own in terms of egg production.

While the Golden Comet Chicken is known for its high egg production, Smokey Pearl Chickens are not far behind, laying approximately 280 large brown eggs per year.

The egg production rates of Smokey Pearl Chickens significantly impact their value in a backyard flock.

Their ability to lay eggs consistently, coupled with their calm temperament, makes them a preferred breed for many owners.

Key Facts about Smokey Pearl Chicken’s Egg Production:

  • Smokey Pearl Chickens are efficient layers, known for their consistent egg production.

  • They lay large brown eggs.

  • Smokey Pearl Chickens typically start laying eggs at around 5 to 6 months of age.

  • They are capable of laying eggs during winter, making them great year-round egg layers.

  • Smokey Pearl Chickens lay approximately 280 large brown eggs per year.

  • Their consistent egg production significantly enhances their value in a backyard flock.

Smokey Pearl Onyx Chicken: A Unique Crossbreed

The Smokey Pearl Onyx Chicken is a unique crossbreed that shares many characteristics with the original Smokey Pearl Chicken.

This breed retains the friendly and calm nature of the Smokey Pearl Chicken but features a slightly different color pattern, showcasing a darker, “onyx” hue.

The Onyx Pearl Chicken, another interesting breed, is known for its dark-colored eggs, a trait that sets it apart from the Smokey Pearl and Smokey Pearl Onyx Chickens.

The unique egg color of the Onyx Pearl Chicken adds an element of novelty to any egg collection.

Understanding the differences between these breeds is crucial when choosing the right chicken for your needs.

While all three breeds share a similar temperament, the differences in their appearance and egg color can influence your choice depending on your preferences and requirements.

Table: Comparing Smokey Pearl Chickens, Smokey Pearl Onyx Chickens, and Onyx Pearl Chickens

BreedAppearanceEgg Color
Smokey Pearl ChickenLovely greyish color with ghost barringLarge brown eggs
Smokey Pearl Onyx ChickenDarker “onyx” hueLarge brown eggs
Onyx Pearl ChickenSimilar to Smokey Pearl Onyx, but with slight variationsDark-colored eggs

Note: The table provides a general comparison. Specific characteristics may vary depending on breeding practices and environmental factors.

Raising Smokey Pearl Chicks

Smokey Pearl chicks can be purchased from reputable breeders or hatcheries. Hoover’s Hatchery, known for its high-quality breeds, is one of the places where you can find Smokey Pearl chicks.

Smokey Pearl Chickens are known for their adaptability to different climates. Whether you live in a region with a hot climate or in an area that experiences cold winters, these hardy birds can thrive.

Essential care tips for Smokey Pearl chicks include providing a balanced diet, ensuring access to clean water, and maintaining a clean and warm brooder. Regular health check-ups are also crucial to monitor their growth and detect any potential health issues early.

As Smokey Pearl chicks grow, you can expect them to start showing their unique color patterns. They will also start displaying their calm and friendly temperament as they mature.

To ensure a healthy and productive life for your Smokey Pearl chicks, it’s crucial to provide a stress-free environment, regular health care, and protection from predators.

A well-ventilated coop with enough space for them to roam is also essential.

Step-by-step Instructions: Caring for Smokey Pearl Chicks

Day 1-7:

  • Keep the chicks in a warm brooder with a heat lamp. The temperature in the brooder should be 95-99 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Provide chick starter feed and clean water.
  • Keep the brooder clean and dry.
  • Monitor the chicks’ health and weight.

Week 2-4:

  • Gradually reduce the heat in the brooder by 5 degrees Fahrenheit each week.
  • Continue to provide chick starter feed and clean water.
  • Start introducing the chicks to fresh greens and vegetables.
  • Provide the chicks with a dust bath to help them stay clean and healthy.

Month 2-3:

  • Introduce the chicks to the outdoors under supervision.
  • Start transitioning the chicks from starter feed to grower feed.
  • Continue to provide fresh greens and vegetables.
  • Make sure the chicks have a safe place to hide from predators.

Month 4-5:

  • Allow the chicks to spend more time outside.
  • They should be fully on grower feed at this point.
  • Continue to provide fresh greens and vegetables.
  • Monitor the chicks’ health and egg production regularly.

Month 6 onwards:

  • Transition the now mature chickens to layer feed.
  • Monitor their health and egg production regularly.
  • Collect their eggs daily.

Additional Information:

  • Smokey Pearl chicks are a hardy breed, but they are still susceptible to some common chicken diseases. It is important to keep them up-to-date on their vaccinations and to monitor their health regularly.

  • Smokey Pearl chickens are relatively low-maintenance, but they do require some basic care. By following these instructions, you can help ensure that your chicks grow up healthy and happy.

Building a Coop for Smokey Pearl Chickens

Building a Coop for Smokey Pearl Chickens

The right coop for Smokey Pearl Chickens should provide enough space for them to roam, roost, and nest comfortably.

As a general guideline, each chicken should have at least 2-3 square feet of space inside the coop and 8-10 square feet in the run.

The coop should be well-ventilated to keep the birds comfortable in different weather conditions. However, it should also provide protection from predators and harsh weather.

Nesting boxes are essential for egg-laying breeds like the Smokey Pearl Chicken. Typically, one nesting box for every 3-4 hens is sufficient.

The right coop can significantly enhance the health and productivity of your Smokey Pearl Chickens.

A comfortable and secure environment reduces stress, which can positively impact egg production and the overall wellbeing of the birds.

Table: Recommended Dimensions and Features for a Smokey Pearl Chicken Coop

Space per Chicken2-3 square feet inside the coop, 8-10 square feet in the run
VentilationAdequate ventilation while protecting from drafts
Nesting BoxesOne box for every 3-4 hens
Predator ProtectionSecure locks and predator-proof materials
Roosting BarsEnough for each chicken to roost comfortably

Step-by-step Instructions: Building a Coop for Smokey Pearl Chickens

Plan the Coop:

  • Determine the size based on the number of chickens and the available space. A good rule of thumb is to allow 2-3 square feet of space per chicken.

  • Plan for ventilation, nesting boxes, and roosting bars. The coop should have at least one window for ventilation, and the nesting boxes should be big enough for the chickens to lay their eggs comfortably. The roosting bars should be placed high enough off the ground so that the chickens can feel safe and secure.

Prepare the Site:

  • Choose a well-drained area that’s safe from predators. The coop should be located in an area that gets plenty of sunlight, but not too much direct sunlight.

  • Clear and level the site. The ground should be free of rocks, roots, and other debris that could injure the chickens.

Build the Frame:

  • Using durable materials, build the frame as per your plan. The frame should be sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the chickens and the elements.

  • If you are using wood, make sure to treat it with a weather-resistant sealant.

Install Walls and Roof:

  • Install the walls, ensuring to leave space for ventilation. The roof should be waterproof to protect from rain and snow.

  • You can use a variety of materials for the walls and roof, such as wood, metal, or plastic.

Install Doors and Windows:

  • Install a human-sized door for easy access and smaller doors for the chickens. Windows can provide light and additional ventilation.

  • The doors and windows should be secure to prevent predators from entering the coop.

Set Up Inside:

  • Install roosting bars and nesting boxes. Ensure there’s enough space for all your chickens.

  • The roosting bars should be placed high enough off the ground so that the chickens can feel safe and secure.

  • The nesting boxes should be big enough for the chickens to lay their eggs comfortably.

Create the Run:

Final Touches:

  • Paint or stain the coop for added protection and aesthetics.

  • Install locks on all doors to prevent predators from entering.

Additional Information:

  • When choosing materials for the coop, it is important to consider the climate in your area. If you live in a cold climate, you will need to use materials that will insulate the coop and keep the chickens warm.

  • If you live in an area with a lot of rain or snow, you will need to use materials that are waterproof.

  • It is also important to consider the size of your chickens when choosing materials. If you have large chickens, you will need to use materials that are strong enough to support their weight.

Remember, these instructions are a basic guide. You can customize your coop based on your specific needs and preferences. For more detailed instructions and ideas, check out our DIY chicken coop guide.


What makes Smokey Pearl Chickens unique?

Smokey Pearl Chickens are known for their distinctive ‘Ghost Barring’ color pattern, which is often described as an autosomal trait.

These beautiful birds tend to stand out in a flock, making them perfect for those looking for unique birds to add to their backyard.

Their calm mature weight and friendly nature make them a great addition to any flock.

How many eggs do Smokey Pearl Hens lay per year?

Most Smokey Pearl hens are excellent egg layers, producing up to 280 large-sized eggs per year.

This egg layer production makes them a great choice for those who are looking for a consistent supply of fresh eggs.

Good layers, these would be a great choice for anyone looking to increase their egg supply.

What is the mature weight of Smokey Pearl Chickens?

The mature weight of Smokey Pearls can vary, but hens tipping the scales at around 4 pounds are common.

Despite their relatively small size, they are hardy and great year-round egg layers.

They are also heat hardy, making them suitable for various climates.

Are Smokey Pearl Chickens friendly birds?

Yes, Smokey Pearls are known to be friendly birds. They tend to be calmer brown egg layers, making them a great choice for families with children or for those new to raising chickens.

Most Smokey Pearl chickens are described as friendly birds that tend to get along well with other members of the flock.

What kind of care do Smokey Pearls require?

Smokey Pearls require the same basic care as other chickens, including a safe and comfortable coop, a balanced diet, and regular health checks. They enjoy a diet that includes fresh fruits.

With good care, these beautiful birds tend to thrive, making them a great choice for both novice and experienced chicken keepers.

Final Thoughts

Smokey Pearl chickens are a relatively new breed, but they have quickly become popular among backyard chicken keepers.

They are known for their friendly temperament, low maintenance, and efficient egg production. Smokey Pearls are also a hardy breed, making them suitable for a variety of climates.

If you are looking for a low-maintenance chicken that is friendly and produces a good number of eggs, the Smokey Pearl is a great breed to consider.

They are also a good choice for families with children, as they are not aggressive and are relatively easy to care for.

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Joe Simpson

JOE SIMPSON - Chicken Care Nerd

Hello, I'm Joe Simpson. You might know me as the guy behind I'm just someone who loves chickens, has learned a thing or two about their care, and enjoys sharing that knowledge with humor and heart. Have questions or thoughts? Feel free to reach out via the 'Contact Us' page. We're all here to learn and laugh together!