California Tan Chicken – Everything You Ought To Know!

You may have heard of the California White chicken, a crossbreed between a white Leghorn with a Gray California, but have ever heard of the California Tan chicken?

And no, this isn’t simply a variation of the name, it’s an entirely different hybrid chicken.

So, what makes the California Tan chicken different?

Well, here’s everything you ought to know about the California Tan chicken, what differences they have to a California White, and all their characteristics which make them so special!

What Are California Tan Chickens?

If you’re looking for something different, the California Tan chicken is just that.

Technically the California Tan chicken is not a “breed”, as such. Instead, it’s a hybrid. A cross between two other breeds, is normally done to maximize certain qualities in the resulting offspring.

In the case of California Tan chickens, they are a result of breeding a White Leghorn and a Production Red (Rhode Island Reds).

They get their beautiful whitish-tanned feathers from the White Leghorn, but the egg-laying capabilities from Production Reds, laying around 300, large-sized brown eggs per year.

California Tan Chicken Vs. California White Chicken: What’s The Difference?

White and tan are pretty close in color, so the first reaction to hearing about the California Tan chicken is to assume it’s the same as the California White chicken.

When in fact, the California White chicken is a cross between a White Leghorn hen & California Grey rooster. 

Although California Tan chickens share the same White Leghorn parent, they are crossed with Production Reds instead.

As a result of having Production Reds as parents, California Tans produce tan eggs, instead of white eggs like the California White.

The main physical difference in appearance is that California Tans tend to have red highlights in their feathers, or sometimes black highlights, against their white plumage. Otherwise, they appear very similar to California Whites. 

Characteristics Of California Tan Chickens

So you’re thinking of raising your own California Tan chickens, are you? Well, you’re in for a treat. These amazing creatures are friendly, loving, and produce a high volume of eggs. Even rivaling other famous layer hybrids like ISA Brown & Golden Comet.

California Tan chickens are very much like California Whites, getting their amazing temperament and personalities from the docile Leghorn. Plus, they are cold hardy and do well in hot weather too. Great for any conditions, all year round.

California Tan chickens are considered medium-sized, weighing roughly 4 pounds as a hen and up to 6 pounds as a full-grown rooster.

Again, California Tan chickens are perfect for those that want to maximize their egg production. Although it’s generally not possible to lay two eggs in one day, these chickens’ egg-laying comes as close as you can get.

Plus, unlike California Whites who lay white eggs, California Tan chickens lay Tan eggs!

Does Breeding California Tan Chickens Produce Tan Babies?

Because California Tans are technically a hybrid breed, you can’t continue creating them by breeding them with one another. Meaning, that if you have a pair of California Tan chickens and wish to breed them, they won’t produce a California Tan baby chick.

This is why breeders will keep their parent breeds separate, to keep the quality of hybrids true. 

The only way to achieve this California Tan hybrid is to breed Production Reds and White Leghorns.

Breeding California Tan chickens isn’t common, and you’ll find only a select few hatcheries will provide them, because of the lack of breeders out there.

Final Thoughts

To keep it super simple, you can think of California Tans as California whites who lay tan eggs instead of white. Sure, they can have flares of red or black in their plumage, coming from the Production Reds. But, otherwise, they are virtually the same.

Nonetheless, California Tans and California Whites are technically different chicken hybrids. California Tans are a cross between White Leghorns and Production Reds, whereas California Whites are a cross between White Leghorn and California Greys.

Sharing the same parent, the White Leghorn, they do receive some of the same traits. However, because of the other parent, they also get some unique traits too!

California Tan chickens aren’t the most popular and are generally only bred by selective breeders. But, if you’re lucky enough to own them, then you’re in for a treat!

Leave a Comment