What exactly is a Cinnamon Queen?
Is it a heritage chicken breed?
Their quirky name alone is enough to pique many people’s interests.
As a relatively new type of chicken on the market, there is plenty to appreciate and learn about this bird.
Cinnamon Queen chickens are a hybrid rather than a breed of chicken. They are sold under a trademarked name, and they were developed specifically for their egg-laying capability, fast growth, and brown eggshell color.
If you’re intrigued and need more information, this post will cover everything you need to know about Cinnamon Queens to help you decide if they are a good fit to join your flock.
How Are Cinnamon Queen Chickens Bred?
Cinnamon Queen chickens are produced by crossbreeding Rhode Island Red roosters with Rhode Island White hens. This hybrid is referred to as a red sex link because the chicks’ color is associated with their sex.
In this case, the male chicks are white, and the female chicks are a reddish-brown color.
The term “sex-linked” here is distinguished from autosex breeds, in which the day-old chicks have a naturally occurring color distinction associated with their sex.
By contrast, the red sex link for Cinnamon Queens is simply due to a particular hybridization.
The Cinnamon Queens can only be sexed after hatching for the first generation of the Rhode Island Red rooster/Rhode Island White hen offspring.
When the Cinnamon Queens are bred for a second generation, their offspring will have different variations of feather colors.
The Cinnamon Queen hybrid chicken was explicitly bred to meet the needs of commercial flock owners.
They are known to be fantastic egg layers, are fast-growing, and produce a deep brown eggshell color.
What Do Cinnamon Queen Chickens Look Like?
The Cinnamon Queen hens vary in color. They typically have reddish-brown feathers and some white feathers, hence the “cinnamon” in their name. The roosters vary from having all white feathers to different shades of red feathers on their shoulders.
As I mentioned in the previous section, the cockerel chicks are entirely white, and the hens are reddish-brown at one day old.
As they age, the males sometimes grow light to dark red feathers, and the females will also grow into their mature coloration of browns and whites.
The chicks will get their feathers and mature faster than most breeds.
The mature hens weigh 6 – 7 pounds, and roosters average 8 – 9 pounds.
They are relatively heavy and compact.
The Cinnamon Queen chicken has yellow legs, a single red comb, and a red earlobe and waddle.
Because Cinnamon Queen is a hybrid, there are no standards by the American Poultry Association, and there is no class to show Cinnamon Queen.
Do Cinnamon Queens have a friendly temperament?
Cinnamon Queen chickens are known to be friendly and docile birds by nature. Since they were initially developed for commercial purposes, they do well in chicken coops and other confined areas.
Cinnamon Queen chickens do not tend to be aggressive or skittish.
They will be happy and quite active birds if given more free-range space.
Cinnamon Queens make easy backyard birds and will get along well with others in a mixed flock.
Many people with Cinnamon Queens appreciate their docile nature and claim they are the friendliest chickens they’ve had.
Are Cinnamon Queen Chickens Good Layers?
Cinnamon Queen chickens are excellent layers. They produce 250-300 eggs per year. The eggs are considered large to extra-large and are usually light to medium brown.
Cinnamon Queens are great for commercial flock owners.
This hybrid was designed to be a layer for farm use, and they start laying eggs earlier than most other chicken breeds.
The Cinnamon Queen hen sometimes lays eggs as early as 16 to 18 weeks, compared to the overall average for chickens of 6 months.
Cinnamon Queen hens are also winter layers, so you will enjoy their beautiful eggs all year round.
They tend to produce fewer eggs during the winter season but will provide a steady supply nonetheless.
However, their egg production will decrease over time.
Short-lived hybrid birds are intended for high production over a short period.
The Cinnamon Queens will have their best production and be reliable layers for about their first three years.
When a chicken is past her laying prime, it will start to produce soft-shelled eggs, eggs without a shell, and lower quantities of eggs.
The large eggs of the Cinnamon Queens are a deep, brown color.
The eggs will sometimes have dark speckles on them.
This lovely coloration is an asset for those interested in expanding their egg color spectrum.
Related: What chickens lay speckled eggs?
Are Cinnamon Queen Chickens Broody?
Cinnamon Queen chickens are not particularly broody. However, they will occasionally get broody and make good mothers. Although it is relatively uncommon in this chicken, broodiness is most likely in Cinnamon Queen chickens during their 2nd or 3rd year of life.
In their first year, they will be primarily occupied with egg production.
Birds like the Cinnamon Queen chicken, which is bred mainly for its good egg-laying traits, generally have the “broody instinct” bred out of them, which is why this is less common.
Nonetheless, it does happen, and Cinnamon Queen chickens have good fertility and hatch rates when they do set.
Breeders categorize their broodiness as “variable.”
Any time a chicken like this goes broody, it is good to monitor them carefully if you want them to successfully set their eggs, and if there are any signs of trouble, choose a different broody bird to set.
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Can Cinnamon Queen Chickens Be Used As Meat Birds?
In addition to being wonderful egg layers, some people also raise Cinnamon Queens for meat. The Cinnamon Queen chickens are relatively large. The hens are 6 – 7 lbs, and the roosters are 8 – 9 lbs.
Cinnamon Queen chickens are also fast to mature.
These qualities make them worthwhile for producing delicious meat, and some people use them as dual-purpose birds.
Do Cinnamon Queens Have Any Health Problems?
The Cinnamon Queen chicken is not known to be susceptible to any specific diseases. However, it will tend to have a short lifespan and potentially suffer from reproductive problems as a hybrid.
The average hybrid chicken is only expected to live for 4 – 6 years, compared to 8 years for heritage breeds.
This is because they have been bred specifically for commercial use.
In addition, chickens explicitly crossbred to be a high-demand layer are also more likely to have reproductive problems.
Some of the most common reproductive issues in hybrid hens include:
- Salpingitis (inflammation of the oviduct)
- Impacted oviduct (when an egg is not able to pass through the oviduct)
- Reproductive tract cancer
However, Cinnamon Queens are reported by many backyard flock owners to be relatively hardy birds.
Their rooster parent, the Rhode Island Red, is a very hardy breed and a good forager.
Getting your Cinnamon Queen chickens vaccinated before they arrive at your farm is also a good measure to avoid health problems and protect your current flock.
Special Care Requirements
Because the Cinnamon Queen chicken produces a large volume of exceptionally large eggs, they also require a frequent supply of fresh feed to keep them well-nourished. For hybrid production chickens, it is vital to maintain a proper diet to avoid a deficiency of calcium and other nutrients.
Keeping them well-nourished will enable your Cinnamon Queen chickens to produce their maximum number of eggs (about 300 per year).
Choose a balanced feed containing approximately 16% protein (or more) and extra calcium (2.5 – 3.5%).
The Poultry Extension Foundation recommends providing feed layers with 15 – 18% protein content starting from 20 weeks of age.
However, since Cinnamon Queen chickens start laying very early, start giving them layer feed from 16 weeks of age or from the time they lay their first egg.
If your Cinnamon Queen chicken is receiving a layer feed but is still producing eggs with a thin or weak shell, oyster shell supplementation will help alleviate this problem.
Is the Cinnamon Queen Chicken Heat and Cold Hardy?
The Cinnamon Queen Chicken is considered to have both heat and cold hardiness, making it suitable for a wide range of environments. Both of the Cinnamon Queen chicken parents are cold-hardy birds bred to tolerate harsh winters in the northeastern United States.
Their small combs and relatively large, compact body mass allow Cinnamon Queens to thrive in colder climates.
Cinnamon Queens will even continue to lay eggs during the winter, a great advantage for cold-hardy chickens.
In addition, because its rooster parent, the Rhode Island Red, is heat-tolerant, the Cinnamon Queen Chicken is adapted to tolerate warm weather.
Where Do I Get a Cinnamon Queen Chicken?
The best way to acquire Cinnamon Queen chickens is to buy young chicks from a reputable source. The name “Cinnamon Queen” is trademarked by Cackle Hatchery, but this particular hybrid is also available for purchase from other hatcheries such as The Chick Hatchery and Purely Poultry.
The cost of a Cinamon Queen from a large hatchery will vary depending on the sex and quantity but will range from about $2-4 for a baby chick, not including any shipping costs required.
Some hatcheries are advertising Cinnamon Queens, a hybrid of Rhode Island Red Roosters and Silver Laced Wyandotte hens.
While this hybrid looks similar to the hybrid described in this post, they are not quite the same.
Remember to always look at who the parents of the hybrid are before purchasing to make sure you know what traits they will have.
However, if the traits you desire are a red sex link and a high egg producer, you don’t necessarily need to worry about the exact parentage of the hybrid.
Overall, the Rhode Island Red/Silver Laced Wyandotte hens will look similar and meet the same basic criteria as the true Cinnamon Queens.
In addition, if you know someone who already has Cinnamon Queen chickens, these birds cannot be bred to produce more Cinnamon Queens.
The traits of the offspring of two crossbred Cinnamon Queens will vary.
They will no longer be “true” Cinnamon Queen hybrids.
Another option besides ordering online from the larger hatcheries is to find a local breeder.
Look on social media and other local listings pages for breeders.
Many people prefer to foster a relationship with local producers to support local businesses and the added advantage of seeing precisely what conditions the birds were produced in.
Some farm supply stores (larger chains and local stores) will also supply hybrids such as the Cinnamon Queen chicken.
Are Cinnamon Queen Chickens the Same As ISA Brown Chickens?
Although these two types of chickens are often confused or used interchangeably, these are two very distinctive birds with similar parentage. While the Cinnamon Queen Chicken is a hybrid of Rhode Island Red roosters and Rhode Island White hens, the ISA Brown is a crossbreed whose lineage is not precisely known.
However, the ISA Brown breed is suspected to be heavily influenced by Rhode Island Reds and Rhode Island Whites, and several other chicken breeds.
In a privately-owned lab, it was developed in 1978 by the Institut de Sélection Animale.
The ISA Brown chicken is similar to the Cinnamon Queen in its high egg production, red sex link, and overall appearance.
Due to their similar qualities and feather coloration, it is difficult to visually differentiate between these two birds.
The ISA Brown chicken is slightly smaller than the Cinnamon Queen.
An average mature ISA Brown cock weighs about 6 lbs, and a standard hen weighs about 4.5 lbs.
The ISA Brown also has a slight dip in its back.
ISA Brown chickens lay up to 300-350 light brown eggs per year.
For more information on raising chickens, check out our baby chicken guide.