Marsh Daisy Chickens

Breed Rating (5 reviews)



John Wright and Charles Moore of Lancashire created the Marsh Daisy from a mixture of breeds between 1880 and 1913. The breed consists of blood from Old English Game bantam, cinnamon Malay hens, black Hamburgh/White Leghorn cross hens, Pit Game Cock and Sicillian Buttercups. The Marsh Daisy copes admirably with swampy, marshy land and that is where the name comes from as Charles Moore supposedly first saw one on marshy ground at John Wright’s home. The breed was almost lost into extinction but a flock was discovered in Somerset in the 1970s where it was thriving. However, it is still a very rare breed today. It is a small bird for a heavy breed and is seen in several colour varieties, all having a large rose comb, white earlobes, willow green legs and horn coloured toenails. The tail is held at 45' and the breast is nicely rounded. They are very similar in build to the game birds. The plumage of the male is gold turning to red then black towards the tail, which has black sickles. The female is wheaten with neck hackles which are chestnut edged with black. The eyes are red and the rose comb is bright red. They make excellent table birds with well-flavoured flesh. There is no bantam version.


The Marsh Daisy is a hardy bird, which is well suited to free ranging, as it is an excellent forager. They are long-lived birds and are good layers of tinted eggs. They also make excellent broodies. They are upright, active birds that are very well suited to swampy and marshy ground. Due to interbreeding over the years when the breed almost disappeared, the males often have heart problems and some never reach more than 3 years of age. Males weigh around 6-7 lbs while the females are 5-6 lbs.


Brown, wheaten and buff. There were also black and white varieties but these have more or less disappeared over the years and may now be extinct. Wheaten is the most commonly seen variety today.



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Latest Reviews For Marsh Daisys (5 of 5)

  • 5 Star: 4 (4)
  • 4 Star: 1 (1)
  • 3 Star: 0 (0)
  • 2 Star: 0 (0)
  • 1 Star: 0 (0)
Average Rating:

           (Based on 5 reviews)

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           Good egg layer, friendly, beautiful but

- Rhys, 03 September 2010

They are not a tame bird. They love to be up high. I have had my 2 brown hens since June but I love them :) They lay good eggs. They love treats and will let me hold them at night. They are not violent but are incredibly strong so not good for children. They are brilliant with my other hens and are hardy. I would recommend these to anyone who wants a good layer who is confident and hardy and beautiful. Mine are a show line so they are stunning.

           Brilliant Birds

- Ollie, 11 August 2010

We bought some Marsh Daisies earlier this summer. They aren't show standard so we're testing the blood line. Hopefully we'll get better offspring. To begin with they were aloof and very flighty but they have got a bit more used to us now. They still won't come within 2 feet of us but are much better than they were. They are real beauties at show standard so I've learned (the hard way) not to be so hasty. They are very hardy in general but one of mine caught what we think was Infectious Coryza (similar to a cold) She recovered in the end and started laying again! Although I haven't had many eggs from them they are generally very good layers. Their eggs are pure white. I can't comment on garden friendliness as they are kept in a pen well away from the garden in the orchard. Over all They are brilliant birds and I strongly recommend this rare breed. Happy Chicken Hunting!

           Very pretty but shy bird

- Bee, 03 January 2010

Marsh Daisies are beautiful, graceful chickens, that are well suited to free range conditions. The females especially look very elegant with their slender and willowy looks! They are good layers of tinted eggs and excellent foragers. They are a little shy and flighty, but quiet and gentle birds! Marsh Daisies are listed as endangered on the Rare Breed Survival Trust list, so if you would like to help keep this breed going, go for it. They are well worth it!


- An Omleteer, 22 December 2009

Nice birds to have around as long as you are not looking for large numbers of eggs. Egg laying is not what it used to be and the eggs are on the small side. Be sure to obtain stock from a breeder who knows what the standard colours are as there is much confusion as to what is a browns & what is a wheaten. Some strains seem to lay better than others. A few whites and buffs have occurred in recent years as recessives.

           Rare and Handsome rather than pretty

- Laurie, 21 November 2009

I love these birds, very handsome with beautiful 'willow' legs. It's nice to keep rare breeds too and encourage the breed. Very flighty, in my experience, but worth it!

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