The Smokey Pearl Chicken: Newcomer’s Guide to this Breed

Even though Smokey Pearl Chickens are really nice and strong, bringing them to new places like farms or backyards can sometimes be tricky. They have special needs and behaviors that can surprise even people who know a lot about raising chickens.

This guide will help you with the process, avoid common mistakes, and make sure your Smokey Pearls have a good home.

Overview of the Smokey Pearl Chicken Breed

  • Breed Category: Hybrid
  • Originator: Hoover’s Hatchery
  • Ancestry: Black Sex-Linked, California Grey, Leghorns
  • Primary Use: For egg-laying
  • Feather Coloration: Ghost Barring, Grey
  • Average Weight of Males: 2.7 kg
  • Average Weight of Females: 1.8 kg
  • Body Structure: Lean
  • Brooding Tendency: High
  • Temperament: Gentle & Calm
  • Care Requirements: Low
  • Comb Variety: Large Single Type
  • Egg Production per Week: 4 to 5 eggs
  • Yearly Egg Output: Around 280 eggs
  • Egg Size & Mass: Large (55 to 60 grams)
  • Egg Hue: Brown
  • Foraging Tendency: High
  • Climate Adaptability: Can withstand both hot and cold weather
  • Recognition by APA: None as of now
  • Beginner-Friendliness: High
  • Hardiness: High
two smokey pearl chickens eating

History Of The Smokey Pearl Chicken Breed

The Smokey Pearl chicken is a new breed introduced in the Hoover’s Hatchery catalog in 2023. It’s not an officially recognized breed by the American Poultry Association, but rather a special hybrid breed created by the hatchery.

The Smokey Pearl’s precise genetic background remains undisclosed, but it is thought to comprise a combination of Black Sex-Links, California Grays and Tans, and White Leghorns.

It’s important to know that the Smokey Pearl is a hybrid breed, meaning if you breed two Smokey Pearls together, their offspring may not have the same characteristics. This is a common trait among hybrid chickens.

Despite this, the Smokey Pearl has its unique advantages. They are calm and laid-back, and it is a good layer of brown eggs. So if you’re looking for a chicken that is easygoing and provides a steady supply of brown eggs, the Smokey Pearl could be a great addition to your flock.

Physical Characteristics

The Smokey Pearl chicken is a medium-sized hybrid breed, with males weighing around 2.7 kg (6 pounds) and females weighing about 1.8 kg (4 pounds). They are not a recognized breed with a defined ancestry but a unique crossbreed.

Their name comes from their grey color, and some individuals may have a pattern called ‘ghost barring.’ This pattern might be due to an Autosomal Red color gene that can also carry the ‘barring gene,’ resulting in a beautifully colored pattern on some but not all chickens.

Smokey Pearls have a single red comb, wattles, and earlobes. They are hardy and excellent egg layers. Their ability to lay many eggs, combined with their low-maintenance care requirements, makes them a great choice for beginners and a wonderful addition to any backyard flock.

Temperament And Personality

Smokey Pearl are friendly birds and has a gentle nature, which makes them a great choice for families with children and people who are new to raising chickens. They get along well with other pets and chickens, creating a peaceful and happy flock.

These chickens are also very curious. They enjoy exploring their surroundings and spend much time scratching and searching for food. They do best when they have space to roam freely in a secure area, as they are quite active.

However, Smokey Pearls can adapt well to living in a coop and run. As long as they have enough space and things to keep them mentally stimulated, they will be content and healthy. They are versatile and easy to care for, making them a great choice for chicken owners.

Egg Production

Smokey Pearl chickens are really good at laying eggs. They were created just for this reason and are not meant for other purposes.

These unique birds lay a lot of eggs, with some of them laying more than 280 eggs every year. Smokey Pearl eggs are large and brown in color. They keep laying eggs even in the cold winter months. However, Smokey Pearls usually don’t want to sit on their eggs and have baby chicks, so they are less likely to do that.

They start laying eggs at a relatively young age, around 5 to 6 months old. The Smokey Pearl eggs are bigger than average, weighing up to 75 grams. This, along with their consistent year-round egg production, makes them a great choice for those who want a high egg yield.

As Smokey Pearls get older or when they lose their feathers and grow new ones, they may not lay as many eggs as before. Also, they usually don’t live as long as other chickens.

But because they are strong, can handle different kinds of weather, and don’t need too much care, these special birds are a great choice for people who want to raise chickens mainly for eggs.

two smokey pearl chickens

Smokey Pearl Chicken Care and Raising Tips

Health and Lifespan

Smokey Pearl chickens are generally healthy hybrid breeds and do not have any major health concerns associated with them. However, it’s important to note that their lifespans are shorter, typically around 4 to 5 years, compared to heritage breeds that can live longer.


I advise giving these special birds a high-protein starter feed (around 20%), then switching to a grower feed containing 16-18% protein. When fully grown, a diet with 16% protein is enough, but it can be increased to 18% when molting.

A balanced diet, including chicken feed supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables, is beneficial. Given their prolific egg-laying, additional calcium, such as crushed oyster shells, is advisable.


To avoid heat exhaustion or stroke, it’s important to ensure they have enough water to drink. You can also give them snacks that have water in them to help keep them hydrated.

Housing and Nesting Boxes

For Smokey Pearls, it is necessary to provide a coop that is comfortable, spacious, and secure. Each bird should have around 3-4 square feet of space and a perch with 8-10 inches of room.

I recommend having one nesting box for every 3-4 Smokey Pearl hens, filled with clean bedding. Regularly cleaning the coop and nesting boxes is important to prevent the spread of diseases.

Based on my experience and thorough testing, I've curated a list of chicken coop plans that stand out for their quality, practicality, and ease of assembly. 

These selections are not just random choices; they're proven and tested to offer the best shelter for your feathered friends, ensuring they stay cozy and safe throughout the seasons.

Check my picks of the best chicken coop plans here from EASY COOP. 


These friendly birds like to move around and explore, so it’s good to give them a big, safe area to walk around and play freely.

Health Check and Preventive Care

It’s important to regularly check if Smokey Pearl chickens are sick and give them medicine to prevent worms. They must also go to the veterinarian to get vaccines to stay healthy. Even though they are strong chickens, they still need good care to be as healthy as possible and lay lots of eggs.


The Smokey Pearl Chicken is known for being really good at laying lots of eggs, being strong, and being friendly. This special chicken is great for both people who are just starting to raise chickens and people who already have experience.

If you want to learn about and take care of this amazing kind of chicken, this guide will help you. It will show you everything you need to know so you can enjoy all the good things this chicken brings.

Amelia Quinn

Living a self-sufficient lifestyle and raising chickens has been my passion since childhood. Over the years, I've realized this dream and gained valuable hands-on experience. Today, I am committed to empowering beginners and dreamers alike, help them navigate their own journey towards self-sufficiency and poultry farming.

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