The Araucana is the chicken breed responsible for starting the blue egg craze among the people. However, because of carrying a lethal gene that could kill its chicks, the breed was improved by making the Ameraucana – carrying no lethal gene while maintaining the gene that gives its eggs the blue color. Because of this, Araucanas are not as popular anymore today as it is before. But as a dedicated chicken breeder or if you simply want one to be added into your coop, then you need to look for a breeder that can give you this breed specifically.
In this article, we will discuss all the important things that you need to know about Araucanas including their history and origin, egg laying capabilities, appearance, size and color, temperament, and how you could properly take care of them.
Origin of Araucana Chicken
Araucanas, Ameraucanas, and Easter Eggers are all known for laying blue colored eggs. However, the last two are just derivative breeds from the Araucana – the original one. During the 1930s, Araucanas made their way from Chile into the USA. But it took long, about 40 years, for the American Poultry Association (APA) to officially recognize the breed. After that, within 5 to 10 years, the breed became popular among backyard and coop chicken owners.
Araucanas are unique not only because of their blue colored eggs but also because of their physical characteristics, different from the popular breeds. For example, an Araucana has an upright stance similar to wild birds. This is because its back slopes toward its bottom, thereby giving it its posture.
Araucanas are known for their tufts which are feathers that protrude from their cheeks. They also don’t have tails that’s why they are called rumpless. This means that they don’t have long tail feathers like other chickens have. This characteristic also contributes to an Araucana’s upright stance.
Araucanas also have pea combs that lay close to their head. They have pea like structures protruding from their combs. They also have clean legs, without feathers. The color of their legs depends on the color of their skin and feathers.
One unfortunate thing about Araucanas though is that the exact same genes that make their tufts are the same ones that cause chicks to die. For this reason, it could be difficult to find an Araucana if you want to own one. You need to look for a very dedicated chicken breeder who owns this breed.
Size and Color
Araucanas come in different colors including black, red black, silver duckwing, golden duckwing, and white. The darker the color of an Araucana is, the color of its legs can very from back to blue.
In general, Araucanas are considered small size chickens. They are bigger than bantam sized ones but obviously smaller than Brahmas. Typically, an Araucana will weigh around 5 pounds. There may be bantam sized ones but they can be difficult to find. Also, even though Araucanas are quite small sized, they do grow faster in size compared to other breeds of chicken.
Araucanas are not really considered dual purpose chickens. They do not excel when it comes to providing chicken meat at the table. However, they do give beautiful blue colored eggs to the people. These eggs are of medium size, which an Araucana can lay for an average of 3 times each week. This however, can change during winter because Araucanas tend to not lay eggs or lay only a few eggs when its cold. When spring comes, they will be back to their normal egg laying frequency.
Araucana hens love to go broody. They enjoy incubating their eggs and then raising them as chicks. If you want fertilized Araucana eggs to hatch, you can leave all that to the hen because she will definitely do a good job taking care of her offspring. But remember that the hatch rate for eggs can be low because of the lethal gene that the breed carries. To foster egg production and enhance the hen’s comfort, make sure to invest in a Chicken Nesting Pad.
The temperament and behavior of Araucanas are still up for debate. Some people claim that Araucanas are very friendly and docile while others say that Araucanas are nervous and shy. But one important fact about them is that people who raise their Araucanas with compassionate, love, and care get chickens that interact well with people. They are great for kids because they can be handled and cuddled well.
Should I Get an Araucana?
If you want beautiful blue eggs, then Araucana should be one of your choice. However, if you are looking for chicken meat, then pass on this breed. Araucanas prefer warmer climates. Although they are also cold hardy. They do tolerate confinement well but since they love to travel, it will be a good idea to have them free range.
Overall, the Araucana is an outstanding chicken breed, which is why it is considered to be one of the top 20 chicken breeds. You have been given the most important things that you need to know about Araucanas – including how the breed originated, its appearance, temperament, size and color, and egg laying capabilities. The choice is up to you now to decide whether to get one for you coop or backyard. Whatever your decision may be, we wish you good luck in your chicken breeding journey!