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Everything You Need to Know About The Excellent Breed of Arcona Chicken or Araucana in 2020

The Arcona Chicken more known as the Araucana (Spanish: Gallina Mapuche) is a breed of domestic chicken from Chile. Its name originates from the Araucanía region of Chile where it is thought to have come from. It lays blue-shelled eggs, one of very few types of chicken breeds that do so.

Tufts of Arcona Chicken makes them Unique
Tufts of Arcona Chicken makes them Unique

Breed requirements for the Arcona Chicken differ from country to country. It might have uncommon tufts of feathers on the ears, and might be rumpless, without a tail and tail-bone; in the United States it may for this reason be referred to as the South American Rumpless. Both ear-tufts and rumplessness are triggered by lethal genes, so not all birds show these qualities. The Ameraucana breed and “Easter egger” hybrids of the United States, which also lay blue or green eggs, both originate from the Araucana.

Arcona chicken is a very gorgeous breed and also known for their capability to lay colored eggs. It’s an unusual breed with much controversy and various challenges. The origin of the Arcona chicken is still up for debate, however numerous believe they came from Chile. The ability to lay blue eggs was the main factor for reproducing Arcona chicken. It is frequently thought about as a double purpose chicken breed which is suitable for both egg production and for meat. There are lots of color varieties of this breed.

The American Poultry Association recognizes 5 colors. Black, Black Breasted Red, Golden Duckwing, Silver Duckwing and White. In the United States it might be referred to as the South American Rumpless. And Araucana chicken has similarities with other chickens, particularly the Ameraucana and Easter Egger.

Ameraucana usually Confused to Be Arcona Chickens. Note the Tail...
Ameraucana usually Confused to Be Arcona Chickens. Note the Tail…

The Araucana Chicken is the type responsible for the blue egg fad, and regrettably, lots of chicken lovers puzzle this eccentric chicken with the Ameraucana and the Easter Egger. It’s easy to understand, however, considering that these three types of chickens all lay vibrant eggs– primarily blue.

Because of the rarity of this breed, the Araucana is tough to come by in the United States. Lots of hatcheries have actually picked not to reproduce them due to hatch rate problems that are triggered by genetics. A lot of blue egg layers sold by hatcheries are the Easter Egger, or the Ameraucana. So, if you are wanting to include the Araucana breed to your flock, you will probably require to seek advice from a breeder who is dealing with developing the type of breed.

While the Easter Egger and the Ameraucana both lay lovely colorful eggs, they are actually just hybrids of the Arcona chickens. In the 1930s, the Araucana discovered its origin from Chile to the United States, and into the hearts of chicken enthusiasts. It wasn’t up until the 70’s that they were recognized by the APA and within the past 5 to ten years became popular amongst the backyard chicken owners. Those who enjoy a rainbow colored assortment of eggs certainly have actually added the Arcona chicken to their flock.

History of Arcona Chicken

The early history of the Arcona Chicken is not recorded. The birds were frequently seen in South America in the early twentieth century. The Spanish aviculturist Salvador Castelló, who went to Chile in 1914, saw them and called them “Gallina Araucana”, as lots were discovered amongst the Mapuche people of the Araucanía region of Chile, whom the Spanish called Araucanos. Castelló thought the birds to come from a new species, and reported his observations at the First World’s Poultry Congress in The Hague in 1921.

arcona chicken rooster

The systematic name Gallus inauris was proposed for them, and adopted at the Second World’s Poultry Congress in Barcelona in 1924. It was later developed that the Arcona chicken belongs to the same types as other domestic chickens, Gallus gallus domesticus.

The blue egg of the Arcona Chicken was at this time believed to be distinct amongst chickens. In 1933 Reginald Punnett revealed that the blue egg (“oocyan”) gene in chickens is dominant with respect to white, while in mix with genes for brown eggs, numerous shades of green and olive are produced. In modern-day times, the Ameraucana breed, a derivative of the Arcona chicken, likewise lays blue eggs, while hybrid birds bring the dominant oocyan gene might in the United States be called “Easter eggers”.

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arcona chicken hen
Arcona Chicken Hen

Numerous theories have been advanced to discuss the origin of the blue egg attribute. It has been variously attributed to hybridisation with Tinamus solitarius, a species of tinamou (dismissed as “erroneous” by Helmut Sick) to hereditary mutation and to the action of a retrovirus right after the domestication of the chicken.

Blue Arcona Chicken eggs were sent to Australia from New Zealand in the 1930s. The breed was standardised in the 1980s.

arcona chicken

Blue-egg chickens from South America were presented to the British Isles at numerous times in the early twentieth century. The modern-day British-type Arcona chickens originates from birds from a Chilean ship that was wrecked in the Hebrides. The British Arcona was developed generally by George Malcolm in Scotland in the 1930s. He introduced the Lavender plumage breed, and reproduced the bantam Araucana in the 1940s. The British-type Araucana was standardised in 1969 or 1974.

In the United States, 2 breeds were developed: the Araucana, which has ear-tufts and is rumpless, was standardised in 1976, and the Ameraucana, which is bearded, muffed and tailed (and hence similar to the tailed British type), was added to the Standard of Perfection in 1984.

There has actually been a long and undetermined argument about the origin of the Araucana and whether it stems from chickens brought by Europeans after Columbus reached the Americas in 1492, or if it was already present. A report released in 2007 on chicken bones found on the Arauco Peninsula in south-central Chile suggested pre-Columbian, perhaps Polynesian origin. A report released in 2008 found no proof of pre-Columbian introduction from Polynesia.

araucona chicken

The global preservation status of the Araucana is “not at risk”; population data for Chile is not reported.

Characteristics of Arcona Chicken

The Arcona chicken is not distinct because of her egg color– she also has special physical characteristics that numerous popular breeds do not have. For one, she has a upright position, and looks like some species of wild game birds. Her back slopes toward her bottom half providing her the posture she is widely known for.

If you aren’t sure if you are taking a look at an Araucana or an Easter Egger, simply search for 2 obvious qualities (or lack thereof) that will probably show you are in the existence of a South American chicken treasure:

Tufts–

Tufts are the funny plumes that protrude from the Araucana’s cheeks. They grow under a fold of skin under their ears and might extend like a gentleman’s handlebar mustache. These tufts generally are available in two (one on each side) but not always. They may also take on characters of their own by growing every which way possible.

Something is for sure though, they add a ton of character to your Araucana’s appearance.

No Tail (rumpless)–

Rumpless essentially implies what you might believe it to suggest … they have no rumps! Or to put it simply, they lack the long tail-feathers that other types of chickens have. This quality likewise adds to the look of the Araucana’s upright posture– a very telling trait.
These two qualities provide this chicken a unique, and extremely demanded, appearance– well, that and their lovely eggs obviously!

Araucana chickens have 2 distinguishing characteristics that set them apart from the other breeds. They have tufts and are rumpless (have no tail and the complete lack of a tail bone). Their tufts grow from a protuberance (or fingerlike appendage) called a peduncle around the ear lobes or neck location. They have pea comb, have no wattles and their facial feathers are thick with little crest on the head.

Unique Feature of Arcona Chicken: Tufts and Tail-Less
Unique Features of Arcona Chicken: Tufts and Tail-Less

Frequently their eggs are of blue and green colored. However the egg color can likewise range from a greyish or violet blue to a blue-green or greenish blue. Different requirements have various color variations and have special characteristics. In the United States and Canada, muffs, beards, and tails are all disqualifications. On an average Araucana roosters weight about 2.7-3.2 kg and hens weights about 2.3-2.7 kg. There is likewise a bantam range offered of this type (roosters 740-850 grams and 680-790 grams for hens).

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There are both full-sized and bantam Araucanas. They might be either generally tailed or rumpless. The Araucana has a pea comb and lays around 250 blue or green eggs annually.

In Australia, just the tailed Araucana is acknowledged in the Australian Poultry Standards; both tailed and rumpless might be displayed.

The British requirement accepts both tailed and rumpless; they may be dealt with as different types of breed. The British kind of Araucana has a beard and muffs which hide the earlobes.

In North America, Araucanas have long ear-tufts and are rumpless. As both ear-tufts and rumplessness are brought on by autosomal dominant lethal alleles, not all of the chickens can display these qualities.

Unfortunately, it is the very gene that creates the comical tufts that triggers a high portion of chicks to die during incubation. This is why lots of hatcheries do not carry the Arcona chicken … so, if you are searching for your own frizzy-looking rumpless chickens, this is why you might have to seek out a dedicated breeder.

As far as typical chicken qualities go, Arconas have pea combs, which are combs that lay closer to the head of the chicken, unlike big floppy combs. Upon close assessment, little pea-like protrusions exist on the Araucanas comb.

The Arcona chicken is a clean-legged chicken, unlike the Brahma chicken, and the color of their legs may vary depending upon the color of the chicken. The Arcona can be found in black, black red, silver duckwing, white, and golden duckwing. The darker colored varieties of this chicken may have black or blue legs.

arcona chicken with blue eggs
Arcona Chicken with Blue Eggs

A total of twenty plumage varieties are noted for the Araucana by the Entente Européenne d’Aviculture et de Cuniculture. Of these, 5 are identified by the American Poultry Association for large fowl: black, black breasted red, silver duckwing, golden duckwing, and white; for bantams, buff is contributed to these. The Australian Poultry Standard identifies black, cuckoo, lavender, splash, white and any colour which is standard in Old English Game. The Poultry Club of Great Britain identifies twelve colours: black, black-red, blue, blue-red, crele, cuckoo, golden duckwing, lavender, pile, silver duckwing, spangled, and white.

Arcona chickens are extremely strong, grow faster and chicks grow quickly. They are placid birds and are energetic and durable. Arcona hens tend towards broodiness and they are excellent moms. They do well in restricted condition. They like to have fresh grass. The vibrant eggs of Arcona chicken do not have any unfavorable health impacts, nor more healthy than eggs of other breeds.

Size Does Matter for Arcona Chickens

Araucanas are considered a smaller-sized standard chicken. Meaning, they are bigger than bantams but smaller than Brahma’s (the king of chickens). An Araucana will normally weigh in at around 5 lbs, nevertheless, they can be found in a bantam range too– however just if you look hard for them because requirement and bantam sizes are both considered to be unusual finds.

While the Araucana is thought about to be on the little end of the spectrum, interestingly, they grow relatively fast. If you raise more than one type of chicken, you will quickly discover that your Araucanas tend to outgrow their awkward teenage years earlier than their counterparts.

Arcona Chickens are Excellent Egg Layers for Easter Egg

Because Arcona chickens are on the smaller side, they are not ideal as a meat bird, however what they lack in meat, they make up for in stunning blue eggs. Even though hens are on the smaller sized size, their eggs are medium-sized and best for your Easter basket, and hey, you do not even have to color them!

At a rate of approximately 3 eggs per week, the Arcona is not always indicated for production, but she can certainly make her keep. Nevertheless, because this adventurous hen come from the warmer climates of South America, she does tend to take the winter seasons off from laying. No matter, she will be back at it once the weather heats up and in the nick of time for Spring egg hunts with the kids.

Arcona Chicken is Known for Its Temperament

The jury is out on the personality of the Arcona chicken. Some chicken lovers state they are the friendliest chickens they’ve ever owned, while others swear that they are flighty and worried. High energy might not constantly correspond to unfriendly chickens, so it may just depend on who you speak with and how they selected to communicate with their Arconas.

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A quick internet search will expose that those who have actually dedicated themselves to establishing this breed have only loving interactions with their Araucanas. Lots of breeders will inform you that they are terrific chickens for the kids since they in fact delight in being cuddled and dealt with.

Ameraucana Rooster Sometimes Mistaken as Arcona. Note the Tail...
Ameraucana Rooster Sometimes Mistaken as Arcona. Note the Tail…

Broodiness of Arcona Hens

Araucana hens tend to go broody often, and easily. This indicates they simply occur to enjoy raising their own little clutch of chicks, and if you plan to reproduce these birds, leaving the mother hen to do her task will make the procedure easier for you. Just bear in mind that the hatch rate is pretty low for the Araucana, so don’t be dissuaded if only a few infants hatch.

And on that note, if mother hen has actually been broody for a very long time, is slimming down, and looking a little rough, it might be time to help her carry on from any eggs that have actually not hatched.

Hardiness of Arcona Chicken

The Araucana is remarkably sturdy throughout the winter. Although these chickens originated in warmer environments, they do particularly well in the cold. Having a pea comb makes frostbite unusual.

In the exact same line, Araucanas can deal with the hot weather just as quickly. They are adaptive chickens that really seem to go with the flow, no matter where they live.

Free Range Arcona Chicken

Araucanas are particularly curious and active chickens, and they enjoy to spend their days scratching about for delicious deals with. They are smart chickens, who keep their eyes peeled for predators and do their best to stay out of damage’s way.

It’s been kept in mind that Arcona chickens tend to take a trip a bit more than a common chicken, and they delight in taking the very same path every day. So, if your neighbors aren’t in love with chickens, ensure you keep your chickens in a fenced backyard because as soon as they find out where the good things is, they will keep going back for more!

Arconas are a unique type that are highly searched due to their bright blue eggs and enjoyable qualities. While Easter Eggers, and Ameraucanas, likewise lay colorful eggs, it is the Arcona chicken that consistently produces those stunning robins-egg blue eggs. If their charming eggs don’t convinced you, their humorous physical look certainly will. Who does not enjoy a little character in their flock?

Is Arcona Chicken Good for You?

Arcona chicken benefits you if you…

  • Want to raise lovely chickens.
  • Are trying to find some chicken types which have unique appearance.
  • Wish to produce colorful eggs except white and brown.
  • Want to raise dual function chicken type.
  • Are looking for some chicken breeds which are very active, durable and friendly.
  • Want to raise some chickens which are great foragers and also bears confinement well.
  • Are trying to find such chickens which can hatch eggs and look after their chicks.

 

References

  1. Barbara Rischkowsky, D. Pilling (eds.) (2007). List of breeds documented in the Global Databank for Animal Genetic Resources, annex to The State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. ISBN 9789251057629. Accessed June 2014.
  2.  Victoria Roberts (2008). British poultry standards: complete specifications and judging points of all standardized breeds and varieties of poultry as compiled by the specialist breed clubs and recognised by the Poultry Club of Great Britain. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 9781405156424.
  3. APA Recognized Breeds and Varieties: As of January 1, 2012. American Poultry Association. Archived 4 November 2017.
  4. Breed Classification. Poultry Club of Great Britain. Archived A17 June 2011.
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