Araucana Chickens: Chilean Wonders, Blue Egg Delight

The Araucana chicken breed is said to have originated in the Araucanía region of Chile. The Araucana chicken is also known by the names Quetros, Colloncas, and Gallina Mapuche. Since they were the ones who first domesticated this variety of chicken, the indigenous Mapuche people of Chile are the originators of all these names.

The Mapuche people held great regard for the Araucana chicken due to its hardiness, adaptability, and ability to produce eggs. Historians have conjectured that the Araucana chicken may have been brought to Chile by Polynesian people who crossed the Pacific.

Araucana Chickens: History

According to popular belief, the Araucana chicken breed originated in the Araucanía area of Chile. Other names for the Araucana chicken include Quetros, Colloncas, and Gallina Mapuche. The indigenous Mapuche people of Chile are the source of all these names, as they were the ones who originally tamed this type of chicken.

The Araucana chicken was prized by the Mapuche people for its resilience, versatility, and capacity to lay eggs. Historians who have journeyed across the Pacific Ocean speculate that Polynesian seafarers may have brought the Araucana chicken to Chile.

Physical Characteristics

Color: Five varieties of Araucana chickens are recognized by the APA: golden duckwing, silver duckwing, black-breasted red, white, and black. Other hues, such lavender, are offered, nevertheless. The colors black, blue, buff, silver, white, and black-breasted red are acceptable for bantam Araucanas.

Size: The weight of Araucana chickens is medium; hens average around 4 pounds, while roosters weigh about 5 pounds. Their legs are neat and they are standing erect. Hens weigh roughly 26 ounces, and roosters of the Bantam Araucana breed weigh about 28 ounces.

Appearance

Modestly perched on top of their heads is a small pea comb. Araucana chickens are also devoid of tail feathers and have no rump. They lack the last two vertebrae in their back.

One of the distinctive physical characteristics of Araucana hens is the little tufts of feathers that appear right next to their ears. One inherits these feathers. Unfortunately, after about 17 to 19 days of incubation, an embryo with two copies of the defective gene would die in the shell. It usually perishes a week after hatching.

Because of this, some breeders also raise Araucanas without ear tufts, albeit this is debatable because it disqualifies the dog from competitions. Keep in mind that ear tufts are distinct from beards or muffs, which are common in some breeds, such the Ameraucana. Upturned feathers around the ears are called ear tufts.

Temperament

It is well known that these chickens are amiable and submissive. They are wonderful pets and get along well with kids. They may, however, turn hostile, just like any other hen, if they perceive a threat or an encroachment on their territory.

All things considered, Araucana hens are an intriguing and unusual breed with a number of distinguishing morphological traits. They are a popular choice for backyard poultry keepers and make excellent pets.

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Breeding

One can breed Araucana chickens for display or for the purpose of producing eggs. When breeding for each purpose, there are several things to take into account. Birds with robust immune systems and tolerance to common diseases are highly sought for by breeders.

Breeding for Egg Production: Breeders concentrate on enhancing the flock’s egg-laying capabilities when breeding for production. This entails choosing birds that produce a lot of eggs and have high fertility rates.

Breeding for Show: When breeding for exhibition, breeders aim to produce birds that meet the standards established by the American Poultry Association (APA). This is the process of selecting birds with specific physical characteristics, such as a beard, four toes, ear tufts, and no tail. Even if a tail is hardly noticeable, it is not eligible.

Egg Laying

Egg Production: A genetic abnormality that enables the chicken to deposit a blue pigment called oocyanin in the eggshell during formation accounts for the distinctive blue or turquoise eggs that are the hallmark of Araucana hens. Araucanas are not recognized for producing a lot of eggs, despite the fact that their eggs’ color is a distinctive trait. Less than many other chicken breeds, an Araucana hen will typically lay 150–200 eggs annually.

Egg Color: As previously established, a genetic mutation is responsible for the turquoise or blue color of Araucana eggs. Birds that do not lay blue or turquoise eggs will be disqualified from the show ring and should not be used in a breeding program. Due to genetic variances, other breeds, such Ameraucanas and Easter Eggers, can also lay colored eggs.

Health and Care

Nutrition: A balanced diet is necessary for Araucana hens to maintain their health. Their premium commercial layer feed diet might include a small amount of fresh fruits and vegetables. It is essential that kids consistently have access to clean water.

Common Health Issues

Araucana hens typically have good health, however they can have a few specific health problems:

  • Ear infections may occasionally arise from ear tufts that are not kept clean.
  • The hatch rate of Araucana eggs may be lower than that of other breeds due to the genetic defects that create ear tufts.
  • Because they lost the last two vertebrae in their spine, they have no oil gland, so their feathers are not shielded from the rain.
  • Fertility is hampered by their inability to move their tail because the feathers cannot be pushed aside during mating.

Conclusion

Because of their unusual and fascinating breed, these chickens are in great demand for their blue eggs. Araucana hens are a wonderful addition to any backyard flock because they are often amiable and submissive.

The Araucana chicken is a breed to think about if you’re searching for a distinctive-looking chicken breed that lays blue eggs. Taken as a whole, the Araucana chicken is a fascinating breed that will astonish everyone who sees them. Their unusual appearance and blue eggs make them a great choice if you want to add some variation to your flock.

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