Many people consider the ornamental Ancona chicken as a fantastic chicken for those who are new to the whole world of backyard ownership. We are inclined to agree with that statement. On this page, we want to take a look at the Ancona chicken. This way, you will have a rough idea about what to expect if you are lucky enough to own one of these stunning birds. Let us introduce you with this breed, and at the end of this article you can find hatcheries that offer Ancona chickens for sale.
Ancona Chicken Characteristics at a Glance
|Eggs (per year)||120 – 180|
|Weight||Male: 6 lb (2.5–2.8 kg)|
Female: 4.5 lb (1.8 – 2.1 kg)
|Country of origin||Italy|
The Origin of the Ancona Chicken
The Ancona Chicken first appeared in Italy. We don’t really know what chickens it was bred from (we don’t really have that much of a breeding record from this era).
However we do know that at some point in the 19th Century, the Ancona Chicken made its way to England. From here, it became one of the most-farmed breeds of chicken for those who wanted chicken eggs.
From England, it went on over to the United States where it was farmed for pretty much the same thing. Of course, the Ancona Chicken is nowhere near as popular as it was in the past, today is one of the rarest chicken breeds in the US. But, as we said, it is still a breed that is loved by many who raise backyard chickens.
The Look of the Ancona
The Ancona is defined as an ornamental breed of chicken. Many people who own one of these nowadays are not really looking for a productive chicken (although, the Ancona can be productive), but more to spruce up the look of their garden.
Of course, with a definition like ‘ornamental chicken’, you can pretty much guess that it is going to look fantastic to boot.
The Ancona is a beautiful black chicken. The tip of some of their plumage is lightly tipped white. This gives the bird a striking appearance when you are looking at it.
Peppered between their feathers, you will see some that are a beautiful green color. The comb is large and bright red, with their legs a yellow color. This chicken really is a true delight in the looks department.
This fowl is so similar to the Leghorn chicken that it is sometimes called a mottled Leghorn.
Ancona Chicken Eggs
As we said before; these chickens were raised in the past because they were productive.
They were productive by the standards of the past. However, commercial egg farmers desire a bit more than what the Ancona chicken is able to produce. That being said, the average 3 eggs that the Ancona hens are able to put out a week will be more than enough for a family… if you have a decent flock size of them.
The best part about the Ancona is that there isn’t really a time of the year where they are going to stop laying the eggs. They remain productive, even throughout the winter. For this reason, a lot of people will have 2-3 of them in their backyard flock, just to top up egg production if their other breeds are not up to the challenge.
Ancona chickens are good for meat, but they are not really used for that quite so much. They are mostly used as ornaments and egg production. However, if you do slaughter your Ancona chicken, you still know that you are going to be ending up with a bird that produces a lot of meat.
It tastes delicious to boot too! This can be a great dual-purpose bird for you. Although, we expect that most people will want a different cooking chicken to this one.
Ancona Chicken Care
The issue that many people face with the Ancona chicken is the fact that they tend to be quite scared when somebody approaches them. This means that it is probably not going to be a bird that you will be getting ‘up close and persona’ with all that often.
That being said, many people state that it is this ‘scared’ nature that makes them good as free-range chickens. They are fantastic at being able to avoid predators.
It is worth noting that this is a breed that does tend to fly a bit. This means that if you are going to be keeping them in an enclosed run, you will need to ensure that there are high fences, or a roof on the run. If not, your Ancona chickens will escape.
Finally; you should remember that the Ancona chicken does have a larger comb. This means that during the colder months of the year, you probably are going to need to find some way that you can protect that comb. If you don’t, then it may cause a few issues. Other than this, the bird is hardy and doesn’t really suffer from that much in the way of health issues.
Ancona Chickens for Sale
If you are lucky enough to live near a local hatchery where you can find Ancona chickens for sale, that is great. If, however, you are among the unfortunates that are unable to do so, consider the following hatcheries as good options:
The general cost per chick ranges from:
- not sexed Ancona chick $2.2 – $4,
- female $2.95–$4.5
- male $1.6 –$3.6.