The Araucana chicken is probably one of the rarest chicken breeds in the United States, particularly when it comes to hatching backyard chickens.
This is, mostly, down to the fact that it is a difficult chicken to breed. As a result, it is pretty tough to find somebody that will breed this bird for you. Most breeders are focusing on fairly similar Ameraucauna chickens. As a result, we do not recommend that you opt for this chicken if you are a backyard chicken enthusiast.
However, we thought it would be wise to run you through some of the features of this bird.
Araucana Chicken Facts at a Glance
|Eggs (per year)||250|
|Egg Color||Blue or green|
|Use||Eggs + Meat (dual purpose)|
|Weight||Male Standard: 5.9-7 lb (2.7-3.2 kg) |
Male Bantam: 26-30 oz (740-850 g)
Female Standard: 4.8-6 lb (2.2-2.7 kg)
Female Bantam: 24-28 oz (680-790 g)
|Country of origin||Chile|
|Admitted to APA||1976|
Where Do They Come From?
The Araucana chicken originates in Chile. It was developed there in the early 1900s. It is one of the more unique-looking chicken breeds around. In fact, when it was first ‘discovered’ by a Spanish professor of animal science, he figured that this was a completely new species of bird.
At the time, this was one of the few breeds of chicken that was known to lay blue eggs. Of course, this ‘featured’ ended up being bred into other chickens once the Araucana hit the United States.
In fact, once this bird hit the United States, it eventually was bred into a completely new breed; the Amerecauna, which was one of the most-popular chickens during the early 20th Century, and certainly one of the most popular of the backyard chicken breeds.
The Look of the Chicken
The main ‘feature’ of the chicken is the little tufts that come out of their cheeks. Each of these tufts is completely unique to these chickens. This means that each of them can look completely different.
The tufts look almost like whiskers. The problem is that these tufts can cause issues when the chicken is growing inside of the egg. This leads to a high chick mortality rate.
In addition to this, the Araucana chicken has no tail feathers. Some refer to this as ‘rumpless’. Basically, the back of the bird is completely rounded off. It is certainly a very unique look when you combine it with the tufts.
Araucana Chicken Colors
The Araucana chickens come in 5 color varieties recognized by the American Poultry Association:
- Black Breasted Red
- Golden Duckwing
- Silver Duckwing
All color varieties of the Araucana chicken were admitted to APA in 1976.
Araucana Chicken Eggs and Egg Laying
One of the reasons many people still opt for this bird breed is the fact that they lay blue eggs. They are one of a few breeds of chicken, together with the Ameraucana that does this.
However, of course, the related Ameracauna will also do the same, so you should go down that route if you can.
The Araucana chicken is probably going to lay about 5 eggs per week, although this will vary based upon the hen that you have. They are certainly not going to be the best chicken breed in the world of egg-laying.
Araucana hens tend toward broodiness.
Araucana Chicken Temperament
If you do get an Araucana chicken, then it is important that they have a lot of space available to them. This is a chicken that loves to explore. They are excellent foragers and love to be free-range chickens. Some people do have their Araucana is slightly more-confined locations, but this isn’t really recommended. The chicken is never going to be completely happy like that.
You will also be pleased to know that the Araucana is a fairly docile breed of chicken. It isn’t prone to getting in many fights over territory in the coop. It is also going to be quite accepting when you approach it.
Although, this actually does seem to be based on where your chicken was bred. Some people have noted that their Araucana chickens have been quite nervous and can be a bit temperamental on occasion.
Looking after the Araucana
The Araucana chicken is an easy bird to raise. You don’t need to do much with them that is different from other chickens. In fact, they are quite hardy as animals.
Sure, they do have a genetic trait that can cause death before hatching, but once they are out of that egg, there are very, very few health issues that can bring them to their knees.
They are a great chicken to raise for a new backyard chicken owner.
A Couple of Downsides
One of the major downsides of the Araucana chickens is the fact that they are a very, very difficult chicken to breed. It takes a ton of experience to try and get Araucana chicks to hatch. Once they have hatched, then it is easy to raise them. It is the same as raising any other chicken. However, there is a faulty gene with this breed.
So, if you are planning to breed chickens in your backyard, then the Araucana chicken is probably not for you.