The Araucana is the breed that started the blue egg mania, and unfortunately, many chicken lovers mix it up with the Ameraucana and the Easter Egger. It’s logical, though, because these three breeds of chickens all lay beautiful eggs, the majority of which are blue.

The Araucana is a difficult breed to find in the United States due to its rarity. Due to hatch rate concerns caused by genetics, many hatcheries have decided not to breed them. The Easter Egger, often known as the Ameraucana, is the most common blue egg layer sold by hatcheries. So, if you want to add the Araucana breed to your flock, you’ll need to talk to a breeder who is focused on improving the breed.

While both the Easter Egger and the Ameraucana lay beautiful multicolored eggs, they are actually Araucana hybrids. The Araucana made its way from Chile to the United States in the 1930s, and into the hearts of chicken fans everywhere. The APA didn’t recognize them until the 1970s, and they just became popular with backyard chicken owners in the last five to ten years. The Araucana has surely been introduced to the flock of those who enjoy a rainbow of colored eggs.

An Araucana

Overview

Araucana
Beginner Friendly:Yes.
Lifespan:8+ years.
Weight:Hens (5½lb) Roosters (6½lb).
Color:Black, white and duckwing varieties.
Egg Production:3 per week.
Egg Color:Blue/Green.
Known For Broodiness:Occasionally.
Good With Children:Yes.
Cost of Chicken:$35+ per chick.

Breed History

The Araucana’s history is a bit perplexing because there are various contradictory accounts.

It is widely believed that Professor Salvatore Castello, a Spaniard, visited Chile in 1914 and was introduced to the Araucana, or Mapuche chicken, while there (as it was known then).

Dr. Bustos, a well-known South American chicken specialist and breeder, was the one who introduced him to the chickens.

Dr. Bustos had been experimenting with a variety of local birds and had created the Araucana from a hybrid of Chile’s Collonca and Quetros chickens.

The Collonca chicken has no rump and produces blue eggs, whereas the Quetros chicken has ear tufts and lays brown eggs. Professor Castello apparently felt the Araucana was a breed rather than a strain of bird, thus when they were first brought to the world in 1918, they were referred to as a breed.

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Interestingly, during Colonial times, Dutch immigrants brought a rumpless bird known as the Persian Rumples to the nearby Indians, who promptly adopted it into their flocks.

Another theory is that these birds’ ancestors were taken across the Pacific Ocean by Micronesian islanders, and that the Colloncas and Quetros share genetic lineage with Micronesia’s Rapanui chickens.

araucana chicken size

Appearance 

The Araucana is distinct not only for her egg color, but also for her physical traits, which are lacking in many popular breeds. For starters, she has an upright stance that recalls that of several wild game birds. Her back slopes toward her lower part, giving her the well-known stance.

If you’re not sure whether you’re looking at an Araucana or an Easter Egger, look for two distinguishing features (or lack thereof) that will almost certainly suggest you’re looking at a South American chicken treasure:

Tufts – The comical feathers that sprout from the Araucana’s cheeks are known as tufts. They emerge from a fold of skin beneath their ears and may resemble a gentleman’s handlebar mustache. These tufts are normally two (one on each side), however this is not always the case. They can also develop their own personalities by growing in every way conceivable. One thing is certain: they bring a lot of charm to your Araucana’s appearance.

Rumpless (no tail) – Rumpless is exactly what it sounds like…they don’t have rumps! Or, to put it another way, they don’t have the lengthy tail feathers that other chicken breeds do. This trait also contributes to the Araucana’s erect posture, which is a distinctive feature.

These two qualities give this bird a distinct and attractive appearance—along with its delicious eggs, of course!
These two qualities give this bird a distinct and attractive appearance—along with its delicious eggs, of course!
Unfortunately, the gene that provides the comic tufts is also responsible for a high percentage of chicks dying during incubation. This is why the Araucana chicken isn’t available in many hatcheries… As a result, if you want your own frizzy-looking rumpless hens, you may need to find a devoted breeder.

Araucanas have pea combs, which are combs that are closer to the chicken’s head than large floppy combs, as opposed to enormous floppy combs. On the Araucanas comb, there are little pea-like protrusions that can be seen under close observation.

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Unlike the Brahma chicken, the Araucana has clean legs, and the color of their legs varies based on the color of the bird. Black, black red, silver duckwing, white, and golden duckwing are the colors of the Araucana. This chicken’s darker colored variations may have black or blue legs.

Araucana Pullet

Size

Araucanas are a smaller version of a regular chicken. They are larger than bantams but not as large as Brahmas (the king of chickens). Araucanas normally weigh around 5 pounds, but they can also be obtained in a bantam size— but only if you seek hard enough, because both standard and bantam sizes are considered rare catches.

While the Araucana is regarded to be on the smaller side of the spectrum, it grows quite quickly. If you keep more than one breed of chicken, you’ll find that Araucanas grow out of their awkward adolescent years faster than their counterparts.

Egg Laying

Araucanas are not ideal as meat birds because they are little, but what they lack in flesh they make up for in stunning blue eggs. Despite the fact that chickens are smaller, their eggs are medium-sized and suitable for your Easter basket, and you don’t even have to color them!

The Araucana isn’t necessarily meant for production, but she can surely make her keep at a rate of about 3 eggs each week. Due to her origins in the warmer areas of South America, this tenacious hen does not lay during the winter months. Whatever the case may be, she’ll be back at it as soon as the weather warms up, just in time for Easter egg hunts with the kids.

Araucana Blue Eggs

Coop Setup

Despite their little size, this breed will require 4 square feet of interior coop area.

Do not try to squeeze them into a smaller place, since this might lead to some unpleasant behaviors (especially over the winter months). They’ll be OK with the typical eight to ten inches per bird, however greater room allows them to expand their wings a little farther.

For them, a standard-sized nest box (12×12 inches) will enough. Just make sure one nest box is provided for every three chickens.

Temperament

The Araucana’s temperament is still a widely debated topic. Some fans say they’re the friendliest hens they’ve ever owned, while others claim they’re jittery and flighty. It’s possible that high energy does not always imply hostile hens; it all depends on who you ask and how they interact with their Araucanas.

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A brief internet search reveals that those who have dedicated their lives to the development of the Araucana breed have only positive experiences with their pets. Many breeders claim that they are excellent chickens for children since they appreciate being caressed and touched.

araucana-chicken-hen

Broodiness

Brooding is a common and easy occurrence for Araucana hens. This simply means that they prefer raising their own tiny clutch of chicks, and if you wish to breed these birds, letting the mother hen do her job will help the process go more smoothly for you. Remember that the Araucana has a poor hatch rate, so don’t become disappointed if just a few chicks hatch.

On that point, if mother hen has been broody for a long time, is losing weight, and appears to be in poor health, it may be time to assist her in letting go of any unhatched eggs.

Hardiness

During the winter, the Araucana is surprisingly hardy. Despite the fact that these hens evolved in warmer climes, they thrive in the cold. Frostbite is rare because they have a pea comb.

Araucanas, on the other hand, can withstand the heat just as well. They are adaptable hens who, no matter where they reside, appear to go with the flow.

Free Ranging

Araucana hens are especially curious and active, and they like spending their days scratching for tasty tidbits. They’re clever hens who keep their eyes vigilant for predators and do everything they can to avoid danger.

Araucanas have been seen to travel a little more than a conventional chicken, and they love repeating the same route every day. So, if your neighbors aren’t crazy about chickens, keep them in a gated yard because once they figure out where the delicious food is, they’ll keep coming back for more!

Araucanas are a unique species that are prized for their beautiful blue eggs and amusing personalities. While both Easter Eggers and Ameraucanas lay colorful eggs, the Araucana is the only breed that reliably produces robins-egg blue eggs. If their beautiful eggs aren’t enough to convince you, their amusing physical appearance will. Who doesn’t appreciate a little peculiarity in their flock?

READ ALSO;

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