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Araucanas

 

 

Breed Profile

Breed Standards

Gallery

Birds for Sale

Araucanas at a glance

Origin: South America
Type: Traditional utility
Classification: Light, Soft Feather
Size: Bantam and large fowl
Weight: 2.25 – 3.2kg for large fowl, 680-850g for bantams
Eggs: Blue
Colours: Lavender, Black, White, Blue, Cuckoo, Spangled, Black-red, Blue-red, Silver duckwing, Gold Duckwing, Pyle, Crele

The origins of the British Araucana go back at least a hundred years and mentions of blue egg laying chickens have been recorded as early as 1520. When the Spanish arrived in South America, bringing with them their poultry, they found that the Incas had their own ancient breeds which soon crossed with the imported stock. However, in the High Andes there were many areas where the terrain made conquest impossible. Subsequently, the Arauca Indians of Old Northern Chile were never conquered so their poultry remained pure and led to the name Araucana.

Pockets of wild Araucana can still be seen in the Amazon Basin and in isolated areas in the high fincas of the Andes Range. The expansion of the old Colonial British Empire during the formation of the commonwealth led to the Araucana taking up residence in many countries around the world. Indeed, to this day, the British Tailed Araucana can be found in over 60 countries.

The precise historical moment of introduction to the British Isles is not known however it is reported that a Chilean nitrate ship floundered off the coast of Scotland in the 1930s and the descendants of bearded, muffed, tailed Araucanas that were aboard were scattered among the Inner Hebrides. There has been a huge amount of cross breeding with more modern varieties in the twentieth century. George Malcom of East Lothian, Scotland created the modern standard that now exists, which maintains the unique blue egg along with the beard, muff and crest. The Araucana was officially named in the 1930s.

“George Malcom of East Lothian, Scotland created the modern standard that now exists, which maintains the unique blue egg along with the beard, muff and crest.”

The ideal (lavender) hen. Bred by Kate Odey. Photo courtesy of Rupert Stephenson.

The ideal rumpless hen. Bred by Colin Booth. Photo courtesy of Rupert Stephenson.

There are two types of Araucana in the UK; with or without a tail. Both have different standards to allow for the difference in type, however, both types have the same standard colours and compete against each other in the breed classes at shows.

The Rumpless variety is a challenging bird to breed, which, sadly, makes it quite a rarity. The tuft gene is lethal in two doses, so two tufted birds bred together will result in a 25% embryo death rate.

Araucanas are lively, chatty birds, with a friendly disposition. Cockerels tend to get along, mostly because once they bow to each other, their crest masks their opponent. Also, lacking wattles or large combs, the risk of damage remains limited. However, the ladies do have a tendency to peck the beards of their beaus if they get bored. The best way to avoid this is to provide them with spacious, grassy pens, or to keep them free-range.
In our experience, for the size of them, they are very frugal birds. Whether penned or free-range, they consume a lot less feed than one would expect, despite being rather large birds.

This is a little-appreciated breed that has been used to create and influence other, more popular breeds. Lavender is the most popular colour, with the others falling far behind. As a breed with so many colours to choose from, and with blue eggs to boot, we cannot understand why it isn’t found in every back garden.

Breed Standards

Tailed Variety

General Characteristics: male

Carriage: Alert and active.

Type: Body long and deep, free from heaviness. Firm in handling. Back moderately long, horizontal. Wings large and strong. Tail well developed with full sickles carried at an angle of 45 degrees.

Head: Moderately small. Beak string and stout. Eyes bold. Comb small triple pea. Face covered with thick muffling and ear muffs abundant. Crest compact, carried well back from eyes. Ear-lobes moderately small and concealed by muffling. Wattles absent.

Neck: Of medium length, abundantly furnished with hackle feathers.

Legs and feet: Medium length, strong and well apart. Shanks free from feathers. Toes, four, straight and well spread.

General characteristics: female

General characteristics are similar to those of the male allowing for the natural sexual differences. Comb pea.

Serious defects

Cut-away breast. Crest too small or too large e.g. Poland type obscuring the sight. Comb lopped or twisted. Any comb other than minimal in female. Pearl or light coloured eyes. Legs other than standard colour. Uneven or splashed breast colour. In males white base in tail. In lavenders any straw or brassy tinge. Feet – Duck footed or bent toes.

Disqualifications

Roach back. Wry or squirrel tail. Absence of crest or muffling. Comb other than of pea type. Presence of wattles. Feathered legs.

 

Weights

Male: 2.7 – 3.2kg (6 – 7lb) Female: 2.25 – 2.7kg (5 – 6lb)

 

Scale of Points

Type and Carriage 20
Crest and Muffling 25
Comb 10
Other head points 5
Feet and Legs 5
Colour 20
Condition and Handling 15

BANTAM

The standard to be an exact miniature of the large fowl.

Weights

Male: 740 – 850g (26-30oz) Female: 680 – 790g (24-28oz)

Rumpless Variety

General Characteristics: male

Carriage: Alert, active and assured.

Type: Body moderate in length, broad at shoulders. Back flat and slightly sloped. Rump well rounded with saddle feathers flowing over stern. Breast full, round and deep. Wings medium in length, carried close to the body and well up. Saddle hackle well developed. Tail entirely absent, with no uropygium (parson’s nose).

Head: Moderately small. Beak medium stout, curved. Eyes bold and expressive. Comb small pea. Face moderate muffling. Ear-lobes small and concealed by ear-tufts. These originate from a gristly appendage arising from behind and just below the ear hole. The tufts of feathers, numbering from 5 to 15, grow from this pad. The tufts should be of a good length, matching in size and extending from the ears backwards in a well-defined sweep, or projecting horizontally. Wattles very small.

Neck: Of medium length, abundantly furnished with hackle feathers.

Legs and feet: Medium length, strong and well apart. Shanks free from feathers. Toes, four, straight and well spread.

General characteristics: female

General characteristics are similar to those of the male allowing for the natural sexual differences.

Serious defects

Unmatched ear-tufts. Shape other than standard, e.g. narrow body. Any tail feathers (incomplete rumpless). Fluff showing below saddle hackle. Legs other than standard colour. Pearl or light coloured eye. No ear Tufts.

Disqualifications

Single ear-tuft, crest. Uropygium (parson’s nose). Roach back, cut away breast. Comb other than triple pea comb. Feathered Legs. Presence of wattles.

 

Weights

Male: 2.7 – 3.2kg (6 – 7lb) Female: 2.25 – 2.7kg (5 – 6lb)

 

Scale of Points

Type and Carriage 20
Ear Tufts 25
Comb 5
Other head points 5
Feet and Legs 5
Colour 15
Condition and Handling 25

BANTAM

The standard to be an exact miniature of the large fowl.

Weights

Male: 1 – 1.3kg (38-46oz) Female: 800g – 1kg (28-36oz)

Colours

The Lavender

Male and female plumage: An even shade of blue-grey throughout.

The Blue

Male plumage: Breast, belly, thighs, tail and closed secondaries the colour of new slate. Hackle, saddle and shoulders and sometimes the tail coverts and the primaries, two shades darker (like a slate after being wetted). Fluff slate-blue.
Female plumage: Blue slate colour with dark hackle like the male, often marked or laced all over with the darker shade. Fluff slate-blue.

The Black-Red

Male plumage: Breast, thighs, belly, tail and wings black. Wing bars green-black: secondaries when closed bay. Crest, head and neck orange-red striped black. Back, shoulders and wing bow red or mahogany.  Saddle hackle to match neck hackle. Fluff grey.
Female plumage: Hackle rich golden yellow broadly striped with black. Breast salmon. Muff salmon.  Salmon and ash-grey on thighs. Body colour brown pencilled black, each feather with a pale shaft. Tail brown spotted or grizzled with black. Fluff grey.

The Silver Duckwing

Male plumage: Resembles the black-breasted red in the black markings and blue wing bars; rest of the plumage clear silvery white. Fluff light grey.
Female plumage: Hackle white, lightly striped black. Body and wings even silvery grey. Breast pale salmon. Primaries and tail nearly black. Fluff light grey.

The Golden Duckwing

Male plumage: Hackle and saddle yellow straw. Shoulders deep golden. Wing bars steel blue; secondaries yellow or creamy straw when closed, remaining plumage black. Fluff light grey.
Female plumage: Breast deeper, richer colour and body slightly browner tinge than the silver duckwing female. Fluff light grey.

The Blue-red

Male plumage: The same colour pattern as the black-red with slate replacing black. Breast, thighs, belly and tail slate. Secondaries when closed bay. Wing bar slate.  Hackle and saddle feathers orange-red with blue centre stripe. Shoulders deep crimson-scarlet. Fluff dark slate.
Female plumage: Hackle golden striped. Breast and muff salmon. Body, wings and tail blue, finely peppered with golden brown. Fluff dark slate.

The Pyle

Male plumage: The pile is marked exactly like the black-red except that the black is exchanged for a clear cream-white. Secondaries bay.
Female plumage: Creamy-white with salmon breast and golden striped hackle.

The Crele

Male and female plumage: Neck hackle straw barred with gold or black. Back and shoulder bright gold-chestnut barred with straw-yellow. Wing bar dark grey barred with pale grey; primaries and secondaries dark grey barred with pale; outer web of secondaries chestnut, the chestnut only showing when wing closed. Saddle hackle pale straw barred gold. Breast and underparts dark grey. Tail and tail coverts dark grey barred with light grey. Legs and feet white, with some spotting allowed. Both single and double barred acceptable in the male

The Spangled

Male and female plumage: These have white tips to their feathers. The more of these spots and the more regularly they are distributed the better. The male should show white ends to the feathers on hackle and saddle. The colour may be red, black or brown, or a mixture of all three. Fluff white.

The Cuckoo

Male and female plumage: Light grey-blue ground colour, each feather crossed with broad bands of dark blue-grey. In the male, a lighter shade is permissible. Undercolour banded but of a lighter shade. Beak light horn or bluish. Legs and feet white with blue spots.

The Black

Male and female plumage: Black with green sheen.

The White

Male and female plumage: Snow-white throughout.

In box sexes and all colours:
Comb and face bright red.  Eyes dark orange.  Beak and nails horn.  Legs in all colours except cuckoo, willow to olive or slate.

Birds for Sale

Black-Red Araucana Pullets

Black-Red Araucana Pullets

Price: £25

Currently 1 available. Beardless.
Available to pre-order for 2018.

Blue-Red Araucana Pullets

Price: £25

Currently unavailable.
Available to pre-order for 2018.

Crele Araucana Pullets

Price: £25

Currently unavailable.
Available to pre-order for 2018.

Silver Duckwing Araucana Pullets

Price: £25

Currently unavailable.
Available to pre-order for 2018.

Black-Red Araucana Cockerels

Price: £20

Currently unavailable.
Available to pre-order for 2018.

Blue-Red Araucana Cockerels

Price: £20

Currently unavailable.
Available to pre-order for 2018.

Crele Araucana Cockerels

Price: £25

Currently unavailable.
Available to pre-order for 2018.

Silver Duckwing Araucana Cockerels

Price: £25

Currently unavailable.
Available to pre-order for 2018.

Gold Duckwing Araucana Pullets

Gold Duckwing Araucana Pullets

Price: £25

Currently 1 blue gold duckwing available.
Available to pre-order for 2018.

Non-Standard Araucana Pullets

Price: £25

Currently unavailable.
Available to pre-order for 2018.

Gold Duckwing Araucana Cockerels

Price: £25

Currently unavailable.
Available to pre-order for 2018.

Non-Standard Araucana Cockerels

Price: £25

Currently unavailable.
Available to pre-order for 2018.

We do not sell hatching eggs nor chicks. Photos of actual birds for sale.

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