Araucana

$15.00Price
  • Araucanas are an ultra-rare heritage breed  recongized by the APA since the 70's. Highly sought after by blue egg lovers, 4H and APA  members looking for a show quality chicken,  families that like fun characteristics in their flock, and enthusiast with the desire to save the endangered breed.  The rarity of the Araucanas is enhanced due to the difficulty in breeding.. Their fertility is significantly less than other breeds caused by their rumpless genetics.  Chick morbility rate is higher than other breeds caused by tuft genetics.  The cost to obtain Araucana offspring is much higher than any other breed.  Most breeds have a >95% hatch rate. Tufted Arucana’s frequently have less than 25% hatch rate.  Thus, hatcheries do not offer purebred Araucana and choose to sell the more common Easter Eggers, Americana, and Ameraucanas, which mainly lay blue eggs but can lay other colors as well.

    Araucana can sport black, black red, silver duckwing, white, and golden duckwing feather colors. The darker colored varieties of this chicken may have black or blue legs.  Even though hens are on the smaller size, their eggs are medium-sized.  Hens enjoy raising clutch of chicks. Araucanas are particularly curious and active chickens, and they love to spend their days foraging for tasty treats. They are savvy chickens, who keep their eyes peeled for predators and do their best to stay out of harm’s way.


    Are you an enthusiast up to the challenge to enhance this breed to save it from the endangered list?

    Breeding the Araucana balances art & science.  It can take deep dedication over decades to continuously improve the breed.  There are several breeding considerations involved to enhance the offspring.  Traits such as the peduncles (tufts), rumples (no tail), blue egg color, skin color (yellow or white), and shank color (yellow or willow), and feather color can be thought-provoking.  

    Tufts add comical character to the Araucana.  The feathers protrude from a fold of skin under their ears and often compared to a handlebar mustache.  The Et gene in the Araucana breed is not the same as the Amerucana tufts.  Araucanas have an organ that flowers in stalk-like manner.  This explains why they are either there or not — they do not appear as the bird ages but are there from the start.  Araucanas can be clean faced, single tufted, or double tufted.  Double tufted are required for exhibition.  Tufts are not sex linked,  are dominant, and lethal when paired. Chicks impacted die inside their shell during days 17-19 of incubation. Chick mortality of tufted chicks is significantly higher resulting in death from “failure to thrive” within a week.  Araucana flocks are often a mixture of tufted and clean-faced birds to decrease the mortality rate in offspring. 

    Like double-tufts, rumplessness is also required for exhibition.  It looks like the bird is missing it’s tail.   Rumpless is an easier trait to breed.  Only one parent needs to have the trait for the characteristic to be dominant in their offspring.   The lack of movable tails  creates difficulty for fertilization,  as roosters use the weight of their tail to make contact with the hen’s cloaca. To improve this situation, some breeders mate rumpless hens to a tailed roosters in an effort to enhance fertility.  

    Only blue egg laying Araucanas are allowed for exhibition.  Thus, only hatch from the best blue eggs.   

     

    Curious about how egg color occurs? When liver pigment is deposited simultaneously with the calcium carbonate, the whole egg is blue (inner and outer shell).  When the liver bile is deposited  instead with the shell gland, the outside of the egg shell is brown.  If the two color cross, the egg surface will be either a khaki olive, a dull green, or even pink.  

    While it is common for offspring that lack exhibition eligibility, chicken fanciers enjoy enhancing the breed by selecting the offspring with the traits desired to slowly weed out undesired traits from their breeding program.  This of course takes time and pride in breed selection.

 

Strasburg, CO 80136, USA

303-359-9484

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Local Farming through permaculture routes.
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