Other common names: Buff Catalana; Catalana del Prat Leonada; Prat
The Catalana chicken breed is a Mediterranean-type breed which was developed in Catalonia, Spain. According to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC), "The breed was introduced to the rest of the world at the 1902 World’s Fair held in Madrid, Spain. It was favorably received, and, by 1949, had been admitted to the standard in America as a recognized breed. The Catalana chicken attracted a limited following in the U.S. and Canada, but was popular in Latin American countries."
Types: Bantam, Largefowl
Varieties (Single Comb): Black Tailed Buff
Uses: Eggs, Meat
Bantam: 28 - 32 oz
Largefowl: 6 - 8 lbs
Personality: The active Catalana is an excellent forager, that generally avoids people.
Preferred climate: Warm
Handles confinement: Not close confinement, but large pens are acceptable.
Egg production: Good (3/week)
Egg color: Tinted
Egg size: Large
excellent moms, fantastic layers, good foragers, largest eggs, egg color
human interaction, pretty flighty birds
Mediterranean breeds, Catalan region
Buff Catalanas don't look like this photo!
Buff Catalanas, from the Catalan region of Spain, are gorgeous birds--the second largest of the Mediterranean breeds, and layers of the largest eggs. They are fantastic layers, the hens are very gentle, and they're good foragers. The roosters are even more beautiful (if you look at Picasso's roosters, you'll see they're all buff Catalanas). And the roosters are sweeties, nice to the hens, easy to deal with. The catalanas are without any doubt the easiest and most gentle of the Meds, which include leghorns, minorcas (also pretty easy), Spanish, and some pretty flighty birds. I highly recommend them--they very occasionally set, and when they do, they're excellent moms (though this is really not a reason to get them--breeds such as cochins and shamos are much more likely to set when you want them to).
From Mendocino Aug 2 2010 9:48PM
Catalanas are awesome
Catalans chickens are pretty awesome. Their egg color can vary from white to pink. Once in a while we get a light brown one. Which is pretty cool. I’ve heard they’re not very friendly, you know, not wanting any human interaction, but we bought ours as very young chicks and raised them up like we would any pet. A lot of hand-holding and interaction with our dog, too. So, I’ve never experienced them being nervous or mean-spirited. Occasionally, if one gets spooked by a hawk or buzzard flying overhead, they all run off and hide under our deck, but for the most part, we can walk right up to them, pick them up and return them to the hen house.
During the winter months, they like to hang close to our dog. I guess for warmth. It’s cute, and our dog loves it. He’s pretty protective over them. He has to fight the need to herd them, but he’s pretty well trained and has never hurt or chased one out of aggression. They seem to like him too.
Deciding to get chickens was based on wanting fresh eggs. So, we bought 9, thinking we might lose a few within the first month or so, but they’re pretty hardy. We did lose one to a possum a few years ago, but we haven’t had any health issues with this breed. The possum somehow found his way into the hen house. It actually woke us up, because they were freaking out. These chickens are pretty fierce. They all ganged up on him and had him cornered. It was a little scary, but he got away and we reinforced our hen house the next day to keep predators like this out. Haven’t had a problem since.
My favorite thing about having chickens is the eggs, of course. There’s a huge difference in quality and taste when they’re fresh. I’d estimate about 4 or 5 eggs a week per chicken, but it’s hard to tell since we have so many.
The worse thing about having chickens is the mess. Yes, you have to clean their shelter pretty routinely. It’s kind of nasty. Yuck. Also, they leave their droppings on our deck and all over the yard. The whole “no shoes” in the house is a good idea, if you do a lot of walking in the area that they occupy. I think it’s really important to wash your hands after handling them or the eggs. I guess that goes without saying, but thought I should mention it.
Also, cleaning the eggs can be a pain, but well worth it. All in all, we love having chickens. They’re pretty self-efficient. We give them fresh water twice a day and of course they’re fed, but they also eat on their own. They have a very large area to roam and scratch. I would definitely recommend housing them at night, though. It’s a safety thing. Hope this was helpful..
From cclemmons Sep 24 2014 11:08AM