Acquired: Bred animal myself
Posted Jan 05, 2015
The Araucana chicken has been a popular breed in my house for most of my growing up years due to the hardiness and longevity of the breed as well as the gorgeous blue-green shades of the eggs.
The hens come in various golden shades of brown but are not particularly eye catching coloring wise. The roosters are more colorful though with shining black, brilliant red and fiery oranges.
Not sure about meat quality. I never raised any chickens for meat, only eggs.
NOTE: Araucanas have been bred for cheek tufts, little puffs of feathers on their cheeks. I'm not exactly sure why, possibly for aesthetic purposes, but either way, it makes for markedly lower chances of survival in the chicks especially. If you can at all avoid the tufted cheeks (which might be difficult because it's a prominent trait of the breed), I would highly recommend it.
Some are also "rumpless" which just means they have no tail. Again, it can cause breeding problems but it shouldn't effect egg production or the quality of the meat.
- (Despite the tufted cheek issue) long life expectancy because they're a hardy breed, approximately 7-9 years, maybe even longer if they're well taken care of though egg production will go down with age.
- Excellent foragers
- Not aggressive. They're pretty quiet, tame and not aggressive towards humans or other chickens.
- Medium layers. Egg production seems to slow a little in the winter but that's expected due to cold and shorter days.
- Gorgeous eggshell coloring.
- Broody is iffy. My Araucanas have not been all that broody but I've heard others can be.
- Tuft gene makes it difficult to breed. High mortality rate in chicks.