Ancona

This breed of chicken can be traced back to the Italian port of Ancona, from which it was originally shipped abroad. Originally found in a variety of colors, ranging from white to brown to black, these chickens have been standardized into a single breed. Nowadays they sport mottled black plumage, with occasional white-tipped feathers that are found throughout the bird. They have a beetle-green or purple sheen to their feathers, which is most noticeable in hte sunlight. Occasionally, a hint of copper/brown may be found in the hackle (neck) as a result of their previous appearance, which occasionally pop up in their genetics. They are a relatively hardy breed, and they may lay further into winter with out supplemented light.

  • Appearance:
    • Male: Ancona roosters sport a large, red, single comb, as well as long, curving and elegant sickles (long tail feathers), that give it a very regal appearance. In addition, it has very large white earlobes, that are somewhat almond-shaped, that can be very striking. As far as breeding is concerned, keep an eye out of copper hackles, and less white splashing in the feathers is usually a good sign. As far as for eating, however, these birds are quite unsuitable, as they take a long time, and are difficult to fatten.
    • Female: The hens of the Ancona breed have a combination of characteristics that is quite typical in similar breeds such as the white leghorn. They have superior food-to-egg-laying ratios, as we often see in many of the lighter, egg-laying breeds. They lay a lot of eggs in comparison to various other breeds, which is often attributed to their possible inter-breeding with leghorns, which were nearby geographically. Visually, they have a comb that usually is drooped over to one side, so if you see this in your hen, don't worry.
    • Face: Red
    • Comb: Red single or rose comb
    • Earlobes: White
    • Skin color: Yellow
    • Beak color: Yellow with some horn or black in the center of the upper mandible.
    • Eyes: Red-Orange
    • Legs: Yellow
  • Weight: 
    • Rooster-6
    • Hen-4.5
    • Cockerel-5
    • Pullet-4
  • Purpose: Egg-Laying
  • Origin: Ancona, Italy
  • Common: Rare
  • Egg color: White to Cream.
  • Egg size: Large
  • Eggs a week/year: 3-4 eggs a week and about 160-180 a year.  
  • Broody: No
  • Confinement: Not Good
  • Compatibility: Good, especially for a smaller breed, which can be feisty at times.
  • Hardy:Yes, they were in fact, raised in Italy, which, contrary to typical belief, can be very cold in the winters, in addition to the heat of the summers.
  • Bantam: Yes
  • Personality: Very quick and alert, these chickens are active, and make excellent use of their surroundings in a free-range setting. They can be flighty, however, so make sure that you discourage escape.
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