[Bleck hen ]

Bleck hen

[Lavender hen]

Lavender hen

[Blue hen and rooster ]

Blue hen and rooster

[8 week old chicks ]

8 week old chicks

[eggs ]

eggs

September 09, 2014

After wanting them for well over 15 years, I have finally got some Araucanas. This is a rare poultry breed, where the hens lay eggs that are blue/green rather than white or brown.

Copied shamelessly from the Poultry Club of Britain's web-page:

"When the Spaniards arrived in South America, bringing with them the light Mediterranean breeds, they found that the indigenous Indians had domestic fowl which soon cross - bred with the incomers. Notable for their fierce resistance to the Spaniards, however, were the Indians of the Arauca province of northern Chile who were never conquered. The name Araucana for the breed is derived therefore from that part of the world where the South American and European fowls had the least opportunity to interbreed.
The Araucana breed standard in the British Isles is generally as envisaged by George Malcolm who created the true-breeding lavender Araucana, among other colours, in Scotland during the 1930s. Araucanas are prolific layers of strong - shelled eggs, blue or green eggs having been reported from South America from the mid - sixteenth century onwards. These are unique in that their colour permeates throughout the shell."

So I've got a 'starter pack', consisting of 1 rooster, 3 hens, 2 unsexed chicks, and a dozen eggs that I should be able to hatch if I can get my hands on an incubator soon.

The Australian Araucana is a very pretty, fluffy bird with little or no comb. The original breed have huge 'whiskers' - but the Australian version has some Silky breeding so they have bouffant 'hairdos' instead.

I always had dreamy images of getting a flock of blue egg laying hens, and going to the famers markets on a weekend and selling the eggs at huge mark-ups. Well, the breeders I bought the chooks from are doing something similar, they raise free range pork, lamb and (regular) eggs up North of Port Macquarie, then travel down to Newcastle to sell at farmers markets. It was such a great sight to see pigs free roaming in the grass and knowing that they will have had the best of lives before being slaughtered. It looks like incredibly hard work and I was very impressed. The Araucanas are just a sideline hobby, but they can't keep up with demand.

So between the Araucanas and the Langshans I am doing my bit to help preserve poultry genetics.

Posted by Amanda on September 9, 2014 05:11 PM