We all love chickens over here, regardless of whether we’re talking about them as family pets or as a stable source of fresh eggs and meat. But when it comes to the exact chicken breed however there are quite a lot of options to choose from out there that make buying the perfect chicken quite hard.
The fact of the matter is that each and every single breed out there has its own special quirks, and if you want to make sure that you fully took advantage of your choice then you need to pick the perfect one for you.
In order to help you find that special chicken breed we decided to bring you multiple guides which showcase the most unique options you can choose from. This is why for today we decided to bring you everything that you need to know about the Araucana chickens, or as they’re also called in the industry, the blue egg layers.
But before we get into the real reasons as to why you would buy a batch of these let’s just take a quick second to bring you up to speed with what the Araucana chickens are and why they’re so special in the first palace.
- What Are The Araucana Chickens?
- What Do Araucana Chickens Look Like?
- How Large Do Araucana Chickens Get?
- Do Araucana Chickens Lay Blue Eggs?
- Are Araucana Chickens Docile?
- Are Araucana Hens Broody?
- Can the Araucana Chickens Survive Extreme Temperatures?
- Are Araucana Chickens Curious?
What Are The Araucana Chickens?
The Araucana chicken is one of the most beautiful and unique looking chicken breeds out there. They are mostly known for the fact that they lay colored eggs, but because they are somewhat popular they actually are quite hard to come by nowadays.
As far as their origin goes, nobody really knows where they came from in the first place. There are plenty of debates going around, with the general consensus being that they must have come from somewhere around Chile, but even that’s debatable.
For the most part, the main reason as to why you would get them is because of their ability to lay blue eggs, but other than that you should also know that they can also be used for their meat too. Making them dual purpose. As mentioned previously, they are actually very rare in the United States, so if you currently reside here then chances are that you won’t be able to get your hands on one of these anytime soon.
The main reason as to why they refuse to breed them in the first place is the fact that they often don’t survive the hatching process, which is a precursor of their less-than-ideal genetics.
If you do still want a blue egg layer though you can always opt for another breed such as the Ameraucana or the Easter Egger. While definitely different, they still lay blue eggs at the end of the day so if push comes to shove you can always take that route instead.
But if you are really keen on getting yourself an Araucana chicken coop then you will most likely have to get in touch with a specialized breeder. They are the only ones that can facilitate the purchase of one of these chickens.
Even so, they are incredibly beautiful so if you can shill out an extra dollar you should be just fine with one or two of these in your coop.
What Do Araucana Chickens Look Like?
Although most people will be buying themselves a batch of Araucana chickens simply for their colored eggs, there is also the added benefit of their appearance that makes the deal all the more enticing as well. This is because when it comes to their physical characteristics, they are actually quite unique to say the least.
First and foremost, we need to mention the fact that their stance is a lot more upright than the typical chicken’s. Most fans of the breed have stated that this is very similar to some wild game birds’ species, which adds to their exotic nature.
Their backs lack that certain curve that most chickens have, literally going straight up from their bottom half to their top half.
We mentioned previously that the Ameraucana and the Easter Egger breeds are similar in that they both lay blue eggs, but there is an actual reason for this confusion. These two breeds are actually hybrids of the Araucana that were first introduced back in the 1930s.
They were brought to the general public because of the aforementioned genetical dispositions that the Araucana chickens have, basically as a replacement for them. Outside of their upright stature you also have the following physical characteristics to look into:
They Have Tufts
Yes, you read that right, not only do Araucana’s cheeks have tufts coming out of them, but they are just as strange and comical as you’d think they’d be. They actually grow right underneath their ears and they have been compared with a gentleman’s handlebar moustache a lot of the time.
Although the typical Araucana chicken will have them on both sides, we should mention how sometimes they can have one side be way larger than the other or they can only grow on one side altogether.
This makes Araucana chickens so much more unique looking, especially if you do have them grow tufts only on one side of their cheeks.
Araucana chickens also have the strange physical abnormality of not actually having a tail attached to their bum. You know how chickens tend to have those long tail feathers sticking right out from there? Yes, Araucana chickens completely dismiss that stereotype, pretty much changing up the norm with this bold decision.
All jokes aside, this is one of the main reasons as to why the Araucana chicken appears to have such an upright posture. Instead of having those massive feathers popping out you just have their bums sticking out. You may think that this is funny to look at, but in actuality it is quite sad considering the fact that it is this disposition that leads to a lot of them dying during incubation.
As a result, most breeders will refuse to carry any Araucana chickens with them since they are very hard to come by and out of a batch of a hundred, they’d be lucky to have over seventy of them ready to ship out the day after.
So, if you want to make sure that you can get your hands on a Araucana chicken then you will have to look for a really dedicated breeder that loves to care for them and help them spread out more.
If you’re new to buying Araucana chickens though and you want to make sure that you don’t get scammed anytime soon you should look out for the breed’s special traits that only they have.
For example, they have pea combs closer to their heads than they are for most other breeds out there. On top of that, the Araucana are also clean-legged creatures, and while the color of their legs may vary from chicken to chicken, for the most part they will share the same black or blue hue altogether.
As far as their wing color goes, as much as we’d like to say that they’re all one color or another, you can find them in the whole spectrum of colors that there is.
The Araucana chicken comes in red, silver, white, black and even golden colors. The darker they are, the more prominent their legs’ colors will be, so if you’re looking at a fully golden Araucana chicken then chances are that the chicken will also have very black or blue legs too.
How Large Do Araucana Chickens Get?
Araucana chickens are actually considered to be on the smaller side of the chicken spectrum, even smaller than the standard chickens that you can get at any hatchery for that matter.
They are still fairly larger than bantams, but when put side to side with the Brahma’s, let’s just say that there’s no real competition to be had over there.
They usually weigh around 5lbs or so each, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find them in a smaller size. In fact, you can find Araucana chickens as small as the bantams, although they are even rarer than the typical Araucana chickens, so you most likely won’t be able to get your hands on any of them unless you’re very persistent or very lucky.
But don’t worry, just because they’re small that doesn’t mean that they’ll also be small for a very long time. In fact, they actually grow surprisingly fast, to the point where they can grow into fully fledged adults’ way faster than most other chicken breeds out there.
Do Araucana Chickens Lay Blue Eggs?
The answer here is yes, and this is actually the main reason as to why they are sought after so much these days too. You can use them for their meat too, but since they are so small it’s pretty much impossible to get your money’s worth if you’re planning on using them for that avenue alone.
Since the hens are quite a lot smaller, their eggs are around medium-sized or so which makes them perfect if you want to decorate your Easter basket with them.
The typical Araucana hen will lay around 3 eggs every week, meaning that while they’re not exactly the most proficient at it, they can still more than deliver on their promises and bring you a decent amount of profit just from their eggs alone.
Just remember that since they do originate from warmer climates, they actually end up completely taking their time off during winters, so don’t expect to be collecting any eggs during that time period.
Are Araucana Chickens Docile?
The strangest part about the Araucana chickens is the fact that although they are very friendly for the most part, they can also be extremely temperamental on the flip of a dime. Most owners have stated that they’ve never had a problem with them in their life, but there are still quite a handful of people out there that would also tell you otherwise.
This means that they are as varied as they get, so you can never be sure of whether the chicken will be docile and friendly or whether they will follow you around everywhere trying to attack you like you just looked them down funny in a 1940s western action flick.
The fact of the matter is that they’re very energetic chickens, so it fully depends on them whether they use that extra bit of energy to hop on your lap and ask to be petted or if they will be attacking you non stop around the coup.
Are Araucana Hens Broody?
The answer to this question is a hundred percent yes, and for good reason too. The typical Araucana hen will be very protective of its chicks, to the point where they can even attack you despite having been the friendliest chicken ever until that point.
This is why after they do have their chicks it’s best to leave them alone with their babies so that you don’t agitate it too much. Just be sure to keep in mind that if the momma hen has been a bit too broody even without your interference and she has also lost a bit of weight then it might be time to remove her from any unhatched eggs.
Can the Araucana Chickens Survive Extreme Temperatures?
Despite the fact that Araucana chickens are typically warm weather creatures, that doesn’t mean that they’re just going to stand down and accept their doom when the cold temperatures come. Instead, the Araucana is actually surprisingly hardy during the coldest of weathers, to the point where they can easily survive without a problem thanks to their pea comb.
On that matter, the Araucana can also easily survive the hot weather too. We mentioned previously how this breed originates from warmer climates, which is why they can easily make it through the most arid weather imaginable, as log as they have some water to drink and a decent amount of wind to keep them breezy.
We still recommend investing in a cooling pad or a way to warm them up during the coldest winters though. Even though they’re well equipped to handle it all with ease, that doesn’t mean that they should have to endure it all.
Be conscious of your chickens’ struggles and make sure to invest in them so as to get your money back by the end of the ordeal.
Are Araucana Chickens Curious?
Not only are Araucana chickens very curious, but they can also spend all day long running around the coop as mentioned previously thanks to their energetic nature. They are very lively creatures, to the point where they’ll spend most of their time scratching around from corner to corner looking for the tastiest treats that they could find around the coop.
On top of that they’re also very alert at all times, meaning that even if a predator is a couple of meters away from them and they’re chowing down on the sweetest grub they had that month, they’ll still be able to react in time and run off to safety if needed.
Just remember that this energy also does translate into them being very easy to rile up, so they can be quite vocal especially during late evenings. So, make sure that they’re not placed somewhere within your neighbor’s earshot so as to not get any complaints from them. Also, this energy of theirs also makes them very annoying to take care of if you don’t invest in a good fence around their coop.
They’ll scratch away day and night until they’ll have their freedom, so unless you want to surprise your neighbor with some of the loudest mouths on this planet, we recommend that you get a good quality fence going. They can also make for great advertisement chickens thanks to their unique looks and of course, their colorful eggs.
Even if you don’t plan on selling them on the open market you should still be able to surprise your friends and family members every time they come by and they see you bring a basket of naturally blue shaded eggs.
So, just to reiterate, are the Araucana chickens curious? Yes. Are they energetic? Yes. Can they be extremely temperamental? Absolutely. Despite all of this, they can also be extremely cuddly and friendly, so don’t feel like these are all just red flags to look out for.
The Araucana chickens are very hard to come by, and because of this they can also be very expensive. Now, are there better choices for you if you’re looking to make a quick buck? Of course, there’s no doubt about that.
But at the same time, if you want to get your hands on one of the most unique chicken breeds on the market you just can’t go wrong with the Araucana chickens. They are dual purpose after all, and while they are not the largest option on the market, they are more than worthy of the investment to say the least.