Ancona chickens originated from Italy, from Marche. It got its name from the capital of March; Ancona, a seaport. The culture in Italy was one of fine cuisine, beautiful artworks, and beautiful music, and the beautiful Ancona Chicken became part of that culture, thriving in its home environment.
Because of their popularity, the bird spread to continue the breed in the UK as well as the United States. They were bred from mixing Leghorns along with other chicken breeds, making it extremely hardy from the mixed ancestry.
Their black feathers went on to them being called Black Leghorns, which is another name for them.
Ancona Chicken | Breed Profile
Country of origin:
Italy; United Kingdom
Male: 2.5–2.8 kg
Rose Comb, Single Comb
Egg production (annual):
Single or rose
Characteristics Of The Ancona Chicken
Ancona chickens have two varieties. One is a single-comb variety and the other is a rose-comb variety. The American Poultry Association recognizes both of them. There is also a bantam variety.
This bird is mainly bred for its eggs. On average, the hen can lay around 180-220 eggs in a year; large white eggs. Pullets will start laying from around 5 months old already. They are hardy, lively birds.
Their plumage is black. The plumage is also white-mottled. Out of three feathers, one will have a v-shaped white marking at the tip. The tail, the sickles and all the primary fathers should have these white tips.
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You might notice that the black fathers have a greenish tint to them. Every time the bird molts, the white spots actually get bigger, so the older the bird becomes, the whiter the feathers are.
The Ancona has orange-red eyes, yellow legs with mottled black coloring; the same as their beaks. They have yellow skin. Their ear lobes are white. In the rooster, this is very striking to look at.
When you compare the Ancona to other egg laying breeds, the Ancona is an outstanding egg layer. Adult roosters weigh around 2.8 kg., the hen around 2.1 kg.They are very hardy, particularly in cold weather.
The Ancona Chicken temperament is one of a free-spirited bird. They are quite good flyers too, curious and alert. If you want these birds around, you will need some high fencing. They are not happy when confined in small areas.
They can become quite tame, if handled with kindness and care. It loves roaming around, foraging, living to around 8 years.
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