Ancona Chicken


Last Updated on February 9, 2021 by Pauline G. Carter

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
Primary use:Eggs
Weight:Male: 2.5–2.8 kgFemale: 1.8–2.1 kg
Recognized Varieties:Rose Comb, Single Comb
Egg production (annual): 180
Egg color:White
Egg size:Large
Comb type: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.

Related Article – Rhode Island Red Chickens

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.

What are the Pros and Cons of the Ancona Chicken?

We Liked

  • Hardy
  • Excellent egg layers
  • Good in cold weather
  • Good foragers
  • Very beautiful and closely feathered
  • Start laying earlier
  • Chicks are vigorous and mature quickly

We Don’t Like

  • They need plenty of space and don’t like confinement
  • Not considered a beginners breed
  • minusFlighty

Is The Ancona Chicken A Right Choice For You?

See if you feel this is a bird to include in your flock:

  • Ancona chickens loves its freedom. This means if you feel it’s a good choice for you, you will need to build a coop that gives them plenty of space.
  • Their run needs to give them plenty of place to move and roam. They’ve got sturdy wings to fly so you need high fences, but not confinement.
  • As chickens go, this breed tolerates the cold more than a lot of other breeds. The coop will still have to be draft-free as well as moisture-free, with good insulation for when the days are at their coldest.
  • hand-o-rightThere are some breeders who like to follow the natural process of the four seasons by holding back on artificial lighting, allowing their chickens to molt in the darker winter months.
  • hand-o-rightThey are free-spirited birds, alert and active and well equipped to survive against their predators.

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