Araucana

 

 

        Little is known of the origin of the Araucana and what has been passed on is that some came from South America near northern Chile.  The very term Araucana was applied to the hybrid offspring of the two breeds raised by the Araucana Indian called Collonca (rumpless, blue egg producing) and Quetro (tufted non blue egg producing). The esteemed Dr. Castello who had originally mistaken the tufted rumpless as the "true" type  was not informed until after his initial announcement that his Gallus Inauris "Araucana" was the result of a hybridization program and they existed only on a farm of Dr. Bustos in Valparaiso, Chile.

         The Araucana has several distinct features. The most prominent features are it's rumplessness, ear whiskers "Tufts", pea comb , virtually no wattles and they have the distinction of laying Turquoise or blue shelled eggs . Rumplessness means that the birds, both male and female, do not possess a tail. It is not simply a bird with missing tail feathers, rather, the entire coccyx is missing. The ear whiskers that are present on the breed are called tufts. They are feathers that grow from the ear lobe region . These feather "tufts" can grow many different ways such as straight up , downward , rearward etc.. They can also vary in size from small to large. The tuft characteristic should not be confused with beards/muff . Although beards/muff may resemble small ear tufts, they are not tufts. The Blue color laying characteristic should permeate right through the egg shell.   This is unlike brown-shelled eggs where the coloring is just on the surface of the egg. Because of genetic contamination, many Araucana do not lay sky-blue colored eggs. 

The Araucana was first imported in the United State and breed successfully by Mr. Ward Brower Jr. , according to the story his correspondence with the Department of agriculture showed that not a single living Araucana existed in the US but that two breeders were known to have own them but their birds had all died. He then decided to import them from Chile, in autumn 1930 He received  3 sad looking chickens more dead than alive. He describe them as a rooster with obvious Dominican blood a hen with RIR and the other with RIR and Barred Plymouth Rock one was rumpless and all had the feather "whisker" trade mark of the Araucana.

The Araucana is very difficult to breed.  By hatching only eggs that are sky-blue and have the blue color all the way through the shell, the poultry breeder can be more certain of hatching quality offspring. Brown or white eggs should not be hatched as birds who lay those eggs possess a high degree of genetic contamination.  It is also said that the odds of getting a show quality bird is very low even if you start with two show quality parents. Due to the Araucana genetic make-up you will end up with some offspring being as describe in the standard; some having tail modifier, some with tuft some without and some with only one tuft or uneven tuft. The tuft gene can be lethal  leading to some of the hatching chicks being still-born (dead in the shell) .

Economic Qualities

        Bred primarily for its novel characteristic of blue/Turqoise eggs, the Araucana  is, nevertheless, a dual-purpose fowl that carries a plump, well-fleshed carcass.  The hens are good layers of medium-size eggs.