The Araucana originates from South Chile and has taken its name from
the province called Arauca, the home of the Arauca Indians. A different
version of origin claims that the breed originated in Peru and was
imported by the Spaniards; this has never been proved, though.
The Portuguese explorer Magalia's (1480-1521) described poultry in 1519 that resemble Araucanas. In 1526, Spanish general and naturalist by the name of Cabot described poultry that laid blue eggs in Spain. It is assumed that this breed was present in more than one state in South America by the 17th. century. Even Dutch pirates who particularly attacked Spanish boats mentioned 'these funny chickens with earrings, which laid blue and green eggs'. These must have been Araucanas. Missionaries also mentioned this very special breed.
From 1880 onwards, Araucanas spread through Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay
and Uruguay. In Uruguay, ladies in higher circle kept and bred Araucanas
as a curiosity; it is known that in those days the egg production was
around 185 eggs a year.
The breed was intensively discussed at the first World Poultry Congress of the World Poultry Science Association (WPSA) in The Hague, the Netherlands in September 1921. After this congress, the breed became very well known throughout the world.
Some people think that Araucanas should be rumpless. This is not true, although there is a rumpless subspecies called Collonca that is also kept by many people. There are many descriptions of the Araucana and quite recently, the Ameraucana, an American version of the breed, was developed, but these have beards and whiskers instead of the ear tufts.
A true standard description is hard to make as the Araucana exists in
more than seven different types.
'The most well known types of the colored egg laying Araucanas are the:
A very hardy breed that is less susceptible to diseases. They achieve a
good egg production of around 200 per year in various colors, of which the
green and blue are the most common.
Depending on type, sex and age, they weigh around 1400- 2000 grams. Some very heavy ones of up to 4000 grams do occur in certain varieties.
The only TRUE Araucanas possess ear tufts and lay colored eggs. Color is of minor importance in this breed and rumpless as well as with tailed varieties exist. Other varieties include feathered feet types and frizzled.