What Are Araucana Chickens?

Araucana chickens originated in South America. The Araucanians Indians of Chile are generally credited with developing Araucanas. The breed as it exists today is a hybrid from the Collonca and the Quetros breeds.

The Collonca is a rumpless chicken that lays blue eggs. The Quetros breed has ear tufts andis tailed and they lay pinkish brown eggs. Both breeds originated in South America.

Araucanas are very often confused with Ameraucanas and ‘Easter Egg” chickens. Ameraucanas also lay blue eggs but it differs from Araucanas because it has a tail and also muffs anda beard. So-called Easter Egg chickens are actually not a breed at all. This is a term given
to any chicken that lays colored eggs.

Five varieties of Araucana chickens are recognized by the American Poultry Association in Standard and Bantam sizes. They are Black, Black Breasted Red, Golden Duckwing, Silver Duckwing,and White.

Araucanas are famous for laying blue eggs. The blue color comes from a deposition of a liverbile pigment throughout the egg. This can also be seen inside the shell. The gene that causes the blue color is a genetically dominant trait. When crossed with other breeds, the hen
will always lay blue or tinted eggs.

For decades many people claimed that Araucana eggs had little or no cholesterol. This was finally dismissed as purely a myth when researchers at Kansas State University released their
studies in 1977. Their study compared the eggs from the Leghorn and Plymouth Rock breeds toAraucana eggs. This study showed that eggs from Araucana chickens did not have lower
cholesterol levels.

Much of the credit for the development of the modern Araucana goes to Dr. Peter Bustros.Dr.Bustros was a soldier in the Chilean army in the 1880’s. He observed the Araucanian Indiansand their unique chickens. He obtained some breeding stock from them and later developed
what is now the modern day Araucana. In 1914 Professor Salvadore Castello Carreras visited
Dr. Bustros and introduced the breed to the World Poultry Congress in 1918.

Araucanas are one of the most unique and interesting breeds of all poultry. Raising these distinctive birds can be a most enjoyable and pleasant hobby. After all what other breed ofchickens will give you delicious blue eggs?

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