Posts Tagged ‘ancona hens’

Anconas as egg layers

The Ancona breed of chicken was first brought into the UK in the late 1880s because of its good all-year-round egg laying abilities. In fact they were such strong egg layers that there were many commercial egg laying flocks of Anconas producing eggs around the time of the first and second world wars. Hybrid egg breeds have since exceeded the output of the Ancona so  they are no longer used commercially, but they still have a very valued place in the backyard flock and at poultry shows.  Their eggs are very similar to leghorn eggs in size, weight and colour of shell. They can lay around 300 white eggs each year.

History of Anconas

Ancona Hen with single comb

Ancona chickens, as their name suggests, originated from Ancona, Italy. They were imported into England and then later America in the mid to late 1800s. Anconas were originally imported into Europe because of their known ability as winter layers. There are two varieties; rose and single comb, with absolutely no difference except in the comb itself.

In the classic text ‘Origin and History of All Breeds of Poultry’ the Ancona is described as being “of the Spanish group, being somewhat larger than the leghorn. The plumage is beetle-green ground (almost a jet black), the feathers tipped with white, evenly mottled throughout, with no tendency to lacing. Shanks and toes yellow or yellow shaded or mottled with black. Wattles red, ear lobes white. They are non-setters, and exceedingly good layers.”

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Seperating the Pullets