Ancona Chickens can be wonderful, but this breed is not meant for everyone. Learn what you need to know to decide if this breed is suitable for a good addition to your flock.
That is because they are difficult to handle and not ideal for people living in a small yard. Of course, if you are thinking of keeping this chicken, you must know everything about it before deciding.
History Of The Ancona Chickens
|Type||Large Fowl and Bantam|
|Size||Six to Seven Pounds|
|Recognized Varieties||Rose Comb and Single Comb|
The Ancona’s name comes from the capital city of the Marche Province of Italy with the same name. The breed was a heritage breed staple hen on all farms for many centuries in Italy.
During the 19th century, they were introduced in the U.K. A while after this, the breed was also introduced in the U.S. During the original breeding of them, various breeds were mixed, including the Leghorns.
This is why many people also refer to this breed as the Black Leghorns. However, they are not one of the black chicken breeds. You will find two primary types of birds: rose comb and single comb.
Italy only considers the rose comb as a valid breed, but the American Poultry Association also recognizes the single comb.
|Egg Laying||Excellent (5/week)|
The egg-laying capacities of this breed are excellent. The hens lay between 200 and 280 eggs each year. The egg size can also vary between medium and large, but they usually lay large eggs.
They will start laying eggs around the age of 5 months. They will lay eggs all year. The best part is that Ancona’s are cold-hardy, which means they will continue to lay eggs in the winter without a significant decrease in productivity.
Even for the free-range Ancona chickens, you must provide a nesting box. Like with all chicken breeds, a secure place they are trained to lay will make happy hens. You know what Granny said, “Happy Hens, Happy Eggs.”
It will also make it easier for you to gather eggs and track egg production.
Features of the Breed
|Comb Type||Rose Comb and Single Comb|
|Number of Toes||4|
The comb type of the Ancona chicken comes in two options, one is a single comb, and the other is a rose comb. The single comb Ancona chicken will easily handle the heat.
On the other hand, the rose comb Ancona chicken will easily handle the cold because the rose comb is not as susceptible to frostbite as the single comb.
Besides that, the single comb Ancona chicken’s comb will have five unique points that will stand upright on the rooster. However, the front point will stand up on a hen, and the other four points will flop over.
The feathers of the Ancona chicken are black and white with a mottled pattern. You will notice that the mottling pattern of the chicken comes from the black feathers tipped in white. The whites are shaped in a V, and they are evenly distributed throughout the body. Typically, 1/3rd of the Ancona chicken feathers will be mottled.
The Ancona chicken will also have mottling on the toes and legs. The feature is not common in chickens, making this a unique feature of the breed.
Ancona Chicken Characteristics
|Cold Hardiness||Hardy in winter|
|Heat Tolerance||Not too heat hardy|
|Bears Confinement||Will tolerate confinement|
|Personality||Avoids human contact but stays active|
The Ancona chicken breed is fairly hardy and will not require much care from you. They tolerate both heat and the cold.
However, the rose comb Ancona will tolerate the cold better, and the single comb Ancona will tolerate the heat better.
These chickens have interesting personalities as they are entertaining, social, and highly active. However, they also have flight tendencies, which can make them difficult to handle.
Because Ancona chickens like to explore they do not stand confinement well. They are an ideal free-range chicken.
If you are keeping them in a coop or your backyard, you must keep a netting on top to ensure you don’t lose them. Even if you clip their wings, they will keep trying to flutter over and may make it.
The Ancona chickens can be an ideal addition to any chicken farm or coop. However, you have to be able to accommodate their free spirits.
They do not do well in confinement.
They have flight tendencies.
People with small backyards or who cannot free-range their chickens should not have this breed.
They lay an average of 250 white eggs per year of medium-large size.
The rose comb variety will do better in cold climates because it is not as susceptible to frostbite as a single comb.
They are not ideal for families because it likes to avoid human contact.
So, if you want a free-range bird that lays eggs all year, this breed will be perfect for you.
If Ancona chickens are not right for you, you learn about other breeds that might work best for you in our Chicken archives.
As always, we’re here to help.