Wednesday, February 28Food Security Matters

Ancona Chicken Breed History and Characteristics

The Ancona chicken is a chicken breed that originated near the city of Ancona, Italy, from early Leghorns and other breeds. Its mixed ancestry gives it extreme hardiness and prolificacy. Anconas were originally known as Black Leghorns because of their color, which is black with evenly white-tipped feathers.

As with Leghorns, Anconas are known primarily for producing large numbers of white eggs. They were once one of the prime egg-producing breeds in Europe and joined American farm flocks in the 19th century. Active and busy birds, are good foragers and are said to be indifferent to the climate.

Ancona chicken
Ancona Hen

The Ancona is a typical Mediterranean breed of chicken, rustic, lively, and hardy. These are the common fowls that inhabit central Italy. Named after the port of Ancona these birds range widely and take flight easily. The Ancona is also a particularly good egg layer.

Ancona Chicken Characteristics

The Ancona has a distinct plumage with black coloring and white-tipped feathers. The amount of white grows with each molting. The ear lobes are white, which has no connection to the egg color. In contrast to the black plumage, the legs are yellow. The comb can either be a single or rose comb. The egg color is white and the size ranges from medium to large.

Varieties: Single Comb, Rose Comb.

Standard Weights: Cock: 6 lbs; hen: 4 1/2 lbs; cockerel: 5 lbs; pullet: 4 lbs

Uses:  A small fowl that lays a fair number of rather small eggs.

Status: From both the Livestock Conservancy and the Illustrated Guide to Chickens, the Ancona is not as numerous as some other breeds and is under watch.

Frequently Asked Questions about Ancona

What color eggs do Ancona chickens lay?

The Ancona is a good layer of white eggs, of which it lays an average of 220 per year; the eggs weigh 50 g (1.8 oz) or more. Hens have little tendency to broodiness; pullets may begin to lay at 5 months.

Are Ancona hens good layers?

The Ancona hens are particularly good egg layers. Anconas lay around 180 lovely large eggs per year. Personality: Anconas are often described as flighty but with calm firm handling they are quite docile.

Are Ancona chickens rare?

The Ancona chicken is a heritage breed. The reason for the label is that it came from Italy and was bred in England and then ended up in America in the late 1800s. This is a rare breed to find and is extremely desirable.

How long do Ancona chickens live?

Ancona chickens aren’t known to have any health problems unique to them. In an ideal environment, Ancona chickens can live 8 years or more.

Are Ancona chickens cold-hardy?

Like other Mediterranean breeds, Anconas are closely feathered, active, good foragers, and have good layers. The Ancona is also extremely hardy in cold weather.

At what age do Ancona chickens start laying eggs?

Ancona hens generally start laying around twenty weeks of age and will lay year-round. These chickens are so unperturbed by the cold weather that they will happily continue to lay at the same average during the winter as they do in the summer.

Are Ancona roosters friendly?

Ancona chickens are very hardy and active birds. They are also extremely hardy in cold weather.

Are Ancona chickens noisy?

Pros: Lays good eggs and can easily escape predators. Cons: Can be a little noisy and gets spooked easily. Anconas are good layers. They should not be kept as cuddly birds and should only be picked up if they wish to be or you have to.

Are Ancona chickens heat tolerant?

The Ancona chicken breed is fairly hardy and will not require much care from you. They tolerate both heat and cold.

Are there any Ancona chickens in the Philippines?

As of this writing, we don’t know anyone who raises and breeds Ancona here in the Philippines.

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