Araucana

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Araucanas derive from chickens imported in the early 1930s from Chile’s Gulf of Arauco. Besides laying eggs with pale blue shells, the breed has several other distinguishing features. They lack a tail bone. And they have spectacular ear tufts. Five color varieties are standard: black, black breasted red, golden duckwing, silver duckwing, and white.

The Araucana standard calls for bilateral tufting, meaning a single clump of feathers on each side of the neck. The tufts should match in size, shape, and symmetry. However, they don’t always match. Sometimes more than one tuft occurs on a side. Or a tuft grows on one side but not the other.

Further, the tufted trait carries a lethal gene. Chicks that inherit the gene from both parents develop deformities and die in the shell during incubation.

As an additional complication, the rumpless feature interferes with fertility. One of the functions of a chicken’s tail is to pull feathers away from the vent during mating. Rumpless chickens bred for generations gradually develop shorter backs until they can no longer breed naturally.

Due to their poor hatch rate and the difficulty of breeding them to standard conformation, the Araucana breed is extremely rare. Cackle Hatchery® offered Araucanas from 2012-2016, but discontinued them after 4 years. We knew our customers would never be satisfied with this breed.

If you want a chicken that lays eggs with blue shells, consider the Ameraucana. This breed is related to the Araucana, but has a tail, giving them a higher fertility rate. They also lack tufts, so they lack the associated lethal gene. Instead of tufts, the attractive Ameraucana sports a well developed beard and muffs. See all our colored egg layers shown below.