Andalusian Chickens

Breed Rating (2 reviews)

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History

This breed originates and takes its name from the Spanish province of Andalusia and is one of the oldest of the Mediterranean breeds. They were imported to Britain in 1846 and were shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851. The blue colour comes from a hybrid cross between the black and white varieties. When two blue birds are mated, 50% of hatchings will be blue while the remainder are black or white. Gregor Mendel actually used this breed in his experiments into colour heredity. To be absolutely certain of getting blue offspring, you need to cross a white cock with a black hen. The breed is usually referred to as the Blue Andalusian and was known at one time as the “Blue Minorca”. They are very pretty birds, with light and dark blue plumage and an upright, elegant and graceful appearance. The hackle and saddle feathers are dark blue while the breast is a lighter shade of blue. The feathers are laced which defines them beautifully while the tail, which is carried at 45°, and sickle feathers are almost black. The face and wattles are red but they have white earlobes. They have slate blue legs and toes and there is also a bantam version available.

Behaviour

Andalusians are small, active birds which can be rather noisy and although they are still quieter than many of the Mediterranean breeds, the noise factor may need consideration. The hens lay early at around 5 or 6 months of age but they don’t go broody often so aren’t natural sitters. Chicks are hardy and mature early and they make excellent backyard birds although they can be rather flighty so make sure that your boundaries are sound and high! They are calm birds and the males don’t usually fight with each other but they don’t like to be overcrowded so provide them with plenty of space to avoid problems with bullying. They don’t really enjoy human contact and prefer free ranging to confinement as they are good foragers and economical feeders. They are hardy but their combs can suffer from frostbite so care should be taken when temperatures plummet and exposure to a lot of sun can fade their plumage so positioning their runs in the shade is a good idea. They are layers of large white eggs and will produce somewhere in the region of 160 eggs per year, continuing to lay during the winter months. Cocks weigh an average 7lbs while the hens are 5½lbs.

Varieties

Blue, black and white

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Latest Reviews For Andalusians (2 of 2)

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           Your information is not 100% accurate

- Sian, 13 March 2014

Firstly, the breed was created in Britain from Spanish stock. Secondly, to get 100% blue you can either breed a black cock to white hen or reverse. However, this will result in the washed out blue of hatchery birds. The only way to get good color is to breed blue to blue. Thanks!


           Best Egg Layer I have

- Karen, 19 October 2012

These are great birds for large white eggs very easy to keep. But they do like to sleep in trees what ever the weather. So if your thinking of these for the garden you will have to clip their wings. The Males can be a little sharp but the hens are great. there great forages and eat very little so very cost effective to have. I would never be with out them now for eggs and they don't go broody even better.

 
 
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