Chicken Breed - Andalusians
The Andalusia chicken originates in the Mediterranean and is still found in some regions although they have become more rare in this part of the world over the years. They are a stunning looking chicken and the breed is an ancient one. These chickens are known for surviving in adverse conditions and love being free to explore.
The Andalusian originates from Andalusia, Spain and used to be a lot more common in the Mediterranean than they are today. The true origins are speculated to be a pairing of the Black Castilians with other breeds found in Spain but they are essentially unknown. The blue colour was encouraged through crossbreeding in the UK.
These chickens have reddish-brown eyes and bright white oval earlobes. Their beaks are horn coloured and curve slightly downwards. They have a single comb, which is quite large. It may flop to one side a bit on the hens. Roosters should have a defined 5 point comb that stands upright. Combs and wattles should be bright red. They haveclear blue light feathers with black lacing. Some people see this as being black as well which can give the illusion of a slate blue. Two birds with the blue feathering can give offspring with black feathers and possible splashes of blue. This is known as mottling. Some are full black and some appear off-white, it all depends on the genes that are passed on to the chicks. The blue colour appears twice as often as the off-white and black varieties. The slate blue is the colour required for showing the birds. The legs are feather-free and also a slate blue in colour. The bird has an upright carriage and appears very graceful and confident. They are however quite flighty and don’t enjoy being confined to small coops. They handle very hot climates very well but do not do well in severe cold. Hens will lay all year round. On hot days they do require shade to combat some of the heat. They are very good layers and lay around 150 medium to large white eggs per year. They are not broody and in general will not sit on their own eggs. If you want to breed these you would need an incubator or host mothers of other breeds to hatch the eggs. The young hens are ready to lay much earlier than most breeds and cockerels may crow as young as 7 weeks. They are curious chickens and generally friendly around people but they are not cuddly chickens. They may come to you for snacks but will not likely tolerate being handled much. They enjoy foraging and need a large coop with a run or should be allowed to be free-range in a decent sized area. If confined in small areas they become noisy and nervous and may pluck their feathers. They can fly over fences quite easily, so you need to ensure a bird friendly area for them that doesn’t allow for them to pop over to the neighbours. When it gets chilly you can rub the combs with petroleum jelly to avoid frostbite and have a warmed area for them to roost. They may also be prone to bumblefoot.
These are beautiful, independent birds which are perfect for free-range eggs all through the year. They are not cuddly pet type chickens and will generally resist being picked up. They love to be free-range and are gorgeous to look at. They can be a bit noisy, so remember this if you have neighbours nearby that might not enjoy the clucking. If you are looking to breed birds for shows, get yourself a couple of good quality birds to start with and breed for the beautiful black on blue lace pattern designed by the judges. These are hardy birds and if you are looking for layers with a touch of class, these are a good choice!