Friendly, Active, Curious
Recognized Color Varieties
Black Breasted Red
Araucanas are a blue egg laying chicken that sports unique ear tufts on one or both sides of it's face, and is also missing two vertebrae and the uropygium (fleshy protrusion that supports tail feathers) causing it to appear rumpless. The tufts come in many shapes including curls, balls, rosettes or fan shapes, and though some judges prefer the ideal curled form of tufts, none are incorrect. Araucanas have a small pea comb, tiny wattles, large eyes, and black, willow or yellow colored legs depending on the feather coloring. There are five recognized color variations of the breed.
The very first Araucanas originated from a remote area of Chile where two distinct breeds of native fowl were bred by a fierce tribe called the Araucanas. The first of the two breeds was called the Collonocas, which laid blue eggs and was missing the last two vertebrae in it's spine, making it appear rumpless. The second breed, Quetros, laid brown eggs and had a full spine and tail, but had unusual ear tufts. There were two genes for the ear tufts, one for each side of the face. Unfortunately, the presence of both tufted genes proved to be fatal for developing embryos, and chicks died in their shells prior to hatching. Even the presence of one gene had a 20% mortality rate.
A Chilean breeder, Dr. Ruben Bustros, studied the Araucana tribe and their chicken breeds, and later returned to acquire some of their stock. After many years of crossing these birds he obtained the first rumpless, tufted, blue egg laying bird he called the Araucana.
Unfortunately after many difficulties with importing Dr. Bustros' Araucanas to the United States, attempts were made to acquire the original breeding stock from the Araucana tribe for breeding, but the tribe had been disbanded and the Collonocas and Quetros breeds had been mixed with other birds so that they no longer remained pure. Ultimately, the Araucana we know today was developed using a collection of birds that could be found with rumpless, tufted, and blue egg genes, but required significant effort to breed true. They weren't recognized by the American Poultry Association until the 1970's.
Peak Egg Production
Good: Approx 200-250
Tolerant of Confinement
American Poultry Association
All Other Standard Breeds