The main distinguishing feature of chickens belonging to the Araucana breed is their extraordinary color. In addition, some individuals have no tail at all. What other unusual characteristics are distinguished by breeders and poultry farmers in this breed, what should be fed and in what conditions non-standard animals should be kept - let's talk about this in our today's material.
Chickens of the Araucana breed are bred in a variety of conditions: these birds are suitable for both large farms and independent poultry breeders. The main distinguishing feature of these animals, thanks to which many breeders give preference to this particular breed, consider a high level of fertility.
Generally speaking, this breed has a rather interesting history of its passage. It was originally developed in Chile (the country is located in South America). Moreover, historians date the first mention of these birds to the distant 16th century. It is not known for certain who became the progenitor of this breed, but the main opinion of scientists is based on the fact that the Araucana is the fruit of the crossing of chickens that carried colored eggs and fighting cocks.
As for the external description, it should immediately be noted that the chickens are quite attractive . A distinctive external feature is the presence of tufts of feathers near the earlobes, and some subspecies are also endowed with a beard. In addition, anatomically, birds are endowed with a rather small head, and their beak has a slight beak. The scallop of the Araucanian representatives looks very unusual - its shape resembles a pea.
The body is small in size, but at the same time rather dense. The chest is wide, the neck is of medium length. The legs of the animal are distinguished by an unusual color - their colors are blue-green.
If we talk about the general color of the plumage, then it can be very diverse: green, blue, golden, white, red or black. However, you will rarely find individuals with a uniform color. Most often, these shades are combined to form whimsical patterns. This is what creates the unusual appearance of the animal, which attracts many.
As for behavioral patterns, the Araucanian chickens are quite calm and docile. Thanks to this disposition of birds, even an inexperienced novice poultry breeder can cope with their cultivation and maintenance. However, sometimes negative behavioral patterns can also appear. So, some roosters show aggression and pugnacity.
Pros and cons of the breed
Despite the fact that the Araucana is a breed of chickens loved by many breeders and poultry farmers, it has not only positive features, but also some disadvantages. It is with the negative characteristics that you should familiarize yourself first of all if you plan to start breeding these birds, and also if you are ready to treat them tolerantly and tolerantly.
So, the following characteristics are usually distinguished as the disadvantages of this breed:
- impossibility of self-breeding;
- pugnaciousness and aggression of roosters;
- the high cost of individuals in the zoological market.
However, these birds have numerous positive traits that can overcome some of the disadvantages. Let's consider in more detail the advantages of the breed. Traditionally, they include the following features:
- the ability to adapt to various environmental conditions (including - to the temperature regime);
- unpretentiousness and pickiness;
- early egg-laying;
- aesthetically pleasing appearance.
Thus, before starting chickens of this breed on your farm, you should carefully weigh the pros and cons. After that, you can make a balanced and carefully thought out decision that will be the most optimal and correct in your specific situation.
Chicken coop equipment
In order to maintain the proper level of health and activity of poultry, it is necessary to provide them with decent housing conditions. First of all, this concerns precisely the arrangement of the chicken coop, which will become a permanent home for birds.
To begin with, it should be remembered that the Aracuana breed does not require any specific conditions. They can be kept in a wide variety of rooms that are convenient for you. So, chickens adapt and feel good in special poultry cages or on a walk. However, in order to maintain the health of the animals, it is necessary to carry out constant processing of the chicken coop.
In addition, it is imperative to equip the chicken coop with drinkers and feeders. They also need to be washed and cleaned regularly to avoid the accumulation of infection or harmful bacteria in the water and animal food. Also, the roost should become an indispensable element of the chicken coop. Moreover, it is necessary to carefully calculate the size of the perch: for one individual, this indicator should be at least 30 centimeters.
The place where you plan to walk the chickens should be equipped with a shed. It will protect birds from all kinds of negative influences, in particular - from the bright radiation of the sun, which is especially typical for the summer period, as well as for areas with hot and dry climates. In addition, the walking area should be fenced and cleared of debris and poisonous plants.
What to feed?
Among other things, the diet of the Araucana chickens deserves special attention. It is necessary to monitor the amount of feed eaten by birds, as well as the size of the portions, since overeating should not be allowed.
In general, birds eat the same food as any other chicken breed. At the same time, it is important to take into account that the diet of the araucana must contain such components as vitamins and minerals, as well as calcium and protein. To cover this need, animals can be fed with earthworms, beans, bone meal, fish waste.
In addition, it is important to take care of the overall health of the chicken. In order to maintain the health of animals, their diet should include a large amount of carbohydrates, which are found in foods such as grains, pumpkin, carrots, potatoes. Include corn and oats in your feed to provide the body with the necessary fats. It should also be remembered that pets need high-quality mineral food, which can be wood ash, shells or gravel.
Generally speaking, there are 3 irreplaceable products that must be fed to chickens of the Araucana breed. These include silage, yeast and bone meal.
It is necessary to feed chickens 2 times a day, but access to water should be unlimited. So, the first meal should be carried out 3 hours after getting up. And it should be remembered that an hour after you have filled the feeders, the remnants of food must be removed, and the feeders must be washed. The time of the second meal depends on the season: in winter and late autumn (when daylight hours are short), animals are fed at 3 pm, and in summer and spring this time is shifted - chickens can be fed at 7 pm.
First of all, it should be noted that animals have a fairly high level of fertility. The main reason for this is the pronounced instinct of motherhood in females. Accordingly, egg production is also quite high: a chicken can lay about 180 eggs per year. Chickens of this breed lay very unusual eggs: their shells are painted in a variety of shades (from green to pink). This fact attracts many poultry farmers and breeders, so they often give preference to the Araucana breed only due to this original characteristic.
As for the breeding process itself, it should take place in an incubator , since chickens on their own are not able to incubate eggs . And in order for the chickens to have the opportunity to fertilize, it is necessary to trim the feathers around the cloaca.
If you are just planning to start the process of breeding Araucan, then it should not start with chickens or adults, but with an egg. Thus, you will be exactly sure of its origin. Such advice is given by experienced farmers and poultry farmers with all breeding skills.
However, after the chicks have hatched, they should not be allowed to grow and develop on their own. Animals will continue to need more attention. In general, raising chickens of the Araucana breed is similar to raising chickens of other breeds, but with a few exceptions, which are especially related to the diet.
So, you should start feeding chickens not with a boiled egg (as is customary as a general rule), but with a starting compound feed. In addition, it is forbidden to give dry millet to babies - it must be boiled without fail. On the 3rd day after birth, fermented milk products can be introduced into the diet, and on the 5th day - greens. At the age of 7 days, the chickens are transferred to regular feed, and from 2 months the young must be taught to adult nutrition.
According to the information of scientists and veterinarians, the Araucana is a breed of chickens that is not prone to diseases, since an important distinguishing feature of animals is a rather strong immune system. However, in rare cases, ailments can still appear. Parasites that can attack chickens of this breed include:
- a feather mite, which can cause hair loss;
- chewing lice destroying down rods;
The main reason for the appearance of pests is non-compliance with the rules of maintenance and care. That is why you should adhere to all the advice and recommendations of specialists. In addition, do not forget to conduct regular preventive examinations of animals and periodically treat them from pests.
It should be remembered that if one individual is sick, then it should be kept separately. If she lives with the rest of the animals, then there is a high probability of an epidemic and large-scale infection.
The opinions of the owners of chickens of the Araucana breed are very contradictory: some breeders are completely delighted with the animals, while others, on the contrary, are disappointed. One way or another, but there is no doubt that the breed has both positive and negative traits.
Those owners who sell chicken eggs are completely satisfied with the breed. They report that colored eggs are snapped up faster and more willingly, and they can be sold at a higher price. This is how some of the owners of the Araucana chickens have organized a full-fledged business.
On the other hand, some are dissatisfied with the breeding process, as it is quite complicated and financially costly. Therefore, if you want to breed animals, then perhaps you should pay attention to other breeds. Poultry farmers are often dissatisfied with the nature of the roosters - they are aggressive and pugnacious, they do not get along well with each other.
Summing up, we can say that the Araucana is a very unusual and original breed of chickens. At the same time, it has a number of characteristics that significantly complicate not only the process of breeding birds, but also their maintenance. That is why if you are new to animal husbandry, then you should pay attention to the simpler breeds. But if you are already an experienced poultry breeder, want to experiment and are ready to take on a difficult challenge, then the Araucan breed in this case will suit you perfectly.
For the features of the Araucan chickens, see the following video.