Besides good Araucana body type there are four aspects that to me, define the breed. . .

1) Tufting is dominant - but it is very strongly influenced by a number of undocumented modifying genes.  I have bred certain tufted birds to certain non-tufted birds and instead of the chicks being 50/50 I have had some birds that NEVER produced a single tufted chick out of possibly 100 eggs set.  If you buy birds it is important to stick with Araucana breeders who are very conscientious about maintaining tufting in their flocks.   Any bird that 'carries tufting'  and does not express it would be the worst possible bird you would want as a breeder.

2) Rumplessness is dominant.  The reason you will see tailed and partial tailed chicks in you hatches is because the gene that causes tails is actually recessive, and recessive genes can float around in your flock and recombine to produce tails for years down the line.   This is one reason I use only rumpless birds as breeders.  I don't often get tailed chicks but it still does happen - sometimes as much as 10% of each hatch. 

3) Blue Egg is dominant.  A chicken can only produce either a blue (teal actually) or white egg shell.  It will be that color through the entire shell.  All other variations on egg shell color, as in green, brown, dark brown, etc. are produced by a brown coating on the outside of the shell.  All Araucana do not lay perfectly blue eggs, they will range in shade form olive green to almost white.  The GOAL is to have all nice clear "teal' blue eggs in your flock.  But it should not be the only thing you are breeding for.   If egg color is your only concern you are better off breeding Easter Eggers or Ameraucana - egg color is just a part of the overall Araucana package.

4) Pea Comb is dominant.  Single comb genes are rampant in the Araucana breed.  Not only due to the fact that they are recessive, and so can hide for generations, but also due to outcrosses to other breeds, which may be accidental but most likely are done to improve an existing color variety, create a new color variety, or simply to increase breed vigor, hatch-ability, etc.  The problem with the pea comb gene and the single comb gene is the pea comb linkage with the Blue Egg gene.  The two genes are located in close proximity to each other of the chromosome and are most times inherited together as a package deal.  This is called gene linkage.  And if you have single comb genes in your flock they are most likely linked with the "white" egg gene.   If the blue egg gene recombines with the single comb gene, or the pea comb gene recombines with the white egg gene, you can have a single combed quasi-Araucana laying a blue egg (RARE).  Or you can have pea-combed Araucana laying a white (tinted or brown . . . but non-blue/green egg).  It may be much more likely that if you end up with one of your Araucana with a pea comb that lays a white, tinted or brown egg, that somewhere in the past there has been an infusion of blood form a breed that lays a white or tinted egg and has a pea comb.. .  Breeds such as the Cornish, Sumatra, etc. lay a white - brown egg and have a pea comb).

I assume you all ready have plenty of general poultry knowledge before tackling this very complex breed, but here are five excellent books that will help you successfully breed Araucana:

The American Poultry Associations, Standard of Perfection
http://www.amerpoultryassn. com/APA_ShoppingMall3.htm

The American Bantam Associations, Bantam Standard ~bantam20/site/index.php? option=com_virtuemart&Itemid= 84&vmcchk=1&Itemid=18

Cathy Brunson's,  Araucanas 'Rings In Their Ears'.
http://www.strombergschickens. com/prod_detail_list/s? keyword=+araucana

Brian Reeder's,  An Introduction to Color Forms of the Domestic Fowl Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx? BookId=SKU-000212467

Brian Reeder's,  An Introduction to Form and Feathering of the Domestic Fowl Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx? BookId=SKU-000450530


Back to main page

Hit Counter   Since: 6/26/2011