- Breed Purpose:
- Egg Layer
- Climate Tolerance:
- Egg Productivity:
- Egg Size:
- Egg Color:
- Breed Temperament:
- Friendly, Do not bear confinement well, Flighty, Shy, Docile
- Breed Colors/Varieties:
- Single Combed and Rose Combed. Colors include: Black, Blue, Barred, Buff, White.
- Breed Size:
- Large Fowl
- APA/ABA Class:
The largest of the Mediterranean breeds, Minorca, aka Moorish Fowl are most excellent layers of large white eggs. They are extremely heat tolerant, very good foragers and free rangers, all together a very tough and hardy breed. They are quite active and very good flyers, though they generally do well in confinement and are still used in commercial egg production in some parts of the world. The large carcass size makes for a decent table bird, though the meat is reported to be dry and usually “larded” aka stuffed with lard, before cooking.
Named for the Island of Minorca, off the Spanish coast in the Mediterranean, in the past birds of this type were commonly found in the Castile regions north of Madrid. The exact origins of the breed are shrouded in history, but one tradition has them coming to Spain from Africa with the Moors, another tradition has them coming from Italy with the Romans. They were found in England as early as the 1780’s and the British developed them as an international breed and show bird, they were imported into the US in 1884.
Originally with large white ear lobes and a very large single comb, the rose comb variety was developed around 1900 in the US. They usually are found in four main colors, Black, Blue, White and Buff, though breeders are working on other project colors. They are quite popular as exhibition birds today.
Admitted into the APA starting in 1888.
On the Livestock Conservancy’s Watch list.
For more information on this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/chicken-breed-focus-minorca.1133349/