Average User Rating:
  • 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.

    Minorca chick

    Minorca pair

    Minorca rooster

    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/
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  • Chicken Breed Info:
    Breed Purpose:
    Egg Layer
    Comb: Single
    Broodiness: Seldom
    Climate Tolerance: Heat

    General Egg Info:
    Egg Productivity:
    Egg Size: Large
    Egg Color: White

    Breed Temperament:
    Friendly,Not bear confinement well,Flighty,Shy,Docile

    Breed Colors / Varieties:
    Single Combed and Rose Combed. Colors include: Black, Blue, Barred, Buff, White.
    Breed Details:
    Minorcas are flighty, but some strains have birds that are very sweet. Males do not seem to have the same aggressive tendencies as do Leghorn males. During the winter months, special care must be taken in order to preserve the large comb and wattles on the males and females of the single-combed variety.






BlackHackle likes this.

Recent User Reviews

  1. veetown707
    "I love my Minorca"
    Pros - Gentle, sweet and excellent egg layer
    Cons - A bit shy
    I ended up with mine accidentally. She's a black Minorca, I had no idea what she was until I did some research. She was a rescue, abandoned by previous owners. She apparently wasn't handled much before I got her so she is shy, but she has come a long way since then. She lays the hugest white eggs I've ever seen and quite reliably. I don't know how old she is but I've had her for 2.5 years and she still lays almost daily in the summer and spring. She is so gentle and sweet as well and has a beautiful green sheen to her feathers. She also makes the cutest little cooing sounds, leading me to believe that this breed is rather quiet. She never causes a rucuss. She's been through a lot, a dog bit her back and took a chunk out. We kept her in our kitchen while we nursed her back to health and she allowed us to, and was so patient. If the other Minorcas are like this, there needs to be more!
    cavemanrich likes this.
  2. JonesLaneChickens
    "Great Momma!!"
    Pros - Good Mama Hen
    Decent Layer
    Not an escape artist
    Cons - Kind of skittish
    Our Buff Minorca is such a good chicken! She lays some decent sized white eggs and is a sweet chicken (once you catch her that is). She was prone to broodiness so we finally got some eggs from some friends and let her hatch them out. She hatched 3 out of 5 (one was infertile and the other got crushed by another hen, so not her fault). She was a great mother!! She would have given her life for those chicks!

    Whether she is skittish or doesn't lay well, she made up for it in being an surrogate mother. :love


    1. Chicken-1.jpg
    cavemanrich and BlackHackle like this.
  3. aquagolda
    Pros - sometimes really freindly but depends on how much you handle it, gorgous birds, amazing for showing
    Cons - not good for meat use, sometimes very flighty and skittish
    my one black Minorca named destiny is very friendly and actually comes up to me they are to young to take to show but look amazing I wish I got them sooner, and when I did get them it was the first time I heard of that breed but glad I did. my other buff Minorca named goldilocks is actually very flighty and very skittish but the difference was I held the black one more then the buff one as a chick so make sure if you get them that you hold it a lot.
    cavemanrich likes this.

User Comments

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  1. Thomas Lamprogiorgos
    I was told that they lay extra large and jumbo eggs.
    The biggest eggs come from this breed.

    Do they have a strong immune system?
  2. Richie
    I think that SC black Minorcas are one of the most beautiful and impressive chickens one can own. I had a magnificent, very large, male named Charlemagne and he won champian Mediteranean at the Sussex Show. I also had several beautiful, large, females with lopped combs. They layed nicely and some had a tint to their eggs which was explained to me as being there because of the tendency to mix langshan blood into Minorcas some time ago. Their eggs are supposed to be pure white and large. They are an under represented breed that should really be considered because of their beauty and good egg laying ability. I found them to be nervous and flighty but Mediteranean breeds generally are. I would get them again if I could find good quality and size. Most of the Minorcas I have seen from commercial hatcheries were seriously undersized and did not follow the standard. Really good ones are not easy to locate, but worth the search.
      Thomas Lamprogiorgos likes this.
  3. scwheeler24
    Thanks for telling us where you got them. Most of my chickens lay smaller eggs than indicated and customers want the bigger eggs. I will remember McMurray and the large eggs.
      Thomas Lamprogiorgos likes this.
  4. gerbie44
    Mine just started laying 1 white egg a day. I'm not sure how well they do in the cold weather as mine are only 5 months old but they have done great in the heat. When I bought them from my local feed store, they said that they were cold hardy.. They are super gentle little ladies with a lot of character. They see me and they come running for attention.
      Thomas Lamprogiorgos likes this.
  5. Chicken_Pauper
    How are they as layers? Good layers? and how about the heat, are they heat hardy as well? Thanks, very informative review.
    1. Thomas Lamprogiorgos
      Extremely heat hardy.
      Thomas Lamprogiorgos, Feb 14, 2018
  6. CowGrrrl
    I was thnking about purchasing one. Are they cold hardy fowl? I am in MT.
  7. Kristin Brown
    Thanks for sharing your experience with Minorcas. I have a Black Minorca hen that I love dearly. Have not seen Buff Minorcas before, now I'm interested!
  8. donhenry
    I would like to start with the Minorca bread. Do you know anyone with the exhibition strains available. Old saying, "Buy the best and you'll always be satisfied." From: San Antonio
  9. MakNat
    I got the rainbow mix from Mcmurray and they sent me black and buff Minoricas. I JUST LOVE THEM!!!!. Seem to be the same egg layers as the leghorns but a little more laid back. And I love their colors!!

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