Chicken Breed Focus - Ancona

sumi

Égalité
Staff member
Premium member
Jun 28, 2011
39,099
23,799
1,252
Tipperary, Ireland
The Ancona chicken originated in the Marche region of Italy, and was named after the city of Ancona from which the first birds were imported into the UK in 1851. Breeders worked to set its type and markings and it went on to gain a great deal of popularity as a show bird, as well as an exceptional egg layer. It was imported into the US in 1888. The breeds that went into the creation of Anconas are unknown, but they have many similarities to the Leghorn and have been referred to as Mottled Leghorns at times.

Anconas have a distinct feather color pattern with a black background color that is marked with a white V-shaped spangle on some of the feather tips. Ideally, one out of every five feathers is tipped with white. There has been a blue mottled version developed also. Anconas were originally single combed, but a rose combed version has been developed, both are recognized by the APA.

Anconas are wild, active and flighty birds, that are good flyers. They have excellent predator awareness, are good foragers that will range over a wide area, making them a good choice for a free range flock. They are fairly cold hardy and good winter layers, though the large single combs will suffer from frostbite. The hens are exceptional layers of large white eggs and are non-broody.

It was recognized by the APA in 1898 and is on The Livestock Conservancy's Watch list.

Details:
Breed purpose: Egg Layer, Ornamental
Comb Type: Single or Rose
Broodiness: Non-setter
Climate Tolerance: Average
Weight: Roosters 6 lbs, Hens 4.5 lbs
Egg Productivity: Excellent
Egg Size: Large
Egg Color: White



Ancona Hen @Prestonsloan12


Ancona Hen @SanderB


Ancona Hen Head @Prestonsloan12


Ancona Chicks @SanderB


Ancona Rooster @Rhinoman


Ancona Rooster @ SanderB


Ancona Flock @Yellow House Farm


Ancona Flock Rosecombed @Yellow House Farm


Ancona Cockerels Rosecombed @Yellow House Farm


BYC Breed reviews:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/ancona

General breed discussions & FAQ thread:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/328758/ancona-chicken-thread/0_20

Exhibition, Genetics & Breeding to the Standard of Perfection thread:

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/882038/the-ancona-breeders-thread/0_20

Do you own Anconas? Are you an Ancona breeder? If so, please reply to this thread with the your thoughts and experiences, including:

· What made you decide to get this breed?
· Do you own them for fun? Breeding? Some other purpose?
· What are your favorite characteristics about this breed?
· Post some pics of your birds; male/female, chicks, eggs, etc!
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium member
May 3, 2009
90,533
151,732
1,837
New Jersey
I learned something today. I did not know that the Ancona came in a rose combed variety. It's never too late.
 

shortgrass

Crowing
Mar 14, 2015
3,234
648
271
Northern Colorado
I learned something today.  I did not know that the Ancona came in a rose combed variety.  It's never too late.  :old

Wow, I didn't know that either! Great, now I need rose combed ones too ;)


I love my Anconas; out of 11 breeds, they are definitely the best free rangers, always good to go back in the coop to lay so I don't have to search for eggs. Very intelligent and alert, they come see what I'm doing but dart off if I get too close; I wouldn't call them skittish, but very instinctive; Have not lost an Ancona to a predator..yet ;)

Amazing flying capabilities; they roost in the tree above the coop and are just a magnificent specimen to see gracing the yard.

 
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bruceha2000

Crossing the Road
Apr 19, 2012
12,679
41,997
992
NW Vermont
Note that they get more and more white with each moult.

This is a 3 Y/O hen that has already moulted this year:


My two are good foragers but pale in comparison to my smaller BA. But then, so do most of the other birds. The only one that was close was the Partridge Chantecler that became fox food in April. Almost lost the BA the same day but she screamed a fuss and the fox dropped her and ran off when I bolted out the door.

My Anconas are only so-so layers - ~36% of the days (on average) since their first egg. My best layers at > 50% are the smaller BA (the larger is no better than the Anconas) and the EE. Close behind them was the PC. She laid like a machine but went broody several times a year which dragged her productivity down.

My Anconas are top of the flock (except when moulting) and feel the need to remind the other birds on a fairly regular basis. They don't run from me but like all the other birds, have no interest in being touched. I agree that they are fairly smart (for bird brains
) and inquisitive. One figured out the water nipples before I finished installing the system. And one was the first to try BOSS from my hand. Took one and ran off. Came RACING back for more, followed by the other birds who figured there must be something good there. Now they all demand their morning BOSS.

All of my birds go back to the coop to lay, except for the occasional "Oops, I gotta lay an egg NOW!" I watched the smaller BA standing out in the grass looking VERY alert. I thought maybe she was concerned about a predator. Nope, she dropped an egg in the grass and went on her merry way. Found an Ancona egg in the grass by the ornamental cherry (ripe now, the birds LOVE them) yesterday morning. Of the 4,100 eggs I have gotten, I think I found only 5 outside a nest box and 1 of those was the first egg by the first girl who laid. It was by the waterer (pre nipple water system).
 
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freenerik

In the Brooder
Mar 7, 2015
70
9
33
I only have one Ancona I received in a multi breed chick order. I will definitely get more. Jazzy is by far my best layer although we do sometimes have to look for them as she is not known to lay in the same place more then a few times in a row right now she is laying under our house in the crawl space opening. She is the most solitary hen I have though most of my 30 chickens have little mini flocks they stay close to while foraging, but she is almost always alone. One thing I would caution people on is these birds are not well suited for confinement they need room to forage.

 

7littlegirls

Songster
Aug 18, 2015
439
68
106
Long Island NY

My ancona Wendy, or atleast I think she is. I picked her not knowing what breed she was. She was acute little yellow chick with 3 black spots on her head and a big black spot on her back. I have her for 6 months now and she is pretty friendly. I love the way she follows me around and "talks" to me everymorning when I am cleaning the run. She can be noisy at times!!
 

steven29128

Chirping
Sep 25, 2015
338
40
61
South Carolina USA
At last ! Ancona Chickens.
I would love to add this breed to my flock. If anyone knows where to buy or would like to sale Chickens, Chicks, or Eggs of the Ancona breed please contact me.
Thank You,
Steven
 

shortgrass

Crowing
Mar 14, 2015
3,234
648
271
Northern Colorado
It might be touch and go this time of year for most hatcheries, but I liked my first two so much that I HAD to have more lol, and I got the second batch from McMurray Hatchery. Great customer service there.

I don't have experience with other hatcheries, but I've heard of My Pet Chicken, Ideal, Cackle, and Strombergs just to name a few more. :)
 

steven29128

Chirping
Sep 25, 2015
338
40
61
South Carolina USA
It might be touch and go this time of year for most hatcheries, but I liked my first two so much that I HAD to have more lol, and I got the second batch from McMurray Hatchery. Great customer service there.

I don't have experience with other hatcheries, but I've heard of My Pet Chicken, Ideal, Cackle, and Strombergs just to name a few more.
Thank you Shortgrass for your help.
Steven
 
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