Chicken Breed Focus - Ancona

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sumi, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    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.

    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:

    General breed discussions & FAQ thread:

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

    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!
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I learned something today. I did not know that the Ancona came in a rose combed variety. It's never too late. [​IMG]
  3. shortgrass

    shortgrass Crowing

    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado

    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.

    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  4. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Crossing the Road

    Apr 19, 2012
    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 [​IMG] ) 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).
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
  5. freenerik

    freenerik In the Brooder

    Mar 7, 2015
    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.[​IMG]

  6. 7littlegirls

    7littlegirls Songster

    Aug 18, 2015
    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!![​IMG]
  7. steven29128

    steven29128 Chirping

    Sep 25, 2015
    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,
  8. shortgrass

    shortgrass Crowing

    Mar 14, 2015
    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. :)
  9. steven29128

    steven29128 Chirping

    Sep 25, 2015
    South Carolina USA
    Thank you Shortgrass for your help.
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the word!

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Wow, very pretty breed! [​IMG]

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