Chicken Breed Focus - Catalana

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sumi, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    The Catalana breed was developed in Spain, near Barcelona, as a dual purpose bird. They were created by crossing Castilian chickens with Asian breeds imported during the the 1850's. The breed was first exhibited in 1902 at the Madrid World's Fair. Popular in Latin America due to good heat tolerance, the breed is rare in North America.

    A somewhat flighty breed, Catalanas prefer and thrive in a free range environment, are fair egg layers and do not tolerate extremely cold climates very well, which has not helped them gain popularity in parts of the world, such as North America, where winters can get very cold.

    Catalanas were recognised by the APA in 1949.

    Details:

    Detail Value
    Breed Purpose Dual Purpose
    Comb Single
    Broodiness Seldom
    Climate Tolerance Heat
    Egg Productivity Medium
    Egg Size Medium
    Egg Color White
    Breed Temperament Flighty, can be Shy
    Breed Colors/Varieties Black-tailed buff.
    Breed Size Large Fowl
    APA/ABA Class Mediterranean

    [​IMG]
    Pic by @gjensen

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    Pic by @TexGardenGirl

    BYC Breed Reviews:

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

    BYC Breed Discussion:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1140116/shank-color-pattern-of-inheritance-catalanas/0_30
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/462200/buff-catalana-chickens/0_30

    Do you own Catalanas? Are you a Catalana 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. allosaurusrock

    allosaurusrock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those birds are really cool! It is a shame they can't handle cold climates.
     
  3. ChickenGrass

    ChickenGrass Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This must be a rare breed as there isent any posts from breeders yet......
     
  4. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    You must be right. I subscribed hoping to hear from members that owned these. Maybe there aren't any here?
     
  5. allosaurusrock

    allosaurusrock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would like to see some.
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    gjensen has or had some. I tagged him, but I don't know if he got it, I'll shoot him a PM and let him know about this thread.
     
  7. allosaurusrock

    allosaurusrock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please do!
     
  8. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    Pretty birds, thanks for sharing a photo!
     
  10. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    Mine are not shy. In fact, they are as confident as any strain/breed that I have been around. They are far from flighty. They are active though, and this is a strength of theirs. They are not roost potatoes. Their activity level coupled with their confidence makes for a pretty sharp bird. Some chickens are just more chicken than others.

    I did try some hatchery commercial buff Minorca crosses that were nervous and flighty. They were not Catalanas as advertised.

    It is not true that they are not cold hardy. They would be as cold hardy as any other breed with a single comb. The males could possibly use some protection on the coldest winter nights. Most of their history in the States has been with breeders in the north.
    These misconceptions are rampant on the internet. We discuss Mediterranean breeds as if coming from the region made them heat tolerant. The region has very mild summers.
    The adaptation to climatic conditions is more about individuals and individual strains than it is breeds. Consider how long the breeder or breeders has been breeding them where they are.
    Chickens have proven to be very adaptable being kept wherever people have lived. Where the difficulty can come is with a strain that has been exclusively bred in the tropics, and then to expect them to survive Michigan winters in a single generation without any extra consideration. But this is an extreme example, and few thoughtful keepers would try this without a little added care and caution.

    Mine lay large to extra large eggs. Most of them are extra large, and some are jumbo. There are as many jumbo sized eggs as large. They are very productive layers. They have laid in the range of 220-240 eggs through their pullet year. The egg quality has been good. The egg color ranges from white, off white, to pink.
    I did pick up a few birds from another strain. Their eggs has been large, but not over. Some a little under. The egg color is white with one female laying a cream/tan colored egg. They are productive. These birds have not been incorporated into my own flock yet. Their influence would be minimal initially.

    Where they are native, their eggs tend to be extra large and white to light shades. They have a reputation for being productive, and they have been popular in Latin American countries. In Spain they were popular as capons. The Spanish Bresse, so to speak.

    Some will go broody. My experience is in the range of 10%-20%. I like this range. Not excessively broody, but this still allows for a few setting hens. Those that have went broody have set well, and have been committed mothers. I have enjoyed allowing these to raise their own brood. I get to enjoy the best of both worlds.

    I do not know if there is anyone seriously breeding them in the States or not. I am trying to get some information about a supposed flock in the NW. There is a small flock in California. There is someone in Pa that has a flock. The other breeder that I knew of has gotten out of them, and I was gifted some of those birds.

    I am running about 24 breeding females, and four males. This varies a little.

    I have been working on improving type and color while not loosing what caused me to fall in love with them to begin with. I like their productivity and their character. I have made progress with type and color. They are still productive. They are still sharp and active birds.
     

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