Our lavender Araucanas

Last summer we started hatching Araucana chicks from fertile eggs, sourced both locally and interstate. My main motivator in raising this breed was their blue eggs – I guess I’m drawn to the novelty of having a rainbow of colours amongst the eggs I collect each day. Usually I stick with dual purpose breeds (eggs and meat) – this is the first time I’ve had birds purely for their egg laying capacity.

So far I’ve found this breed fascinating – their behaviour since hatching has seemed to differ in some ways from the other breeds I have – they’ve been the first to attempt to ‘fly’ and they have a certain cockiness about them that I find quite endearing.

Unfortunately when combining groups of chicks past the ‘under lamps’ stage the araucana’s were singled out and bullied – perhaps their different colouring and fluffy head feathers freaked the rest of the gang out. My 8 year old who has just been learnt a bit about apartheid said solemnly, ‘Oh no Mummy, our chickens are racists’, and quickly helped to develop a plan to keep them safe…

A blue-ish Araucana eggs with our 'normal' hens eggs

I had heard they were a very flighty and scatty breed – but so far I haven’t observed this in the group I have. They currently live in a chicken tractor on the lawn and are friendly and happy to come close when being fed. They are also very tolerant of the yappy little dog who shares their yard and desperately wants to play with them.

Araucanas were first bred by the Araucanian Indians of Chile (according to Wikipedia) . They are  known as the ‘South American Rumpless’ in the US – methinks ‘Araucana’ sounds much nicer! The Rumpless bit refers to the fact that the american standard requires them to be missing their last vertebrae and tail.

Sizes of the Araucana’s vary dependent on whether they are full size or bantam. A full size adult female weighs around 32.3 to 2.7 kgs, while a male would weigh approx 2.7 to 3.0 kgs. Bantams are expected to weigh 680-790g (hen) or 740 to 850 gr (rooster). Their eggs are apparently no more or less nutritious than any other chooks (but gee they are pretty!).

Our Araucanas are lavender in colour – I think they are beautiful, though I have a friend who can’t stand the look of them (perhaps they don’t fit his impression of what a chook should look like?). The Roosters are stunningly handsome – and they seem to know it!

I hope to sell day-old chicks in the coming seasons to folks keen on raising some for themselves. If I do have any available I will advertise them here on website, on www.backyardpoultry.com and on Gumtree hobart

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