The Andalusian chicken is not only one of the oldest but also one of the most stunning Mediterranean chicken breeds. Their name comes from the Spanish province of Andalusia, where they were likely first developed.
Because of their stunning blue plumage and graceful stance, these birds can be frequently seen in bird shows and displays.
Andalusian hens are known for their capacity to consistently produce large eggs of a pure white color throughout the year. This is a bird that thrives in unfavorable environments and takes great pleasure in exercising its independence.
From their characteristics, egg-laying abilities, and background, you will learn more about the exceptional Andalusians right here.
Table of Contents
Andalusian Chicken Key Information
|Male Weight:||7 lb.|
|Female Weight:||6 lb.|
|Use:||Dual-purpose birds (eggs and meat)|
|Country of Origin:||Mediterranean|
|Egg Production:||160–200 large white eggs per year|
|Climate Tolerance and Care:||Cold tolerance, low maintenance, excellent foraging birds|
Yellow (not recognized by US breed organizations)
Silver (not recognized by US breed organizations)
|Temperament:||Intelligent, independent, not recommended for inexperienced keepers or kids|
The History of the Andalusian Chicken Breed
While the exact ancestry of the hardy and beautiful Andalusian chicken is unknown, it is believed that local landrace chickens (Black Castilians) were crossed with other breeds native to the area.
The chickens of this breed look like the Spanish variety but are significantly smaller in size.
During the 1840s, the Andalusians were brought to England for the first time, and in 1853, they were displayed for their debut in a show in Baker Street, London.
The blue feathers of their ancestors were not as vibrant or deep as those of modern chickens of the breed.
Around the year 1850, Andalusian chickens made their way to the United States, where American breeders further developed them.
Andalusian chickens are now fairly rare in the United States, and most Americans who own one likely do so as part of a personal collection or professional interest in birds.
Andalusians are small and lively birds. Roosters weigh 7 pounds, and hens weigh 5 pounds.
The bantam variety, developed in the 1880s, is smaller still, with males weighing 28 ounces; and females 24 ounces.
The Andalusian breed of chicken has a lovely bluish-gray hue. Even their downy underpinnings are blue, too.
The feather design isn’t a solid hue but rather “blue laced,” with darker blue outlining each feather.
Although the ideal plumage for this bird is a slate blue with fine, black lacing, many birds have a more diffuse shade of blue or lack the lacing altogether.
The bird’s lineage will determine what kind of color it will be.
The majority of the splash chickens’ feathers are white, although they often have blue or black splotches.
In many cases, you won’t get true Andalusians but rather the less desirable black or splash Andalusians that are sold under that name.
Therefore, when buying those chickens, you should do so from a breeder who has a good reputation and is well known in the poultry business.
Other Appearance Features
The single combs on Andalusian birds are of moderate size and contain five points.
In roosters, the combs stand straight up and have a lot of serrations.
In hens, typically, just the first point, which is located in the front, is standing upright, while the other four points are flopped over to the side. Yet it is possible that some hens have combs that stand up.
Wattles and combs should have a vibrant scarlet color.
The bird’s beak is a horn shape and has a little curvature pointing downward, while the eyes are a reddish-bay color.
Unfeathered and dark blue, the legs have a slick appearance. In addition, each foot has four toes.
The Andalusian is an effective layer. You are likely to receive three eggs each week, ranging in size from medium to large. This amounts to about 150 eggs a year.
In contrast to many other breeds, they typically keep laying eggs continuously throughout the cold months of the year.
In order to maximize egg production, the tendency to brood has been selectively bred out.
Therefore, if you want chicks, you must invest in an incubator to facilitate the hatching process.
On the other hand, Andalusian chicks grow their feathers out rapidly and are typically ready to start laying eggs earlier than other types of chickens.
At seven weeks, you might even hear the crows of the rooster.
Because the Andalusian is primarily bred for the production of eggs, its body contains a significantly smaller amount of meat than those of meat breeds.
Nevertheless, the birds have a delicious flavor with a significant amount of white meat and a reasonable proportion of breast meat.
The average selling weight for Andalusians is between 5.5 and 7 pounds.
If they are given the proper care, Andalusian chickens can live anywhere from five to eight years or even longer.
Andalusian chickens have a distinct personality that matches their one-of-a-kind physical beauty.
This is the perfect hen for you if you want one that is self-reliant and brings a bit of a challenge: Andalusians are known for being brave and can easily fly over most fences.
When they see their owner, it’s not unusual for them to give a friendly greeting or approach the owner to see what they’re up to.
Inexperienced chicken keepers may find them difficult to care for because they don’t enjoy touching or snuggling and often become stressed when lifted.
Because of this, they are also not recommended if you have youngsters interested in helping out with the hens.
Andalusian chickens are also notoriously louder and more talkative than other chicken breeds. These hens are not hesitant about making themselves heard and frequently engage in noisy conversations with their human owner and other hens.
They are also likely to become loud, anxious, and flighty if enclosed.
This breed is not known to be susceptible to any particular health conditions.
If you reside in a colder climate, the roosters’ big combs could become frostbitten and pose a problem.
While frostbite among hens is much less common than among male chickens, it does happen on occasion.
Due to the fact that they like roaming, it will be important to keep an eye on their feet and check for signs of bumblefoot on a frequent basis.
Also, it’s important to frequently treat birds for internal and external parasites, just as you would with any other type of poultry.
Other than that, this breed does not have a history of any significant health issues.
The Andalusian chicken is a resilient bird that requires little in the way of care and upkeep.
They are great scavengers and thrive in an environment where they are allowed to roam freely.
These birds do not do well in captivity due to the fact that their busy temperament might lead to them engaging in unhealthy behaviors, such as eating feathers, which can lead to illness.
Andalusians are resistant to the effects of the cold due to their robust temperament and physique.
On the other hand, given that they are native to a region that has a warm climate, they perform exceptionally well when exposed to warm temperatures.
But most significantly, Andalusian chickens require their space, and if they do not have it, they can get aggressive.
While Andalusians often aren’t hostile toward humans, they can be aggressive toward other birds if they aren’t allowed adequate room.
This issue can be avoided with the assistance of two separate feeding areas as well as increased space for your flock.
So, before you order these wonderful birds, you should therefore ensure that they’ll have enough space for foraging.
The Andalusian chicken is a stunning breed of chicken that also happens to be one of the oldest in the Mediterranean.
The Andalusian chicken is a hardy fowl that needs minimal tending. They are elegant, dignified, and intelligent.
However, this is not the breed to get if you want a pet or a chicken that the kids can handle.
Hens are excellent egg layers, producing huge eggs that continue to lay throughout the entire year, even in the colder months. However, they rarely get broody and are not good candidates for sitting duties.
Their energetic personalities do not fare well in captivity, leading them to resort to bad habits or aggression.