The Andalusian Chicken
Sometimes called Blue Andalusian, this beautiful breed may be black, white or slate-blue. Coloring varies with parentage and genetics pioneer Gregor Mendel used this breed extensively when studying heredity variations.
Originating in Andalucia, Spain, the productive breed found popularity in England as a domesticated layer as early as 1850 and made its way to the United States shortly thereafter and has been recognized as a standard breed by the American Poultry Association since 1874. Often used as show birds, the attractive Andalusian has a friendly disposition and can be a good choice for the backyard hobbyist, with a few caveats.
A hearty breed, unlike some breeds, will provide eggs in all seasons. They do well in hot conditions and can bear cold weather, although their prominent comb makes them prone to frostbite. As with all breeds, protection from wind and moisture during the winter months is crucial for the health of the bird.
Andalusians prefer to free-range and don’t always adjust well to confinement, with a tendency to become nervous and jumpy. Although they may avoid being handled, they are curious and social. Also known to be “talkative” the Andalusian may be disruptive. They are also adventurous and will readily jump fences.
Despite the challenges that come with an adventurous and sometimes noisy breed, Andalusians are full of personality, beautiful to watch and productive layers. At first glance, the Andalusian might not seem like the first choice for a backyard flock, but for those building a diverse flock, these sweet-tempered beauties can be a winning choice.
Striking Features: Slate, black or off-white with white lobes
Egg quality: Large, creamy white
Temperament: Active, talkative birds. Not prone to broodiness
Hardiness: Heat and cold tolerant, but prone to frostbite
Degree of Work: Easy
Aesthetic Appeal: 7
Envy Rating /Wow Factor: 6