Andalusian chicken

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Andalusian
Andalusian rooster head big (portrait).jpg
Country of origin Spain
Traits
Weight Male: Standard: 3.2–3.6 kg
Bantam: 680–790 g[1]
  Female: Standard: 2.25–2.70 kg
Bantam: 570–680 g
Egg color white[2]
Comb type single[2]
Classification
APA Mediterranean[3]
ABA single comb and clean legged
EE yes[4]
PCGB rare soft feather: light[5]
Blue Andalusian cock
Blue Andalusian hen

The Andalusian or Blue Andalusian, Spanish: Andaluza Azul, is a breed of domestic chicken indigenous to the autonomous community of Andalusia in south-west Spain. It is distributed through much of the countryside of Córdoba and Seville, and is concentrated particularly in the area of Utrera, which is considered the heartland of the breed.[2] In 2009 the population was estimated at 10,000 birds.[2]

A very different type of Andalusian, more intensely blue and with blue-laced plumage, was created in England from birds imported from Andalusia through selective breeding and cross-breeding with birds of other breeds.[2]

History[edit]

There is little information on the early history of the Andalusian.[6] Blue chickens from Andalusia were imported to England no later than 1851. The creation of the "international" type of Andalusian, with blue-laced plumage, is attributed to the English, whether in Andalusia or in Britain.[6] Two breeders in particular are thought to have started this process, which took many years: one named Coles, from Fareham, Hampshire, and a certain John Taylor of Shepherd's Bush, in west London.[7] Andalusians were shown at Baker Street, London, in January 1853;[8] they were not included in the original Standard of Excellence in 1865.[9]

Andalusians reached the United States in about 1850–55, and were included in the first edition of the Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Association in 1874.[8] The breed arrived in South America in 1870, and was first shown in Germany in the same year.[6] A bantam was created in the 1880s.[1]

Characteristics[edit]

The slate-blue plumage of the Andalusian is caused by a dilution gene, which, in combination with the E gene for black plumage, produces partial dilution of the melanin which gives the black colour. Not all Andalusians are blue: birds with two copies of the gene have near-total dilution, and are off-white; birds with no copies have no dilution, and are black; those with one copy have partial dilution, and are blue. Blue birds occur, in Mendelian proportion, twice as often as each of the other colours. All are present in the population.[6]

The earlobes of the Andalusian are smooth, white, and almond-shaped; the crest is single and of medium size, with five well-defined points. The skin is white and the legs and feet are black.[2][6]

Use[edit]

Andaluza Azul hens lay about 165 white eggs per year; eggs weigh 70–80 g. Blue-bred white hens lay the largest eggs.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Victoria Roberts (2008). British poultry standards: complete specifications and judging points of all standardized breeds and varieties of poultry as compiled by the specialist breed clubs and recognised by the Poultry Club of Great Britain. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 9781405156424. p. 34–36.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Miguel Fernández Rodríguez, Mariano Gómez Fernández, Juan Vicente Delgado Bermejo, Silvia Adán Belmonte, Miguel Jiménez Cabras (eds.) (2009). Guía de campo de las razas autóctonas españolas (in Spanish). Madrid: Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Medio Rural y Marino. ISBN 9788449109461. p. 620–621.
  3. ^ APA Recognized Breeds and Varieties as of January 1, 2012. American Poultry Association. Accessed August 2014.
  4. ^ Liste des races et variétés homologuée dans les pays EE (28.04.2013). Entente Européenne d’Aviculture et de Cuniculture. Accessed August 2014.
  5. ^ Breed Classification. Poultry Club of Great Britain. Accessed August 2014.
  6. ^ a b c d e Fernando Orozco Piñán (1986). La raza "Andaluza Azul" (in Spanish). Selecciones avícolas 28 (5): 145-149.
  7. ^ Chickens. Poultry Club of Great Britain. Accessed August 2014.
  8. ^ a b Andalusian Chicken. The Livestock Conservancy. Accessed August 2014.
  9. ^ William Bernhard Tegetmeier (editor) (1865). The Standard of Excellence in Exhibition Poultry, authorized by the Poultry Club. London: Poultry Club. p. 17–19

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