Romagnola chicken

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Romagnola
Conservation status Recovering, awaiting recognition
Country of origin Italy
Use Dual-purpose breed
Traits
Weight
  • Male: 2.0–2.5 kg
  • Female: 1.9–2.0 kg
Skin color Creamy or pale yellow
Egg color White
Comb type Single
Classification

The Romagnola is a traditional dual-purpose breed of chicken from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Formerly widespread in central Italy, it came close to extinction in the late 20th century. In early 2012 the population was recovering and the breed was awaiting official recognition by the Federazione Italiana Associazioni Avicole, the federation of Italian poultry associations.

History[edit]

The Romagnola is a traditional rustic dual-purpose chicken breed. It was once widespread in central Italy, particularly in the provinces of Ravenna, Forlì-Cesena and Bologna in Emilia-Romagna.[1] In the mid-20th century, selective breeding by the Stazione Sperimentale di Pollicoltura, or experimental chicken breeding centre, of Rovigo, in the Veneto, and the Ispettorato Provinciale dell'Agricoltura, or provincial inspectorate for agriculture, of Ravenna produced two well-defined colour varieties, a silver and a golden.[2] Subsequently the Romagnola declined, and was close to extinction when the provincial administration of the Province of Parma and the faculty of veterinary medicine of the University of Parma began a joint recovery programme. A breeders' association, the Associazione Razze e Varietà Autoctone Romagnole, was formed in 2007 and a pilot production programme begun.[1][3] In early 2012, the breed was awaiting recognition by the FIAV.[1]

Breed numbers remain low. A study published in 2007 used a figure of approximately 100 for the total breeding stock, of which approximately 30 were cocks.[4]

Characteristics[edit]

The colour of the Romagnola is variable; the black-flecked silver and black-flecked golden colour varieties are most often seen. The skin is creamy white or pale yellow. The legs vary from yellow to very dark, which is preferred. The ear-lobes are creamy white, sometimes tinged with blue. The comb is single, with 5 or more points. Average weight is 2.0–2.5 kg (4.4–5.5 lb) for cocks, 1.9–2.0 kg (4.2–4.4 lb) for hens.[5]

The eggs are white and weigh about 60 g.[6]

Uses[edit]

The Romagnola is a dual-purpose breed. Hens lay 150 eggs per year. Young birds are hardy and fast-growing; the meat is well-flavoured.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c La Gallina Romagnola (in Italian) Federazione Italiana Associazioni Avicole. Accessed January 2012. "The Romagnola hen".
  2. ^ Pozzi, Giancarlo (1961) Le razze dei polli (in Italian) Bologna: Edizioni Agricole. "Chicken breeds".
  3. ^ Pollo romagnolo: opportunità economica e salvaguardia della biodiversità (in Italian) GAL L’Altra Romagna S. Cons. A R.L. Accessed January 2012. "The Romagnola chicken: economic opportunities and biodiversity protection".
  4. ^ Spalona, A.; H. Ranvig, K. Cywa-Benko, A. Zanon, A. Sabbioni, I. Szalay, J. Benková, J. Baumgartner and T. Szwaczkowski (2007) Population size in conservation of local chicken breeds in chosen European countries – Populationsgrößen in Erhaltungszuchtprogrammen für einheimische Hühnerrassen in ausgewählten Ländern Europas Archiv für Geflügelkunde 71 (2). pp.49–55. Stuttgart: Eugen Ulmer. ISSN 0003-9098
  5. ^ Atlante delle razze di Polli - Razze italiane: Romagnola (in Italian) Accessed January 2012. "Atlas of chicken breeds - Italian breeds: Romagnola".
  6. ^ a b Cortese, Marino (1949) Pollicoltura familiare ed industriale. Origine e classificazione dei polli, anatomia e fisiologia, razze, pollaio, alimentazione, incubazione, allevamento, pratiche diverse, prodotti vari e malattie (in Italian) Milano: Ulrico Hoepli. "Industrial and domestic poultry-keeping".