Named after the province of Ancona in Italy, this Mediterranean breed is one that has retained its popularity long after its first appearance as a show fowl back in the 1850â€™s. Originally a single combed breed, a rose-combed variety was also developed in the early 1900â€™s. A sprightly and lively light breed that combines egg laying abilities with an excellent feed conversion and a very captivating appearance.
Photo: C Newton www.backyardpoultry.com:
Classification: Light breed - Soft feather
Eggs: are white to cream in colour
- A stunning looking bird, great for the backyard.
Selecting birds: - If for the backyard, any bird will do, they love to lay eggs.
Breeding: A very easy fowl to breed. Great for the backyarder that wishes to breed a few chickens for the kids.
Feeding: The Ancona is a great backyard bird and would give you enough eggs on commercial egg ration.
Availability: The single comb black mottle in both standard and bantam are freely available. Both the red and rosecomb would only be available from dedicated breeders.
CARRIAGE - Alert, bold arid active. TYPE - Body broad, close and compact. Back of moderate length. Breast full and broad, carried well forward and upward. Wings large and carried well tucked up. Tail full and carried well out. HEAD - Deep, moderate in length, rather inclined to width, and carried well back. Beak medium with a moderate curve. Eyes bright and prominent. Comb Single: medium upright with five to seven deep, broad, even serrations forming a regular curve, coming well back and following the line of the head, free from excrescences. Rose comb: resembles that of the Wyandotte. Face smooth and of fine texture. Ear-lobes medium, inclined to almond shape, free from folds. Wattles long, fine in texture, in proportion to the comb. NECK - Long, nicely arched and well covered with hackle. LEGS AND FEET - Legs of medium length, strong, set well apart, clear of feathers. Thighs not much seen. Toes four, rather long and thin and well spread out.
FEMALE CHARACTERISTICS Allowing for the natural sexual differences, the characteristics are generally similar to those of the male with the following exceptions: The single comb falls gracefully to one side of the face without obscuring the vision. The neck is of medium length and carried well up. The body is round and compact, with greater posterior development than in the male. The back is rather long and broad.
COLOURS Male and Female: Plumage lustrous beetle-green ground colour tipped with white (the more V-shaped the better). No inclination to lacing. The more evenly V-tipped throughout with white on beetle-green ground colour the better. Tail feathers black to the roots and tipped with white. Wing feathers black tipped with white. Under colour dark. Beak: yellow with black or horn shadings; a wholly yellow beak not desirable. Eyes: iris orange-red, pupil hazel. Comb, face and wattles: bright red, face free from white. Ear-lobes white. Legs: yellow mottled with black, the more evenly mottled the better.
A Red Variety Is Also Recognised Male and Female: Plumage: Each feather to have a V-shaped white tip, a narrow black bar separating the white from the rest of the feather. Head, neck, back, saddle, breast and body: ground colour chestnut to red bay. Main tail: black (bay or chestnut shading permissible). Wings: fronts, bows and coverts as per back etc. Primaries: black with bay or chestnut edging. Secondaries: outer web chestnut to red bay, inner web black. Under colour: red and slate, the darker the better. Overall the ground colour to be as even a shade as possible with minimal black, except the tail. Comb, face, wattles, lobes, eyes and legs as above.
WEIGHTS FOWLS Cock 2.70- 2.95 kg (6 - 6 1/2 lb) Hen 2.25 - 2.50 kg (5 - 5 1/2 lb) Cockerel 2.50 - 2.70 kg (5 1/2 - 6 lb) Pullet 2.00 - 2.25 kg (4 1/2 - 5 lb)
BANTAMS Male 790-910g (28 - 32 oz) Female 680 - 790 g (24 - 28 oz)
SCALE OF POINTS Eye 5 Comb 10 Lobe 5 Leg and beak colour 10 Purity of white, quality & evenness of tipping 20 Ground colour, sound to skin 15 Type and carriage 15 Texture, general 10 Size 5 Condition 5 TOTAL 100
POINTS DEDUCTIONS FOR DEFECTS White or light under colour 10 Ground colour other than beetle-green 10 Tail not tipped or not black to roots 10 Wings any other colour than black tip with white 10 Bad comb 5 White in face 20 Lobe other than white 5 In-kneed 10 Squirrel Tail 10 Crooked toes 10 TOTAL 100
from the Australian Poultry Standard, 1st Edition, page 36
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