The Araucana chicken is a fun and interesting chicken breed with a good temperament and beautiful blue eggs. However, these chickens come with some serious health risks, which makes them relatively unpopular for being such overall lovely chickens. If you’re interested in moderate egg-layers that create unique eggs, then the Araucana may be a good chicken for you, but keep reading to learn more about important considerations to take with this breed.

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Quick Facts About Araucana Chickens

Breed Name:Araucana
Place of Origin:Chile
Uses:Egg-laying, pets
Rooster (Male) Size:1.6–1.9 pounds (bantam), 5.9–7 pounds (large)
Hen (Female) Size:1.5–1.7 pounds (bantam), 4.4–5.9 pounds (large)
Color:Black, black-breasted red, golden duckwing, silver duckwing, white
Lifespan: 6–10 years
Climate Tolerance:Moderate heat, cold-hardy
Care Level:Moderate

Araucana Chicken Origins

The Araucana originated in the South American country of Chile. They are believed to have originated in an area called the Gulf of Arauco, which gave the breed its name. It’s unclear if the breed came to be from birds that were native to South America or if they’re descendants of chickens brought to South America by Europeans during the time of Columbus. It wasn’t until the 1930s that the breed began to make big strides outside of South America, though. They were used to create a more popular and health-stable breed, the Ameraucana.

Female Araucana chicken breed in the garden
Image Credit By: KanphotoSS, Shutterstock

Araucana Chicken Characteristics

This breed has multiple distinguishing characteristics, one of which is ear tufts. Although the breed standard calls for the tufts to be present on both sides of the head and to match in shape and size, they can come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some Araucanas only have a single ear tuft. These ear tufts are associated with a lethal gene that results in the death of embryos and young chicks who inherit the gene from both of their parents.

The Araucana lacks a tailbone, which often results in it being referred to as a rumpless chicken breed. Unfortunately, this lack of a tailbone results in reproductive difficulties in these birds, with some birds completely unable to naturally reproduce. The tailbone is important for chickens because it allows them to move their tail feathers out of the way for breeding purposes, but birds without this bone lack this ability partially or entirely.

Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of this breed is their blue eggs. Think of a slightly duller robin’s egg. Their cousin, the Ameraucana, also lays blue eggs, but they have a tailbone and lack ear tufts.


Araucana chickens are primarily kept for their egg production, especially since their eggs are eye-catching and interesting. They tend to only lay during the warmer months of the year, though, so most Araucana hens only lay 150–250 eggs per year. The large version of this breed could also be used for meat, but it’s not ideal since they are not bred for this purpose.

Many people who keep Araucana chickens keep them simply as pets. They are extremely people-oriented birds that seem to genuinely enjoy human interaction, often seeking out people they are familiar with for attention. They’re also a good option for pest control when allowed to free roam.

Araucana chicken breed
Image Credit By: MelaniMarfeld, Pixabay

Appearance & Varieties

There are only five colors that are accepted as part of the Araucana breed standard with the American Poultry Association for large Araucanas, while bantam Araucanas have six colors.

For large Araucana chickens, they can be solid black or white, and for bantam Araucana chickens, they can also be solid buff. Black-breasted red is more in line with the traditional idea of what a rooster looks like, although hens can also be this color.

Golden and silver duckwing birds have black on the head and rump, but the back, wings, and part of the breast are gold or silver. For other poultry associations, there are a variety of other acceptable colors, including lavender, blue, blue-red, spangled, and cuckoo.


Although rare in the US, the Araucana chicken is not considered to be an at-risk breed. They can be extremely difficult to find in the US, even though they’re cold-hardy and tolerant of moderate heat. They’re not an overly popular breed due to the health problems associated with breeding them. It’s for these reasons that the Ameraucana is more popular in the US.

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Are Araucana Chickens Good for Small-Scale Farming?

The Araucana can be a great breed for anyone with a lot of space and a desire for chickens that are interested in being around people. They do require special care when it comes to breeding, so it’s necessary to be prepared to be responsible for these chickens if you intend to breed them and to research how to breed them responsibly. Their blue eggs would make a fun addition to your local Saturday morning farmer’s market, though!

Featured Image Credit: Vampyre Zen, Shutterstock