ARAUCANA HEN - Origins, characteristics and photos!

Araucana: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The hens have taken the step from farms and pens to more than one home,...

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

Chickens have taken the step from farms and enclosures to more than one household, being appreciated as pets for their great sensitivity and their particular character. Among the many breeds of hens that exist in the world, the araucana hen is one of the most appreciated for its particular characteristics.

This hen, of controversial origin, is very special, both for its history and for its peculiarities, among which we find the color of its eggs, which is truly unique.Stay with us to learn all about the araucana hen thanks to this sheet from PlanèteAnimal!


  • America
  • Argentina
  • Chile

Origin of the araucana hen

The Araucana hen takes its name from the tribes that populated the current territories of Chile and Argentina. These tribes, the Mapuche Indians, raised these hens for their great nutritional value and also for the he alth benefits that were commonly attributed to them. It is stipulated that they come from the mixture of quetro and collonca hens, both originating from these territories.

Although the existence of these birds has not been recorded in any document before 1500, it is strongly believed that they were already present in the territories mentioned above since pre-Columbian times. Therefore, the Araucana hen would be truly ancient.

Although a breed with a long history, these hens did not arrive in Europe and the United States until the second decade of the 20th century, where they became very popular due to the special nature of their eggs.

Habitat of the araucana hen

The Araucana hen began by inhabiting only the territories where the Mapuche Indians lived, which included different regions of Chile and Argentina. Later, these hens arrived in other parts of the world, such as Europe or the United States, although this only happened less than a century ago, which, compared to their long story, is not too long.

The Araucana hen is very independent, so she needs to enjoy a certain freedom to be happy. This implies that she has a land or space large enough to move around, be able to hatch her eggs and peck peacefully.It is typical of rural areas, fields and farms.

Also, there are wild populations of araucana hens, which are found in parts of southern Chile, as well as on Easter Island, which is why they are also called Easter egg hens .

Characteristics of the araucana hen

The araucana hen is a small to medium-sized bird, with an average body weight of about 2.2 kilograms for hens and about 2.7 kilograms for roosters. There are marked differences between the specimens, although they should never be large in size. In addition, these hens do not have a tail, which is due to the presence in their genome of a non-harmful gene that causes this particular characteristic, and have longer plumage in the chin region and/or or in the ears, so they have a kind of beard and earrings.

There are different varieties of araucana hens, such as the black, red or white araucana hen.The color of the araucana hen depends on its genetics, the colors mixing and giving rise to very frequent striped or colored patterns. This is why it is common to see red araucana hens, for example, with black spots.

Differences between the rooster and the araucana hen

The araucana rooster and hen can both have the color patterns described above. The differences between them are in the size, the males being larger, and in the crest. As with most breeds of hens, the rooster has a more pronounced crest than the hen.

The eggs of the araucana hen

Despite the above, the most peculiar and perhaps most relevant characteristic of the Araucana hen when it comes to recognizing it is knowing that its eggs are unique. Eggs are special because they have a rather atypical color, usually blue thanks to a pigment called biliverdin.

The color of the eggs can vary considerably even from a single laying of the same hen, since it depends not only on genetics, but also on meteorological and nutritional factors, among others. Thus, greenish, light blue or green eggs may appear. In any case, they should be medium in size. It is precisely because of the color of the eggs that this hen is also known as the blue egg hen.

Do blue eggs have more properties?

Although there is a myth that blue eggs are more nutritionally beneficial, that is just a myth because the only difference between blue eggs and white or brown eggs is that the yolk is proportionally larger and harder, and the shell has a more exotic color. Except for these details, which are nutritionally irrelevant, the properties of both types of eggs are exactly the same.

Feeding the araucana hen

The araucana hen follows an omnivorous diet, consuming both foods of plant origin such as cereals or seeds, vegetables, fruits, and grass, or even insects, arthropods and very small vertebrates.

Wild hens usually graze, peck and dig in the ground in search of the grains or insects they feed on. If they are in a pen or farm, it is essential to ensure that their diet is balanced and of good quality. Many farmers make the mistake of feeding them only cereals, which causes them significant protein deficiencies, because these hens need this protein normally obtained from insects.

Reproduction of the araucana hen

For fertilization to take place, there must be copulation between the rooster and the hen.Only in this way will the eggs be fertile, otherwise there will be no embryo inside and the eggs laid by the araucana hen will not produce a chick.

As we already mentioned, the eggs of these hens have a unique color, no other hen has the same eggs. The blue color of the eggs of the araucana hen is due to the presence of an enzyme secreted in the oviduct (the canal where the eggs are put into gestation inside the hen before laying), which causes the hemoglobin turns into biliverdin, a pigment that is transferred to the shell, giving it that blue color.

It is interesting to know that the faster a hen lays, the less biliverdin there will be in her eggs, so the shell of the eggs will have a paler color than that of hens that lay less d eggs. Thus, having an Araucana hen subject to very frequent laying in order to obtain more blue eggs is neither a good thing for her nor the best option, since the effect will be quite the opposite.

Caring for an Araucana chicken

If you have araucana chickens, either as farm animals or as pets, you must take into account that these animals have specific needs. It is true that their needs are no different from those of other hens, except that they need a little more space than other breeds. This space must have an outdoor part, where they can ventilate and sunbathe, it must have feeders, drinkers and a place where the hens can lay their eggs, incubate them and also sleep.

Also, it is interesting that these birds have an area with sand or mud, since they use it to take sand baths, clean their plumage and keep it in good condition. These baths are typical of other animals, such as chinchillas.

As for the diet of the araucana hen, as we have said in the previous sections, it must be balanced, containing a large amount of vegetables, based on the consumption of fresh grass, fruits and vegetables, combined with the consumption of animal protein sources such as insects or arthropods.This diet should be accompanied by good hydration, and it is essential that drinkers with fresh, clean water are available.

Araucana hen he alth

The Araucana hen does not have many congenital anomalies, although there is a condition that has threatened this breed of hens for years. This disease is caused by a dominant gene, the one that determines the presence of earring species in their ears. The problem arises if two hens are crossed with this gene, because in these cases having two copies of this gene produces almost 100% mortality in the embryos before hatching, which is brutally deadly.

The only way to prevent the spread of this disease is to cross only hens without earrings or one with and one without earrings, because those wearing earrings have already a dominant gene, which can lead to the death of all chicks if two specimens with earrings are crossed.

In addition, it should be taken into account that specimens that have feathers on the side of the head must be regularly groomed at the risk of these feathers hiding their eyes or even getting into them, which can cause eye conditions such as conjunctivitis.

Pictures of Araucana

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!