Question for those who raise/have raised Aracauna Chickens : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

From the mixed batch of chicks I purchased last year from Murray Mc Murray, several were Aracuanas. I thought they were all pullets/hens, as there doesn't appear to be a difference in them. However, yesterday, I noticed one challenging another of the chickens, one I KNOW to be a hen. The Aracuana looked just like the roosters, neck all fluffed out, and flying at the other chicken feet first. This breed doesn't have huge combs or wattles, no difference in the feather shape, etc. How can you tell them apart? Or, do I just have an aggressive hen? Can't find good descriptions/pictures on any site or book that I have found so far. Thanks! Jan

-- Jan in CO (, February 17, 2001


First off, are they laying yet? If they are laying then you should be able to tell by holding the chicken with their face toward your side. Then place your hand between the bones under the base of the tail. If you can get 2 or 3 finger widths between the bones you have a hen. Depending of course on the size of your hands. I get 3 of my finger widths for a layer. For a rooster you will only have one finger width or so. The bones that I am referring to are the ones that the egg must pass through. I have a few hens that like to squabble amongst themselves too! They must just have an occasional bad feather day! CMS maybe? Also, many breeds have some fine feathers on their backs just before the tail feathers that are long and skinny for a rooster and short and stocky for a hen. My Aracaunas are all girls. I don't recall what the roosters look like in Aracaunas. You might also check for spur nubbins.

-- Nan (, February 17, 2001.

The roosters are bigger of coarse , they do have waddles and well for a lack of a better discription look like roosters .I find mine to be very gentle .The roosters will fight each other but not bad .

-- Patty {NY State} (, February 17, 2001.

hi Jan, they are hard to tell until they reach maturity, but a mature Aracuana rooster does look like a rooster. I'm guessing it was the "bad hair day" thing. My hens will also fight on occassion. By the way, what colors of Aracuanas did you get from Murray? The local hatchery seems to turn out mostly white, but I know they can have pretty colors. mary

-- mary, texas (, February 17, 2001.

Mary: The ones I received are mostly black, brown and gold feathered. Quite pretty, and all have feathers resembling "whiskers" on the sides of their faces. Their eggs are really pretty, green to blue in color. Thanks! Jan

-- Jan in CO (, February 17, 2001.

Jan, I have about 12 Auracanas I got from McMurray's 2 years ago. Of the fifteen or so of that breed that I ordered 5 were roosters. We sold four a the stockyard and kept one.

As the roosters matured the tail feathers began to elongate and of course at about 5-6 months they started crowing. I

When we got the chicks they all looked like 2 legged chipmunks. The only way to tell the difference between the Red Stars and Auracanas was the color of their legs. The RS's are yellow, the A's green/grey.

If you ordered just hens and they are over 6 months old it sounds like the "bad feather day" as previously mentioned.

None of my hens ended up with the "cheeks" however many of mine have what looks like extra feathers that are fluffier around their necks. I had a cross someone gave me a few years ago that had the cheeks you describe. Some of the eggs I get from both breeds are so large, the carton almost won't close on them. Some are quite small though.

I have an old hen that is not laying anymore but has gotten broody and I'm letting her set on 6 or 7 of the largest eggs I get. This hen is over 5 years old. Don't ask me why I've kept her this long. I think we all know the answer to that. ;)

I do need to try the bone check that Nan described to see which hens are not laying. I have 25 hens and am only getting about 12-14 eggs a day. (Pouting) But its too cold out side and coop is nasty and I don't want to sit in either place. Come on Spring!

Notice the "farm name". I'm playing around with that. I think cackleberry is the funniest name for "egg" that I've heard yet. And, since we have more than 1 but less than 2 acres....I can call it Acres. :)

-- Heather, Cackleberry Acres, MD (, February 17, 2001.

Jan- We have some Ameraucanas and the roosters mature very fast. I would check for hackle feathers and spurs. I would also guess that they would should be larger than your hens. Good luck.

-- Trisha-MN (, February 17, 2001.


-- ~Rogo (, February 17, 2001.

== Rogo: Aracaunas, or Americaunas, are sometimes called Easter Egg chickens, as they lay colored eggs. Some are blue, green or pinkish. Not much comb or waddles on them, either. ==

Jan, I don't think you read the url I posted. It speaks of the Araucana, Ameraucana and Easter Eggers.

The hatcheries, altho they use the word 'Araucana,' do not have them. In fact, they're difficult to find today, altho there are some with private breeders. The hatcheries have the Easter Eggers, which are a mix of various breeds and lay blue, green and pink eggs.

The true Araucana is rumpless (tail less) and has ear tufts. They lay only true blue eggs.

The Ameraucana has a muff and beard, but no ear tufts and may or may not have a tail.

-- ~Rogo (, February 18, 2001.

Thanks for the responses,everyone. I'm sure, after reading a few things, that you probably can't get true Aracauna's from the hatcheries, no matter what they say. Whatever these chickens are, I doubt any are roosters, so guess I will just try to borrow the neighbor's rooster for a while! Thanks for the info! Jan

-- Jan in CO (, February 19, 2001.

You only need a rooster for fertile eggs .Put an add in the local free paper for one ,i bet you'll find one

-- Patty {NY State} (, February 19, 2001.

Hi Jan, The first difference I noticed between my Americauna hens and roosters was the saddle feathers of the roosters were pointed. I've had only two batches of straight run, and one of the roosters I would have SWORN was a hen. I noticed his pointy saddle feathers AFTER he started crowing : ).

-- Laura Jensen (, February 19, 2001.


I wouldn't give up on the non-layers yet. Chickens require a certain amount of sunlight per day to lay. Yours may not be getting enough yet. Mine are starting to pick up a little now, but will take a couple more months to really get up to speed.

-- Mona in OK (, February 19, 2001.

I guess Aracaunas are particularly hard to sex. We bought 5 "pullets" from Murray McMurray our first year and 3 of them turned out to be cockerels. Don't know if it's just a coincidence, but all the Aracauna hens I've ever seen are the brown/black/gold color and all the cockerels are white/bron/black. Does anyone know different?

-- David C (, February 21, 2001.

I got my Aracaunas from Ideal Poultry out of Texas. Most of mine are rumpless and have the ear tufts. I got one white one (I ordered only pullets)that looks like a regular chicken...she (I hope is a girl) is cute and very friendly.I bought some straight run from the feed store and all the very friendly ones turned out to be males. These are only 3 months old and not laying yet. Most of my aracaunas are golden, red coloring with no tail, and ear tufts, I have one black and white one, then a couple that are absolutely pink in color. I guess they will get more blonde or gold, but right now, they are pink! :-)

-- Cindy in Ok (, February 21, 2001.

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