The Ancona originates from the Italian province of Ancona and was bred from a mixture of breeds including the Leghorn. Their black feathering led to them being called Black Leghorns. They are tough, hardy birds and are prolific layers, producing a large number of white eggs. They were very popular as egg producing birds in Europe and arrived in England in 1888 and slightly later in America. The breed can be seen in two different varieties the single combed and less common rose combed forms. They have white earlobes and bay coloured eyes and in the single combed variety, the large comb flops backwards. The feathers are beetle green-black, tipped with white and they have yellow featherless legs and feet with some black mottling down the shanks. They have four long, well spread toes.
Anconas are small attractive birds which are not prone to broodiness. In fact, they are non-sitters and will produce a large number of medium size white eggs. Chicks are vigorous and mature quickly. They are alert, busy little birds and are happiest foraging in the open air. They are not happy kept in confined spaces and they also fly well so high fencing is necessary. With good care and kind treatment, they can become quite trusting and may become tame if handled from a young age. With every moult, the white spots on their plumage become bigger so the older the bird, the whiter the feathering. They are very hardy and a cock will weigh in at around 6lbs while a hen weighs approximately 4Ã‚Â½lbs. They have an average lifespan of around 8 years. There is also a bantam version.
Single Comb and Rose Comb.
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