Chicken Breeds: Ancona

Ancona is a seaside town in Italy, which is where the Ancona chicken breed hails from . This is a Mediterranean breed, with the characteristic close glossy feathers and heat tolerance. Like most Mediterranean breeds, Anconas do not handle cold weather as well, and their combs can suffer frostbite.

The Ancona is tremendously popular in Europe, where it fills the same niche as the Leghorn does in North America. Anconas lay small eggs, most of which are white. Some Anconas carry the “blue egg” gene, and lay eggs with a slight bluish tint. Anconas are not particularly prolific layers, with each hen laying about 175 eggs per year.

Anconas are an excellent free range bird, and can forage and fend for themselves very well. However they can be flighty and nervous in confinement, and are probably not the best choice for a backyard family pet.

One interesting fact about the Ancona chicken is that it is available as a pet in the MMORPG World of Warcraft. Although there are several different kinds of chicken (including a mechanical chicken and a beastly chicken), the Ancona is the only one which is specified by breed. According to the WoWWiki, the Ancona chicken is “the only chicken-type pet available to members of the Horde.”

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