Our journey with the Ancona started at the very beginning, they were the first birds bought at auction in August 2015. We purchased 6 Phil Stadden bred Ancona Bantam after researching the breed online. Honestly, they were not the best birds and sure enough we found that out at our first ever poultry show that autum. Taking these birds to show did however open the door to meeting other Ancona breeders, and the window of opportunity opened. We befriended a fellow Ancona breeder, Ernie Bailey. Ernie gave us sound words of advice and told us exactly what we should be looking for when breeding these birds.
As soon as the new year started in 2016 the incubator was full and ran constantly, hatching as many Ancona as we could. From there it was all down to selection, as a fellow breeder once told us, “ You have to breed 10 Ancona to get at least 1 good bird”.
By the Autum and Winter of 2016 our hard work really started to prove its worth, especially at the Federation Championship Show when we came home from a very exhilarating weekend with 6 trophies, numerous rosettes and cards.
2017 and we are breeding from the Reserve Champion Bantam Ancona to the best pullets that we have bred.
What attracted us to the breed was the precise and detailed markings of the plumage. The white ‘V-shaped’ tips at the end of each ‘beetle-green’ black feather make for a stunning pattern and Anconas are very hard to ignore, There abillity to forage is second to non, they have a unique character and produce easily 200 to 220 eggs a year, though they are not a bird for every one. They are flighty and if not regularly handled can become quite feral. They are tough, hardy birds and are prolific layers, producing a large number of white eggs thoughout the year.
History of the breed
The Ancona is a breed of chicken which originated in the Marche region of italy, but which was bred to its present type mainly in the United Kingdom in the 19th century.
The first Ancona chickens were imported into England in 1851, and selectively bred for regularity and consistency of the white markings in the plumage. Birds were then exported from Britain to the United States in 1888. The Rose-combed Ancona chickens were first shown in 1910 and were most likely created using a wynadotte.
There are a number of views about the origins of the Ancona, some believing that it is very similar in appearance to the original Mottled leghorn but there is no denying they were refined in England.
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. With every moult, the white spots on their plumage become bigger so the older the bird, the whiter the feathering - best to be shown within their first couple of years.
Uses: Exhibition. Utility: eggs. Eggs: 200 – 270 white.
Weight: Cock: 2.7 – 2.95Kg, Hen: 2.25 – 2.5Kg.
Bantam Cock: 570 – 680g, Hen: 510 – 620g.
Colour: Beetle Green ground tipped with white.