The Ancona chicken is a Mediterranean breed hailing from Italy.
They are a dual-purpose breed but are known for being excellent layers of extra-large white eggs. Ancona hens produce up to 220 eggs per year.
They are also non-setters, which is good news if you plan to collect eggs rather than hatch them. If you want to breed and raise Ancona chicks, you’ll need to find a broody hen to sit on the eggs.
This breed is highly active and prefers to be free-range. They require lots of room to roam and forage.
Ancona Chicken Breed Quick Info
Wyandotte Chicken Description
|Black and white
|Ancona Ease of Raising/Keeping:
|Ancona Special Care Needs:
|Is the Ancona breed a common, rare, or protected breed of chicken?
|Rare, “threatened” status
|Ancona Ability/Likelihood to Free Range:
Ancona Egg Production
|Estimated Number of Eggs Per Year
|Likeliness to Brood Eggs/Raise Chicks
Ancona Meat Production
|Dressed Weight Male
|4 ¼ lbs.
|Dressed Weight Female
|3 ¼ lbs.
Ancona Climate Tolerance
Ancona Age to Maturity
|Number of Months to Reach Full Size
|Number of Months to Start Egg Laying
|Number of Weeks/Months to Reach Meat Harvest Size
Ancona Size at Maturity
|4 ½ lbs.
Origins of the Ancona Chicken
This breed originated in the seaside town of Ancona in the Marche region of Italy. They were developed using early Leghorns, resulting in a high-producing, hardy bird.
Anconas were imported to the United States from England in the late 19th century.
Today, they are popular in the United States and England but are rare in their native region of Marche. In 2000, an initiative was started to re-establish the breed in Italy.
Some Things to Know About the Ancona Chicken
Anconas have a beautiful, striking appearance. Their plumage is black-mottled with white tips. The white mottles will grow in size and number as the bird gets older. This process is often referred to as “going grey.”
They are about the same size and shape, if not a bit heavier, than the Leghorn. There is a single comb, and a rose comb variety. This breed has yellow legs and white earlobes.
How Easy is it to Keep Ancona Chickens?
Ancona chickens are easy to care for, especially if you have experience raising free-range chickens.
These birds do best when allowed to roam freely over a large area. Their active nature requires a lot of space to run and forage.
They are also predator-savvy. Their alert temperament means they are more likely to spot a predator and make a run for it than other, less observant breeds. They are also able to fly to escape capture easily. Their dark color helps to hide them from aerial predators, too.
They have a pleasant disposition despite their flightiness and do well in both warm and cold climates. Ancona hens are excellent winter layers.
Special Care and Considerations for Ancona Chickens
Like all chickens with a single comb, there is a risk of frostbite in the winter. A swipe of vaseline over the comb of the Bresse can help to protect it when the temperature drops below freezing.
Otherwise, Ancona chickens are known to be extremely hardy and healthy.