Characteristics: The Ancona is a hardy, tough bird that is a predictable and prolific layer of large white eggs. They are very hardy and a cock will weigh in at around 6lbs while a hen weighs approximately 4˝lbs. A cockerel will weigh about 4 pounds and a pullet 4 pounds. They have an average lifespan of around 8 years
The breed is available in two different varieties including the single combed variety and the rarer rose combed variety. With the single combed variety the large comb flops backwards like a bit of a cocky cap on the bird’s crown. Both varieties have white earlobes and bay colored eyes. The Ancona has beautiful iridescent feathered tips to its feathers that end in green black tipped with white. Like other Mediterranean breeds of Chickens the feathers tend to have the appearance of being tightly woven or laced together. They tend to have thick waxy looking featherless legs and long four pronged toes.
This Italian chicken is a very pretty bird but not that prone to being a good mother or very broody. Even though they will produce 260 eggs a year they will not tend to sit on them for long on the nest. The chicks produced from these eggs are vigorous and mature quickly which can make them lucrative if you want to make money selling eggs and poultry. The Ancona may be a smallish bird but it is one of those Chickens that can fly. They are not happy kept in confined spaces and make a better free-range animal. One of their main strengths as a farm animal is that they were always able to produce a large number of white eggs in even very cold wintry conditions. So they are not really ever eaten but more used for egg production because they possess this valuable trait.
They are also perky, alert and smart little birds that make good pets. If they are handled from a very young age they can become very tame and trusting. This trust bond needs to be formed when the chicken is just a chick or the bonding will not take place.