The Ancona is a breed of domestic chicken that was developed in Italy, although the modern type was mostly developed in the United Kingdom during the nineteenth century. The breed was first introduced into England in 1851 and into the United States in 1888, although it was not until 1898 that the single comb type of the Ancona would be accepted into the American Poultry Association. Today, this breed is most popular in Britain and the United States, but efforts are being made to increase its popularity in its native country.
The Ancona reaches various sizes depending on the type and sex, with males of the normal type reaching weights between 5.5 and 6.2 pounds and females reaching weights of up to 4.6 pounds, while the bantam type of this breed reaches much smaller weights. It is typically black in color with mottled white appearing along the body, although a shiny green coloration is permitted on the feathers and blue individuals can be found in Italy.
The legs and beak are yellow in color and may hold some black markings and the comb should hold five points, although a rosecomb is permitted by the American and United Kingdom standards. This comb should be medium in size and should fall to the side on hens. Ancona hens are known to be good egg layers, producing an average of 220 eggs each year. It is a lively breed that does well in free range environments.
Image Caption: The Ancona chicken. Credit: Festina Lente/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)