The Cubalaya is a breed of domestic chicken that was developed in Cuba in the nineteenth century. The breed was developed when Asiatic crossbreeds were bred with European breeds. The resulting chickens were selectively bred to have extending beaks and tails and the final type of the breed was accepted into the Cuban National Poultry Association in 1935. It was brought to America in 1939 and shown at the International Poultry Exhibition, after which time it was accepted into the American Poultry Association, as well as the American Bantam Association.
The Cubalaya varies in size depending upon the sex and type, with standard males weighing between 4.5 and five pounds and females reaching smaller weights. Male Bantam Cubalayas reach a weight of about twenty-six ounces. Members of this breed have a refined body, a pea comb, and long, downwards facing tail feathers. It can come in a variety of colors including black, black breasted and red, all of which are accepted by the ABA and APA, but it can also come in other unaccepted colors. It is a friendly breed that is tolerant to captivity, although it is capable of foraging for its own food in a free range environment, and hens are known to be good brooders. Today, this breed is most often used as a show chicken.
Image Caption: A Cubalaya rooster. Credit: Mauro Rodriguez/Thinkstock.com