How to Breed Ancona Chickens

Anconas are a Mediterranean light breed of chicken. They are named after the region where they were discovered in the central italian, Asiatic costal region, and they were brought to the UK around the 1850's. They lay large, white eggs. This generally friendly breed has flashy black feathers flecked in white. This article will walk you through the steps on how to breed this beautiful breed.


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    Purchase an Ancona breeding pair. You should have a ratio of one rooster to at least two hens to stop over-breeding on a single hen. The breeding pair should be healthy, happy, clean, free of diseases and definitely purebred. You can purchase purebred chickens from breeders, shows or take a search online.
    • Keep at least four chickens with a rooster so that you can easily collect eggs into a clutch. This also stops over-breeding between the hens which reduces stress onto them.
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    Set up suitable housing. Purchase a small coop with an attached run for your breeding pair. The coop and run should be secure and clean. The coop should also have inside of it bedding, nesting material, nest boxes, roosts and a full drinker and feeder.
    • Clean the coop at least every two weeks depending on how dirty it gets. Use proper cleaning equipment.
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    Feed your breeding pair a quality feed. Ensure your breeding pair gets a high-quality feed which you can purchase at ranch stores or from another breeder. Give them treats weekly and supplement the hens diet with calcium which can be found from crushed oyster shells or crushed egg shells.
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    Purchase an incubator and hatching equipment. You can purchase incubators online or from any ranch store nearby. The equipment you will need to hatch and raise chicks are chick drinkers and feeders, chick starter feed, bedding, heat lamp and of course a brooder.
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    Collect fertile eggs. Collect eggs from the nesting boxes until you have the amount that you want or a full clutch. Store the eggs at room temperature, safely up to a week. After they reach a week old their fertility rate will go down.
    • If you have a rooster living with a flock of hens all eggs will be fertile.
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    Move the eggs to an incubator. Chicken eggs usually take around 21 days to hatch. Be sure to check on the eggs more often around the due hatch dates and do not disturb the hatching process when it begins.
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    Set up a brooder. A brooder is basically a box where the chicks grow up at a young age. First choose the base of the brooder, such as what it is going to made out of. You can use a cardboard box or a plastic tub as an example. Then set down absorbent bedding such as wood shavings. Thirdly set up the heat lamp which should be kept at 95 °F (35 °C). Lastly is the chick feeder and drinker to set up.
    • The heat lamp should start off at 95 °F (35 °C) and be lowered by 5 degrees every week until it reaches room temperature.
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    Move any hatched chicks to the brooder. Once the chicks have hatched and become dry, move them onto the brooder. Show them how to drink and eat by tipping their beaks in the water and feed. Remember to keep an eye on any leftover eggs.
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    Care for the chicks properly. The chicks, just like chickens, need daily care such as cleaning out the brooder, turning the degrees down by 5 weekly, refilling the drinker and feeder and checking up on the chicks hourly.
    • The brooder should increase in size as soon as the chicks increase too.
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    Purchase a small coop with an attached run. This will be for the baby chicks once they grow up and can move out of the brooder. It should have the same equipment, security and set-up as the breeding pairs you keep.
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    Move growing chicks out to the coop. Depending on the weather you get in your location, you have to decide on a time to move chicks out of the brooder. If you get high temperatures then you might have the opportunity to move chicks out at an early age of four weeks. If you get colder temperatures you might have to wait until six weeks and even at that age they may require a heat lamp in the coop to keep them warm.
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    Sex your chickens once they reach maturity. Roosters have larger wattles and combs, a longer tail and crow whilst females usually have stubbier tails and smaller wattles and combs. Hens reach maturity once they start laying eggs.
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    Begin putting your Ancona chickens up for sale. If you have quite a few roosters in your flock, sell them in pairs. You can post online in poultry forums which is the best source to sell purebred chickens from. You can also try poultry shows too.
    • Provide a good description of the Ancona chickens including that they are purebred, how old they are, their breed, temperament, etc.
    • You don't have to sell all your birds. You can keep some to use as another breeding pair or choose to show them at poultry shows.


  • Ancona's can be flighty, so make sure that you have adequate caging for them.

Things You'll Need

  • Two coops with attached runs.
  • Absorbent bedding.
  • Nesting materials.
  • Drinker.
  • Feeder.
  • Roosts.
  • Nesting boxes.
  • High-quality chicken feed.
  • Calcium supplement for hens.
  • Cleaning equipment.
  • Incubator.
  • Heat lamp.
  • Brooder.
  • Chick feeder.
  • Chick drinker.

Article Info

Categories: Chickens