The Spanish chickens are unique looking with white low-hanging ear-lobes, red comb, and white face, which resembles a clown. The breed is originated in Spain. Also called by several names the Spanish, Cara Blanca or Española Cara Blanca.
The Black Spanish chicken also called the aristocrat of the poultry world. The adults of the breed hold their heads up, with a foot forward and clam. More majestic than any breed of chickens. The Spanish chickens are very ancient breed older than Minorca(similar looking chicken) and lineage unknown.
Table of Contents
Spanish chickens breed information
The Spanish chicken is large-sized but not as big as Brahma chickens.
The white earlobes and white face are very distinctive with Spanish chickens. The white face can only be seen in a year old chicken, not with young ones.
The Spanish have dark brown eyes with dark slate shanks and toes.
The adult chicken weighs 3.6 kg(8 lbs) and females weigh 3 kg 6.5 lbs. The chicken attains these sizes only from the good breeder lines.
Spanish chicken is known for its frequent production of large eggs that counts around 180 eggs are produced in a year.
The large white eggs with at least 3 per week are significant. Each egg weighing around 78 g to 120 g (2.75 ounces to 4.25 ounces).
Spanish chickens have a very friendly temperament. But they are not a lap-chicken, they are active and tend to run around the farm. There are not aggressive to anyone, a very old breed that is very majestic in behavior.
Chickens are active and attentive, can evade predators very easily.
The breed is not best for the meat. As the present line of the breed is completely going to bantam size. Also, the numbers are dwindling, it’s not recommended for them for meat at a young age.
The Spanish chickens are non-sitting fowl(do not brood their young ones).
Taking care of Spanish chickens
The main things to be considered are Housing, feed, and health. The Spanish chickens are not different from any other chickens, except for the size.
We recommend considering housing only during nights, in the day allow them for free-range. Free-range chickens are happy ones, and also produces stress-free eggs.
A good housing also makes them comfortable, around 4 ft per bird is recommended. It should be well ventilated and freshwater to be available all the time.
The young Spanish chickens are flighty, so the taller fence is recommended. But the older ones are more calm and majestic.
The Spanish chickens are delicate. A healthy diet is more important than any other care. For the chicks, a good chicken starter. For the older ones, good laying feed. A supplement of calcium to be given for laying chickens(not for the chicks) like Oyster shells.
The Spanish chicken’s immunity has reduced because of the breeders concentrated on getting a large white face. The Health condition needs to be discussed with a trusted breeder before buying your new chicks. For the older ones, you should consult a good local veterinarian.
Spanish chickens origin and history
The breed is from Spain. The breed is widely recognized by its white-faced appearance and very large white eggs. The Spanish chickens were very famous in Great Britain in the 18th century.
Gained huge popularity in 1816 in England for their large white eggs and even more eggs per week. Later the breed is imported to the United States of America from 1825 to 1895 from Holland. They were initially called “Clown Faced Chickens”.
The farmers who were interested in eggs kept large flocks of Spanish chickens around 1892 to 1895. Everyone loved their huge eggs, weighing around 2.75 ounces to 4.25 ounces (78 g to 120 g).
Spanish chickens began to grow its popularity both in England and America. Even the poultry shows began to showcase them. Even there were certain classes were conducted to help breeders understand the breed.
In 1854 the breed was shown at the New York Poultry Society show.
In 1874, the American Poultry Association standard recognized the breed.
in 1960 the White Face Black Spanish Bantam breed was added to the American Poultry Association standard.
The Fall of Spanish chickens
The Spanish chickens were well accepted by all breeders for their hardy nature, large white eggs, and its Aristocratic looks. But breeders wanted something more, they wanted the more white face.
By increasing the size of the white face, the breeders lost their hardiness with it. The more concentration was given to looks, in this process, their hardiness lost even more. The Spanish chickens though they are hardy, they were delicate. The hardiness eventually reduced, which combined with delicate nature, it was hard to maintain the chickens. Slowly it lost its popularity. The hardier breeds came then, which replaced Spanish chickens.
Presently the Livestock Conservancy listed Spanish chickens as critically endangered. The breed requires help from the chicken enthusiasts to improve their number. Avoid inbreeding which has weakened the bloodlines, talk to the trusted breeders for good chicks.
The White Faced Black Spanish bantam
The miniature size of the standard Spanish chicken is a bantam Spanish chicken.
The bantam Spanish hen weighs 0.750 g (27 oz) and the rooster weighs 0.850 g (30 oz). The Pullet 680 g (24 oz) and male chickenerel 0.760 g(27 oz)
The White Faced Black Spanish bantam is primarily kept as ornament or show.
The eggs are a small size, that lays around 180 per year.
The fertility percentage is around 40 to 55 percent.
APA recognized class is “Single Comb Clean Legged Class”.
There are two varieties of Spanish Bantam in the bantam standard: The White Faced Blue Spanish Bantam and The White Faced Black Spanish Bantam.
The alternative breed to the White-Faced Black Spanish chicken. Very similar to the Spanish chicken. The Spanish chickens are older breeds and have better egg production. But most of the personality of Minorcas are similar to Spanish chicken. It is a well-known exhibition bird in many countries.
Minorca is an endangered breed and at risk of extinction.
In 1888, the American Poultry Association standard recognized the breed.
Reference to Spanish chickens:
Palm Beach County Poultry Fanciers Association’s White-Faced Black Spanish page