“My objective is to maintain and make available birds from this strain of line bred, “Tail-less, Tufted Araucana Chickens” brought together in 1973 from strains known for egg quality, body types, and good natural instincts.
Continuing forward with focus on Quality bird health while predominantly producing Blue eggs.”( :>) Edd Sheppard
Awesome Araucana Chicken Hatchery Updates for the year 2020
Getting ready for the 2020 Hatching season while putting the finishing touches on a book about the essentials of Araucana chicken flock management made 2019 a very busy year. Back in late July I was in Dallas, Texas with my laptop computer and plans for a great book. I thought that it would be a few days of intense work as the 12 chapters and hundreds of pictures were all waiting to be merged. Well as luck would have it, a tornado whizzed by during the night missing myself and several others gathered in the bottom story of our Hotel. Just missing us was the most costly tornado in U.S. history, by 4 blocks. While still feeling lucky and knowing the Design company a couple blocks away was spared, so we moved forward. Later the next day assessment in the daylight was in full swing. News was still pouring in and the printer’s building was in the tornado’s path suffering power failure and building damage. They still have not found their huge roof top Air Conditioners.
After a week of planning, re-arranging and editing all that could be improved for the next week, it came time start packing up for the trip back to California. I turned off the laptop computer and in never stopped running. The fan whirred the screen was blue color and nothing responded. After an hour I shut it down only to discover that the “ Blue screen of computer death” was eminent.
Well Santa was good to me and a new touch screen was in my stocking. Used as a backup, I tried to use my Passwords, none worked. I had been hacked. 270 transactions per day from 7 U.S. sites, pretty scary posing as my hatchery and me. Months of getting my stuff together and protected to finish my work was intense but by New Years everything was complete. The book was completed, copyrighted and published. I missed the best selling season in years but the book was meant to make the world a better place. I am proud and the truths about these special Native American Chickens should be shared. Basic facts that can be reproduced gives valuable information to consider for the future helping scientists, farmers and the personal project providers of these chickens coming from our hatchery.
CHANGES NEW FOR THE 2020 HATCHING SEASON
This includes prices, terms and goals for this year. Sometime during the year 2020 I will formulate a plan to close the hatchery to the public, sponsor other hatcheries, or grow it to commercial size. I have 160 acres and some good ideas but I am 70 years old have other interests and goals also. I have made a way so I do not have to explain the many aspects and reasoning behind maintaining a viable flock of these unique birds for the present and future. It is a Book called “ARAUCANA EXPERIENCE” FROM 47 CONTINUOUS YEARS OF ARAUCANA CHICKEN FLOCK MAINTENANCE”. It took 5 years to write and publish a book about my 47 years with these birds. It is worth reading for anyone that wants a foundation concept of what is going on with these birds historically and in the present. These True Araucana chickens are different from most common chickens. I provide the means to evaluate what I say in the book. I feel specific approaches are necessary to get the “Blue egg chicken” basics explained to people. I also have posted a video on “You Tube” called “Awesome Araucana” showing them flying like the Jungle fowl that they came from through their Polynesian jungle fowl chicken heredity. These are not “Feed Store> commercial chicken types historically. Please enjoy this video of them at our Hatchery flying for the first time they were free ranging. These chickens are very different acting than the usual barnyard bunch but the behaviors may not be noticed if you are not looking. (Everyone with these chickens needs to read my book. If you have a better way, I will use your way but please read my book and perhaps a second edition can include a larger world of respectful communications to contribute.) My goal was to save these rare South American Blue egg laying chickens from extinction. They are very close being extinct now in their purest forms and can only be found in small numbers by limited providers. There is an endless supply of other chickens out there diluting the genetics of these magnificent chickens. I have had many interactions with University level Professors that have contributed knowledge. Now with a documented reference, it is possible that many will be contributing to any further publications and knowledge.
Also New This Year of 2020, the web site called “Araucana Registry” is available FREE to anyone willing to look at or sign up as a member listed in a “Araucana Directory”. As a member with name and poultry interest only. No address or phone number will be given without permission for privacy. With a network of interested participants others can know you are here and your Blue egg chicken interest will be established for interactions, including exchanges, assistance and advice from a central source.
PRICES AND TERMS FOR 2020
Hatching eggs are $40 per dozen now with shipping and handling included. If you read the book, you will know what you are seeing in the “Hatching Eggs Results” for the 2020 hatching season. Having read the book, you will be decades ahead of anyone new to these birds. Personal projects, commercial interests or group support are all possible in each batch of hatching eggs that are from a mix of flocks. The overwhelming majority of Flocks are tail-less with one parent being double tufted. This includes a few Ketro flocks with one tufted parent. The Black show Hybrid strain that matures in 4.5 months has a non-tufted Ketro flock for the first time this year and they could be Black or Blue/Gray. These Non-Tufted Black or Blue/Gray Tailed birds have all the traits of commercial egg laying chickens and few of the lethal factors associated with Tail-less, Tufted chickens. Also they are pure to their strain either Hybrids or My strain.
I do not maintain a non-tufted flock of my strain Ketros but they do occur. Those genetic goals are not followed here as they lack the commercial traits by taking 8 months to a year to lay their first eggs, growing slow and eating less to end up bigger and smarted than the Hybrids. The occasional non tufted and tailed chicken will present in small numbers and they are 100% pure to the strain they represent, either Black or Mapuche strain. I am not sure what could be accomplished with mixing these birds. I do not mix the two strains here. Personal projects are the normal approach until a goal is reached. I still only have the two Araucana Chicken strains here in both Ketros and Kollonkas.
Flock size is reduced this year to increase fertility and help monitor hatch results (8-1 hens per Rooster). I will keep you all informed as I learn additional hatch result information.
Besides the usual, White, Black, Blue/Gray, Red, Silver Duckwing, Golden Duckwing, Palomino color types and Black Breasted Red feather colors, there are many spotted and splash mix feather colors in the mix. Blue eggs mostly followed by Turquoise then pale green then the dark green eggs. With half or more hens new this year and most yet to lay their first eggs, much mystery awaits. The cold wet Winter this year has slowed egg production in Northern California.
All negative test results from recent certification blood test monitoring continues our disease free status for the diseases that they test for. Let me know if I can help.
Mature birds and chick sales are by private contract only, arranged by Edward Sheppard and not routinely done. Local delivery and sales will continue as in the past. No unauthorized visitors for Bio-secure reasons. Thank you for your interest in these birds. Best Regards.