Minorca chickens are slender-built, Spanish chickens that originated in the Mediterranean…
Minorca chickens originated in a small island off the coast of Spain. This small island is known as the island of Minorca. The Island of Minorca is also, as you probably have already deduced, where the Minorca chicken breed got its’ name.
Minorca Breed Temperament
Minorcas are very intelligent and curious in nature. They are also lively and somewhat easily spooked. However, they are very outgoing and, when handled and treated well, are very friendly. Minorca hens are generally very docile/submissive. For this reason, when they are placed in mixed flocks with bigger chicken breeds, they can get bullied and over-stressed.
Minorca’s are clean legged (which means they have no feathers on their feet). They also have white skin and ear-lobes. Minorca’s also come in either of two different comb variations: Rose comb or single comb.
Though the most common colors are buff and black, Minorca’s come in many colors including white and barred (cuckoo). However, the cuckoo variation is not legally recognized in the U.S. Legally recognized Rose comb varieties are: Black and white. Legally recognized Single comb varieties are: Buff, Black and white.
Minorca chickens are fairly lightweight. However, the weight standard is not the same for all color variations. According to the APA (American Standard of Perfection), Black, Single comb Minorca roosters weigh 9 pounds and Black, Single comb hens weigh 7-1/2 pounds. All other color variations are ~8 pounds (cocks) and 6-1/2 pounds (hens).
Minorcas are also very avid foragers and tend to be very busy. They also have strong instinct as far as predators are concerned. Because of these traits, they are excellent free range chickens. However, Minorcas generally do not bear confinement well. When they are kept in confinement, the breed does best with a source of occupation. Grass clippings and/or scratch blocks work well. Since Minorcas are intelligent and have amazing aerial capabilities, they are superb escape artists. For this reason, if they are kept in a confined area, it needs to be secure.
Minorcas are fair layers. They lay small-medium white eggs (very much like the Polish Chicken Breed). Minorcas lay ~150-200 eggs per year. Like most egg-layer breeds, they are generally not very broody.
Minorcas are very heat hardy. However, they dislike cold and are not very cold hardy. For this reason, they do best in warm weather.
The Minorca is not a very easily obtainable chicken breed. In fact, it is considered rare. You are not likely going to find them available in springtime at the local farm/feed store (unlike Rhode Island Reds, Barred Plymouth Rocks and Orpingtons). However some select colors can be ordered from hatcheries online.