The Black chicken is the aristocrat of the poultry world. The hens can be rather flighty, as all Mediterranean breeds can, however, the adults hold themselves as benefits a Spanish Don — Head up, one foot ahead, calm.
No other breed of chicken so embodies the term “aristocrat” in its posture, as does the Spanish chicken. The breed is of unknown and ancient lineage.
In plumage, the Spanish chicken is a lustrous greenish-black in color, tight-fitting of a feather, and with reasonably flowing tails. What sets this strain apart is the enormous white ear lobes and white on face — resembling something the artist Salvador Dali might have painted, in that the faces seem to have melted and prolonged downward. But this breed predates Mr. Dali and it’d be more likely to have affected his artwork.
They’re a non-sitting fowl with dark brown eyes; dark slate shanks and toes; white earlobes and faces; and lay chalk-white eggs. Males weigh 8 lbs and females weigh 6.5 lbs.
Spanish hens are widely known and recognized for their ability to put an extremely high number of very big white eggs gaining recognition for this before 1816 in England.
The strain came to America and was among those breeds of poultry. During the 1860s, Spanish chickens were popular in New Jersey and as far west as Ohio.
Farmers with flocks specializing in market cows kept flocks of this breed as 1892-1895. Eggs from Spanish chickens have been recorded in weights ranging from 2.75 oz to 4.25 ounces (in 1852).
Spanish hens were exhibited in the first poultry shows in both America and England. In England, it was the first breed for which courses were kept at all the poultry shows.
In America, the breed has been exhibited as early as 1854, at the New York State Poultry Society show by Mr. J.P. Childs of Woonsocket, RI.
The downfall of the Spanish chicken arrived due to a mixture of two characteristics: the breed’s delicacy and its whitened face. As breeders paid more attention to increasing the size of their white faces from the Spanish hens, a fantastic reduction of hardiness was detected. This combined with the nature of the girls resulted in a loss of fame as more hardy breeds started to arrive.
Spanish chickens were admitted to the American Poultry Association standard as a recognized under the title of White Faced Black Spanish in 1874.