Leonard Barber is believed to have been the first importer of chickens from the Andalucia region of Spain in 1846 - 7, but these had an assortment of plumage colours. The standard Blue Andalusian, with its characteristic sharp lacing, was developed in England. The two leading breeders in the 1850s who started this process were John Taylor, of Shepherd's Bush, London, and Mr Coles of Fareham, Hampshire. It took several decades of selective breeding by a succession of fanciers before birds with the perfect colour and lacing depicted by Victorian artists became a reality. In Spain the laced as we know them are recognised as English Andalusians, with all other colours known as Spanish Andalusians, and their blues are not laced. Andalusian bantams first appeared in the 1880s.
General characteristics: male
Carriage: Upright, bold and active.
Type: Body long, broad at the shoulders, and tapering to the tail, with the plumage close and compact. Breast full and round. Wings long, well tucked up and the ends covered by the saddle hackles. Tail large and flowing, carried moderately high but not approaching `squirrel' or fan shape.
Head: Moderately long, deep and inclined to width. Beak stout and of medium length. Eyes prominent. Comb single, upright and of medium size, deeply serrated with spikes broad at the base, the back portion slightly following the line of the head but not touching the neck. Free from `thumb marks' or side spikes. Face smooth. Earlobes almond in shape, medium size, free from wrinkles, and fitting closely to the face. Wattles fine and long.
Neck: Long and well covered with hackle feathers.
Legs and feet: Legs long. Shanks and feet free from feathers. Toes, four, straight and well spread.
With the exception of the comb, which falls with a single fold to one side without covering the eye, the general characteristics are similar to those of the male, allowing for the natural sexual differences.
Andalusian bantams are exact miniatures of their fowl counterparts and so standard, colour and scale of points apply.
Please contact the breed registrar for more information - Andalusian@rarepoultrysociety.org.uk