Cubalaya Chicken Characteristics, Temperament & Uses

Cubalaya Chicken is an extremely rare breed which originated in Cuba. It is a gorgeous and popular show breed and has triple purpose qualities. It is mainly kept in Cuba and some other areas for ornamental, meat and eggs production purpose.

In the United States, Cubalaya chickens are typically kept for exhibition and ornamental purpose. Cubalaya Chicken is a result of cross breeding between elaborately feathered European game fowls and oriental fowls brought over from the Philippines (the ancestry stock of the Cubalaya chicken originated in the Philippines, and was brought into Cuba in the 1800s).

This chicken breed was first shown in the United States at the International Poultry Exhibition in 1939. And in the same year this breed was included into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection.

Cubalaya Chicken Characteristics

Cubalaya Chickens are very beautiful, especially the roosters. It’s a medium sized chicken breed with pea combs, red earlobes and wattles. On the hen, there is a distinct difference between the color of the plumage around the head and neck area and the rest of the body.

And their tail is curved down, on both of the hens and roosters. The curved down tail is known as a ‘lobster tail’. They have short legs with a sloping back.

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The plumage of a Cubalaya rooster is brilliantly more colorful than the hens with sometimes a fire like reddish orange and emerald colored feathers. There are three color varieties of Cubalaya chicken: Black, Black-Breasted and White.

On an average, standard size Cubalaya hens weight about 1.59 kg and roosters weight about 2.4 kg. And the bantam roosters weight about 740 grams and hens about 625 grams. Photo from Wikipedia.


Cubalaya Chicken is a very active, hardy and striking breed. Like most other game breeds, this breed also don’t do well in confinement. They are very good foragers.

They are noisy but are less aggressive than most other game breeds. They are very heat tolerant. Cubalaya is a slow growing breed and take up to three years for reaching full maturity.

Hens are not among the very good layers, but lay a pretty good number of eggs. Hens tend to go broody and they lay medium sized light brown colored eggs. See full breed profile of Cubalaya chicken below.

Breed NameCubalaya
Other NameNone
Breed PurposeTriple – Purpose (Ornamental, Meat & Eggs)
Breed TemperamentHardy, Friendly, Calm, Easily Handled
Breed SizeLarge
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ColorLight Brown
Egg SizeMedium
Egg ProductivityMedium
Feathered LegsNo
VarietiesBlack, Black Breasted Red and White

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