Minorca Chicken

Minorca chicken originated from Spain in 1780s and named after the island of Minorca. They are also called Red Faced Black Chicken or Red Faced Black Spanish.

They are considered as the largest and heaviest of the Mediterranean poultry breeds. In many countries of the world, Minorca chicken is a well known exhibition bird. And in many countries they are also popular for egg production.

Nowadays, the Minorcas which are available internationally were created by the British from indigenous Minorcan birds. For modifying some of the physical characteristics of this breed, different attempts were made.

Including the position of the neck, body size, and the size of the combs and earlobes. But none of those attempts had any beneficial effect on it’s abilities as an egg layer.

Minorca chickens were accepted in the American Poultry Association’s Standard in Black, Buff and White. And the Blacks and Whites come in both rose and single comb varieties.

Black is the main color of this breed and are available, but the buff and white Minorcas are rare. There is also a bantam variety of Minorca chicken available.

Minorca Chicken’s Physical Characteristics

Minorca chicken is the largest and large white egg layer of the Mediterranean poultry breeds. They are long and angular birds. And they appear larger than actually what they are. They have large wide feathers closely held to their narrow bodies.

They also have long tails. As compared to other breeds, Minorca chicken has relatively large wattles, combs and earlobes. In cold weather large wattles and combs are prone to frostbite.

The comb, face and wattles are bright red in color. The earlobes are very large, oval or almond-shaped and are of white color. The skin color of Minorca chicken is white and they have black or dark slate colored legs. In Spain, Minorcas are medium size breed with uniformly glossy greenish-black plumage.

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There are many varieties available which are single comb, rose comb and the color varieties include black, blue, barred, buff and white. Minorca roosters weight about 2.8 kg and hens about 2.2 kg (UK standard: 3.2-3.6 for roosters and 2.7-3.6 kg for hens).


Minorca chicken has a wonderful temperament and thrives on human contact. But care needs to be taken with boundaries while raising this breed, because they can be flighty.

They are excellent foragers and prefer to free range. They are perfect breed for farmyard and will also do well in confined condition.

Minorca hens do not tend to go broody and lay very large, white shelled eggs all year round. They are good layers but not as prolific as another Mediterranean breed Leghorn.

Minorca chickens are very hardy birds, prefer dry conditions and are very tolerant of hot weather. See full breed profile below.

Breed NameMinorca
Other NameRed Faced Black Chicken or Red Faced Black Spanish
Breed PurposeEgg, Show and Ornamental
Breed TemperamentFriendly, Flighty, Very Active, Shy, Docile
Breed SizeLarge
CombSingle & Rose
Climate ToleranceHeat
Egg ColorWhite
Egg SizeLarge
Egg ProductivityHigh
Feathered LegsNo
RarityBlack Variety is Common
VarietiesSingle Comb and Rose Comb Varieties are Available. Color Varieties Include Black, Blue, Barred, Buff and White

The Good

  • Efficient layer
  • Large size white eggs
  • Good for ornamental purpose
  • Friendly
  • Good forager and perfect for free range
  • Very tolerant of hot weather
  • Very social
  • Very hardy
  • Quiet
  • Good show birds

The Bad

  • Flighty
  • Not suitable for meat
  • Slow to develop

Is Minorca Chicken Good for You?

Minorca chicken is good for you if you…….

  • Prefer producing large size white eggs.
  • Want to raise beautiful chickens.
  • Want to raise show birds.
  • Want to raise some chickens for enhancing the beauty of your backyard.
  • Looking for some chickens which are great foragers and very good for free range.
  • Are willing to have some friendly and hardy birds.
  • Live somewhere in hot areas and looking for some chicken breeds which are very tolerant of hot weather.

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