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What is Asturian Painted Hen Chicken Breed

The Pita Pinta Asturiana, also known as the Asturian painted hen, is the only breed of chickens native to the Principality of Asturias, in northwestern Spain. The breed belongs to the Atlantic chicken family and shares origins with other Spanish breeds, such as the Euskal Oiloa.

Characteristics

The Pita Pinta Asturiana is a medium to large-sized bird, the roosters weigh approximately 4 to 4.5 kg, while the hens reach the weight of 2.5 to 3 kg. They have a simple crest with 5 to 7 points. Roosters have a larger crest than chickens. Their ears take on a vibrant red and their eyes a deep orange. The skin is yellow, and the bill and legs are yellow with black spots

Breed varieties

The breed is presented in four color varieties: the Pinta Negra shows a beautiful mottled black plumage, the Pinta Roxa is speckled with a rust red. You can also find the black and white varieties without spots. In the Pinta Negra variety, the feathers are black, with white edges, which give it its characteristic mottled appearance.

The Pita Pinta Asturiana has great ornamental value due to the special characteristics of its plumage and plays an interesting role in agrotourism establishments in northern Spain.

Breed temperament

The Asturian Pita Pinta is a very resistant bird that can adapt to confinement, but they prefer freedom, where they will go in search of their own food (small insects such as larvae, worms, and fruit remains).

Egg production

Pita Pinta Asturiana hens are regular producers of burnt creamy eggs (about 160 eggs per year weighing 60-65 g each). But, they rarely hatch their eggs.

The Pita Pinta Asturiana is a dual-purpose bird: which means that it is used for the production of eggs and meat. Traditionally, the main function of the Pita Pinta in the Asturian farm was the production of eggs, so this characteristic is especially outstanding despite its large size, which also led to the chicken being raised for its excellent quality meat. The ‘pitu caleya’ dish is a traditional chicken dish served in a rich cognac sauce, typical of the Asturias region.

History of the Pita Pinta Asturiana

The Asturian Pinta Pita is an ancient Spanish breed that is believed to be related to the Euska-Oila and other European birds. The breed was very popular in Spain, until the industrial revolution. Today, the Pinta Pita can be found in Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Germany, and the United States.

In recovery

During the industrialization of egg production in Spain in the 1950s, the Asturian Pita Pinta almost became extinct. The recovery of the breed began between 1980 and 1990. A group of people who are fond of the breed created the Association of Breeders of the Asturian Pita Pinta in 2003; Its 52 members have a total of 1842 birds.

The Pita Pinta could be related to the Basque Eusko-Oiloa and to the chickens of central and northern Europe, as well as to British birds. The red variety of the Pita Pinta presents evident similarities with the marradune variety of the Basque Eusko-Oiloa.

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