So you understand what you are getting when you buy from us, I'd like to explain my breeding practices. It would seem that breeding only the best to the best would be how it's done. You can certainly do that but you have to accept the consequences, did I mention this is a rather difficult breed? Breeding tufted to tufted: Any chicks, could be up to 50%, that receive 2 genes (one from the rooster and one from the hen) for the tufts will die in the shell or soon after hatching, no exceptions. It's a lethal gene so there are no Araucana's that are homozygous for the tuft gene (meaning all their chicks will be tufted). A few of my pairings in a pen may be tufted to tufted but the majority is planned clean faced (no tufts at all and so does not carry the gene and cannot produce it unless bred to tufted) bred to a tufted. Tufted can be anything from a bit of one feather on one side to both sides and whopping big tufts. Any bit of tuft means they carry the gene, it's a dominant gene so that means if they have the gene and can pass it on, they must show it, or rather they must be tufted themselves. You can "usually" see the tufts on day old chicks once they fluff up, sometimes as soon as they hatch so they can be sorted and culled as babies if you desire.
Rumpless: I have noted that too much of anything can have poor results. I believe that Rumpless to Rumpless breeding is actually the best way to go. Rumpless is just the absence of a tail. You can feel a tail bump on a newly hatched chick and even rumpless to rumpless may produce a few tailed or partial tailed chicks. Over time, rumpless to rumpless can produce 100% rumpless and that should be the goal, however I will use an individual that has a tail, partial tail or a few tail feathers if they are exceptional otherwise. Chopped off at the rear, not the nice rounded contour that they should have are not desired. They can be more prone to poopy butt as chicks and adults and have more issues with mating naturally because of this shape. I like the chicks I'm getting and while the more correct Araucana's will bring the better prices, the faulted ones may certainly have value to a breed with such a small gene pool and are therefore useful in the breeding pen if bred properly.
All this means that my chicks are usually rumpless and clean faced, a fair number of tufted/rumpless. The prices for these will be very individual. It takes a little longer to start with Araucana's that are not perfect but you'll get at least a few good chicks to get a small flock started that is pretty decent and you can build your own from there.
Please note when buying Araucana hatching eggs, shipped eggs are notoriously difficult and most do not hatch (mine are no different). You may have the better chances for the better chicks as they have not been picked through before sold but it's still a gamble. Buying chicks usually means straight run. They're hard to sex and most are 3 to 6 months before they are obvious. Buying more mature birds is often the most reliable way to get a good trio to start with and when you consider the cost, it's very close to the same as raising your own from eggs to find you didn't get a single chick with tufts....it happens. I have noted over the past few years that shipping a couple of started chicks with the hatching eggs packed securely in the bottom of the live bird box has given the best hatch rates. While this is not always possible, and more costly due to shipping only Express and paying for the shipping box, the general cost for hatching eggs is not cheap either and when there is poor hatch rates, it's at least something to consider.
If I haven't scared you away, and you really love these birds, you just may be ready for your own, send me an email with what you're looking for. I have had Araucana's of several colors and patterns over the years, working on black, white, duckwing, blue and sorting through mixed colors to breed them back to correct colors but the Black Araucana is the only variety that I am presently working on. My purebred black flock is bred toward the Standard of Perfection and is also the base for my project colors in the Araucana which includes Chocolate's and Spangled. My projects are in various stages of development but they could not exist or move forward without a solid foundation and that is my Black Araucana's. I do have friends who breed other varieties of the Araucana and I'm happy to help you find the variety you are looking for. Serious breeders are needed for this breed.
I do keep a pure flock of Black Araucana's. I am breeding black to black for the second year this year (2014) but some of my older hens will still produce a few "other color" chicks. Most will be wild type/BBR some may be Duckwing splits but not correct for the duckwing pattern. These chicks will be offered as they hatch and local sales are preferred to sell them as day old chicks but if not sold by the time they are feathering out, they will be sold as started chicks, unsexed. I may offer a couple of black chicks with them if there is only one available at the time so they don't ship alone. I would be fine with selling all of these chicks hatched this year to one buyer and ship as they are ready, email me for details.
In 2015, I have added Silver Duckwing Araucana's. I will be working to perfect them before offering them for sale but may have some "culls" (other colors or mismarked) for sale for very good prices this fall. No hatching eggs are available at this time.
An ongoing "Project" of mine is the Chocolate Araucana. It is being created, not pure Araucana but the results will meet the Araucana SOP other than color variety and can be show AOV once I have them perfected.