cubalaya chicken
Photo Courtesy Of Magnus Erdtmann
  • Purpose: Meat, Eggs, Ornamental
  • Eggs: Cream
  • Egg Size: Small/Medium
  • Color: Multi-Colored, Red/Brown/Blue
  • Comb Type: Pea

Catch a glimpse of a rare Cubalaya rooster, and you won’t forget the handsome sight! With its distinctively long, lustrous “lobster tail” iridescently curving down from its back to trace across the ground, surprisingly calm temperament, and utility as meat, egg, and show bird, this Cuban chicken has a lot to offer!

Though the appeal of having these beautiful birds gracing your lawn may motivate you to add them to your mixed flock, be aware that their niceties do not extend to other chickens.

This noisy breed is potentially quite aggressive toward other birds. In addition, this breed is classified as “threatened,” so finding some lovely Cubalayas may be more difficult than you may anticipate.

The rooster’s long tails also require a bit of extra care. Growing chicks require more protein to produce so many feathers, and if you are planning on showing them, you may need to tie them up to protect them from dragging on the ground.

You won’t have much luck protecting their feathers by keeping them cooped up–Cubalayas don’t tolerate confinement as well as other breeds do. If you want an eye-catching bird for a small space, a quiet Cochin could be a better fit.


Though it has the appearance and lineage of a fierce game bird, the Cubalaya does not express any of that belligerence toward its human handlers. These chickens are known for their tameness and ease of handling, which makes them rockstars on the exhibition floor! Though they were developed in Cuba for meat, eggs, and fighting, they are much more likely to be used as ornamental birds in the USA.

To add to their approachable nature, there are certain strains of Cubalayas who have been bred to not have any spurs at all. This might be saving information for those looking to have gamebirds in their flocks without the risk of personal injury.

Other positive features of this brightly colored breed are its self-sufficiency as an adept forager and good brooder. Give your birds range of a grassy, insect-filled area, and they’ll be happy! Owing to their Cuban and Filipino heritage, these chickens also thrive in hot, humid, sunny environments.

What’s The Yield?

Cubalayas are surprisingly productive for an ornamental chicken. In Cuba, they were originally intended as a dual-purpose bird, so they have potential in the roaster and the quiche as well as the show.

Hens are good layers of small or medium sized cream eggs, usually producing about 4 a week. Roosters usually grow to a weight of six pounds and hens at four pounds, but you may find that decades of exhibition-focused breeding produce rather small birds.

Additionally, though they may start reproducing in their first year, these chickens are very slow to fully mature, sometimes taking as long as three years.

The Most Recent Of The Fancy-Tails

Of all the fancy, long-tailed breeds, the Cubalaya is the most recently introduced to the US. It was brought from Cuba in 1939, and has since graced chicken shows alongside the distinctive Yokohama, Phoenix, and Sumatran breeds.

Pictures Of Cubalaya Chickens


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