Chickens are varied, proven by the sheer number of breeds that exist. The Mosaic chicken breed is yet another beautiful addition to the world of poultry. This breed features striking colors and patterns that have won it the attention of many chicken enthusiasts. Yet, if you are looking to bring this breed home, you may be wondering if it is beginner-friendly or can handle confinement. Let’s go into depth with this complete breed guide on the Mosaic chicken breed. By the end, you will know everything about this breed, including if it is right for your flock.
Overview of Mosaic Chicken Breed
|Purpose||Egg and meat production; companionship|
|Weight||6 to 8.5 pounds|
|Egg Production||250 medium-sized eggs per year|
|Adaptability||Moderate to High|
|Temperament||Docile, gentle, and calm|
|Weather Tolerance||Tolerant to heat|
Origin of the Mosaic Chicken
The fascinating origin of the Mosaic chicken breed is a testament to the passion and dedication of Gold Feather Farms in Louisiana, USA. The foundation of the Mosaic chicken breed can be traced back to Imperfect Cemani chickens with white leakage, as well as Silkies and other fibro-melanistic breeds. Imperfect Cemani chickens are a variation of the highly esteemed Ayam Cemani breed, known for their entirely black appearance (caused by fibromelanosis), including their feathers, skin, and even internal organs. However, Imperfect Cemani chickens possess some white leakage, which means there are areas of white feathers interspersed with the dominant black plumage.
Over time, the breeders were able to develop a consistent and recognizable Mosaic look, characterized by its stunning mosaic tapestry of colors that covers the feathers in an artistic display.
Being that the Mosaic chicken is a relatively new breed, it is not yet recognized by organizations like the American Poultry Association (APA). Therefore, it does not have a breed standard. That being said, when you see a Mosaic chicken, you will know it is a Mosaic chicken.
Interestingly, there are some enthusiasts who claim that the Mosaic chicken was not created by Gold Feather Farms. Though there is not evidence to support the claims, there are some records of chickens matching the Mosaic description in the late 1700s. Supposedly, the breed came from England or France and was seen at Ellis Island. Other Mosaic origin stories mention Ancient Persia. Unfortunately, without proper records, it is next to impossible to truly mark the beginnings of this majestic breed.
Physical Characteristics of the Mosaic Chicken Breed
One of the most striking features of the Mosaic chickens is their rich blue skin. Unlike most fibro-melanistic breeds that have black skin, the Mosaics boast a beautiful and vibrant blue hue, particularly around the face. This unique skin color adds to their allure, setting them apart from other chicken breeds. Additionally, their combs and faces exhibit a captivating array of colors, including blue, black, turquoise, and deep red. Each Mosaic chicken has its own distinct combination of colors, making them individual works of art. Yet, most of them have turquoise earlobes.
Aside from bluish skin, Mosaic chickens are also known for their incredible plumage. The base color of their feathers can vary from white to brown, with the rich mosaic patterns adding a burst of vibrancy and uniqueness to each individual bird. The feather colors may come in various combinations, such as black, white, blue, and yellow, among others. Some Mosaic chickens may have darker combs, while others display lighter shades. Their appearance is a delightful surprise, as no two Mosaic chickens are exactly alike.
With these chickens walking around your yard, your flock is sure to garner many questions and compliments.
This video will provide you with some excellent information and visuals about the Mosaic chicken breed:
Mosaic Chicken Personality and Temperament
When choosing the next breed of chicken for your flock, be sure to consider their temperament. For beginners, you are going to want something a bit more docile. How does the Mosaic chicken match up, you ask? Mosaic chickens happen to be known for their friendly personalities. They are endearing chickens who love interaction with people. That makes them not only great for children and beginners, but also for those with a bit more experience handling chickens.
Aside from being docile, Mosaic chickens display intelligence through their curiosity. They are natural foragers who excel in free-ranging environments, as they love to explore the world around them. Their inquisitive nature leads them to peck at the ground, searching for insects, seeds, and other edible treasures. This foraging behavior not only keeps them entertained but also provides additional nutrition to complement their regular diet. This ability to forage is supported by remarkable awareness.
Mosaic chickens are vigilant and just noisy enough that they are not afraid to raise the alarm should they sense something off. Additionally, when faced with a potential threat, Mosaic chickens are known to exhibit a cautious and alert demeanor. They will often huddle together and remain vigilant until the threat has passed. This instinctual behavior demonstrates their ability to protect themselves and their fellow flock members. As such, you may consider keeping a Mosaic rooster around, if your flock is currently without a male.
Egg Laying and Broodiness
While not officially documented, Mosaic chickens are reputed to be consistent layers of medium cream-colored eggs, producing around 250 eggs annually. They exhibit above-average egg-laying abilities for their size, making them a wonderful addition to your backyard. Furthermore, Mosaic chickens are not known to be particularly broody. If incubation is desired, collectors will need to take charge of the hatching process. In other words, you will need another broody hen to act as the mom, rather than hoping your Mosaic hens will show maternal instincts.
Mosaic Chicken Lifespan and Health Concerns
As with all chicken breeds, Mosaic chickens may face various health concerns that require attention and proper care. Regular health checks, a balanced diet, and a low-stress environment are essential to ensure their well-being. With proper management, Mosaic chickens can live a healthy and fulfilling life with a lifespan of 4 to 5 years (or longer). That said, this breed has not been around as long as some others, meaning that some issues may not have been documented yet. If you notice that something is wrong with your Mosaic chickens that you are not sure about, be sure to take them to a veterinarian with experience treating birds.
They are also susceptible to the same issues as other chickens, including internal and external parasites, viruses, and reproductive issues. Be sure to get your chickens vaccinated against diseases to keep them as healthy as possible.
Also, you should be aware of some challenges that come with this breed. Firstly, due to the friendly and docile nature of these chickens, they may be bullied by the more dominant members of the flock. If that happens, you may either have to separate them into a more polite flock. Otherwise, you will be caring for injuries often. Secondly, while Mosaic chickens have incredible egg-laying capacity for the first 2 years of their life, their egg production will slow down after that, resulting in far less eggs than you may have hoped for. It is crucial that you replenish the egg-layers as soon as possible when you notice a decline — unless you are not keeping chickens solely for their meat and eggs.
Care Tips for the Mosaic Chicken Breed
Now that you know about the origins of the Mosaic chicken breed, what these chickens look like, and how they behave, let’s discuss some general care and raising tips. Following these tips will make tending to your flock easier than ever.
Mosaic chickens, like any other breed, have specific environmental needs that should be met to ensure their well-being and happiness. For medium-size chickens like Mosaics, providing at least 3 square feet of floor space inside the coop and 7-9 square feet outdoors is essential. Overcrowding can lead to stress, disease, and feather picking, so ample space is crucial for their health.
Remember to keep the coop and run as clean as possible. In the winter time, you may want to supplement light so that the hens are receiving 12 to 14 hours of daylight.
These chickens also require enough space to spread their wings and engage in natural behaviors like dust bathing and sunbathing. Providing a firm fence around their living area is vital to protect them from predators such as foxes, possums, or coyotes, as Mosaic chickens prefer to free range rather than be confined in a smaller chicken run.
Feeding and Watering Tips
The amount of food to give a Mosaic chicken, or any chicken for that matter, depends on several factors, including the chicken’s age, size, activity level, and the availability of other food sources such as free-ranging opportunities. Young chicks will require a specialized starter feed with a higher protein content (around 20-24%) to support their rapid growth.
As they mature, you can transition them to a grower feed with slightly lower protein levels (around 16-18%). When they reach the laying age (around 18-20 weeks), switch to a layer feed with a protein content of about 15-18%. Keep in mind that egg-laying hens and those undergoing molting may need more protein to support their immune system and egg-laying.
As a general rule, adult Mosaic chickens will consume approximately 1/4 to 1/3 pounds of feed per day. If your Mosaic chickens have access to free-ranging, they will naturally supplement their diet by foraging for insects, worms, grass, and other vegetation. You will not have to worry about supplementing their diet with much more than that, though the occasional treat will be appreciated. Remember that treats should not make up any more than 10% of a chicken’s daily caloric intake.
Always provide clean and fresh water to your Mosaic chickens. Chickens need access to water throughout the day to stay hydrated and maintain their health, especially in the summertime.
You might think that a chicken with blue skin would not do well in the heat, but Mosaics are fairly heat tolerant. Perhaps this is due to their relation with the Ayam Cemani. You can anticipate these birds tackling the heat with aplomb. It’s the colder seasons that tend to give them some trouble. Since Mosaic chickens are not very cold tolerant, it is advised that you provide them with extra bedding and insulation in the winter. Otherwise, your Mosaic chickens may end up sick.
Where to Buy Mosaic Chicks or Chickens
Being that the Mosaic chicken breed is relatively new and rare, you may have to do a bit of searching before you can find a breeder that has chicks in stock. Here are some places offering Mosaic eggs, chicks, and pullets, though you may have to send an inquiry or put in a pre-order:
- Open Gate Poultry – $42.00 for one half dozen eggs
- High Valley Hatchery – $25.00
- Windmill Hill Hatchery – $10.00
Final Thoughts on the Mosaic Chicken
Mosaic chickens are a true work of art in the poultry world. With their mesmerizing appearance, friendly temperament, and excellent egg-laying abilities, they make for fascinating and rewarding additions to any backyard flock. As a relatively new breed, they bring a sense of novelty and excitement to poultry keeping. By providing them with proper care, ample space, and a balanced diet, you can ensure their well-being and happiness. Whether you are a seasoned poultry keeper or a newcomer to the world of chickens, the Mosaic breed is sure to captivate your heart and enrich your poultry-keeping experience.
Valerie has been content writing since 2016 for websites and companies all around the world. A traveler, dancer, martial artist, Valerie loves gathering experiences and wisdom. Her travels have taken her to over 20 countries, and she hopes to see more of the world soon.