"Easter Eggers" Great For Eggs & As pets
Americounas, dubbed "Easter Egg Chickens,"
lay eggs that are naturally tinted blue and green hues. These
birds make a lovely addition -- or sole breed -- in a backyard
chicken flock as people delight in the unique birds as well as
their colorful eggs. They have been bred from Araucanas.
The photo to the right shows a white Araucana hen, who sports white tufts. The colorful ones also have beards and muffs of contrasting colors to their main feathers. Araucanas do not have tail feathers. In America, there are few pure bred Araucanas; Americaunas aka Easter Egg Chickens have been bred from these hens and look differently from their ancestors (no tufts, and they do sport tail-feathers).
There is also a bantam, or small chicken breed, version of the standard size Americauna. Because the colored egg gene is dominant, there are many different versions of chickens who will lay colored eggs; these are known as Easter Egger chickens. Basically, any time a blue or green egg layer is bred, her female chicks will have the ability to lay those colored eggs as well, no matter the breed of their paternal side, and the male chicks will pass the gene on to their offspring as well.
This photo shows an Easter Egg chicken's blue-green egg next to a brown egg and a white one. Tints in Easter Egg Chickens' eggshells range from pastel to deeper colors accross the blue-green spectrum.
The only thing that's different is the shell -- the yolk, white and nutritional content of the eggs are identical to other breeds.
Eater Egg Chickens require the same care and raising as all chickens. Be sure to collect eggs daily to keep your hens from pecking them or sitting on the eggs (unless, of course, you want your hens to go broody and hatch chicks for you).
Currently, we have one tawny-colored Easter Egg chicken in our flock. The kids really enjoy having the colored eggs intermixed with our brown eggs from the other hens. We started out with a few more of these fun hens, but they unfortunately met an early demise thanks to a pair of foxes. When we expand our flock this coming spring, we'll include more Araucanas ... and a more secure scratch yard attached to their coop.
How to Build a Chicken Coop - detailed plans and construction guide for making backyard coops, including small coops.
These chicken coop plans and building guide are the best I've found, and purchased them myself to build our first coops. There are five different chicken coops included, beginning with the most basic double-story ark and culminating with the largest design, the Chicken Barn with attached screened-in chicken yard. I want to use their plans again for their largest chicken coop, the chicken barn, when we are ready to upsize our chicken flock's habitat. The coop pictured here is a medium-sized all-in-one design.
Recommended Chicken Books:
- Homemade Living - Keeping Chickens: All You Need to Know to Care for a Happy, Healthy Flock by Ashley English
- Storey's Guide - Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow
- Barnyard in Your Backyard - A Beginner's Guide to Raising Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Rabbits, Goats, Sheep, and Cattle
Favorite Chicken Quotes
“ A chicken you eat only once — eggs a hundred times." ~ Tajikistani Proverb
“ You cannot cook one half of the chicken and leave the other to lay eggs." ~ Sanskrit Proverb
“ You don’t have to kill the chicken to get eggs." ~ French Proverb