These birds are often incorrectly called Araucanas or Easter Eggers. Araucanas are also know as the South American Rumpless since they are missing their last vertebrae and therefore do not have tails that stand upright. In addition, they have ear tufts, not muffs and beards like Ameraucanas and Easter Eggers. There is a special gene that produces ear tufts and if a chick happens to get two of these genes, it is nearly 100% fatal. Ameraucanas are also often incorrectly called Easter Eggers. Easter Eggers come in many colors and lay blue, green, or tan-ish eggs. They do not breed true to type. Ameraucanas, on the other hand, have tails, muffs, beards and breed true to type. There are only recognized in 8 colors: buff, black, blue, blue wheaton, brown red, silver, wheaton and white. Ameraucanas must have a beard and muffs and cannot have ear tufts. Any Ameraucana that does not meet the Standards as set by the American Poultry Association is considered an Easter Egger. The Ameraucana was developed in the 1970’s and were accepted into the American Poultry Association in 1984.
Recently named as one of the top 10 chickens for backyards and kids in a Mother Earth News article excerpted from Melissa Caughey’s book A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens, the Easter Egger is a wonderful addition to your backyard flock.
Here is our experience with the breed. At Valley View Farm, we have Ameraucanas in standard colors of black and blue. We also have a splash color which is very nice. It is white with spots of color. This is a natural color produced by black and blue, but since it is not a recognized color, cannot be shown as an Ameraucana. In the past, we have had multiple colors of Easter Eggers, but recently upgraded to a show quality bird in these two standard colors. Our Ameraucanas are prolific, reliable layers of medium to large blue eggs and are one of our first hens to lay in the spring (they began in the middle of January in 2016). These hens are smaller framed and are good foragers and so require less feed than some of our heavier breeds making them economical eggs producers. They also have pea combs which are good for cold climates. Being a slightly smaller bird, they are able to fly and prefer to sleep in the rafters of the hen house rather than on the roosts. It is very hard to distinguish pullets from roosters of this breed so beware of anyone selling you pullets until they are actually laying eggs unless you obtain them from a hatchery, which is rather difficult. As of 2015 hatcheries did not offer Ameraucanas. This year, 2016, I have been able to find one hatchery that is offering Ameraucanas that are black in color. They are asking $10.50 per chick for straight run. Our stock lays a very nice shade of blue eggs. They mature slower than some of the other breeds and begin to lay at 7 or 8 months of age.
We sell hatching eggs, straight-run chicks, juveniles and hens. We already have a waiting list for chicks, so please order early.