Easter Egger & Ameraucana Chickens
Ameraucana Chickens and Easter Eggers can have some similarities, but not always. To be completely honest, the differences between Ameraucana chickens and Easter Eggers are very easy to recognize. I feel that certain hatcheries, farms and breeders have clouded the issue by not properly labeling their breed for the purpose of increasing sales. Ameraucanas are considered higher quality and lay beautiful blue eggs so they can charge more for these chicks. When in fact, what they are actually providing people is nothing more than an Easter Egger.
Easter Egger Chickens
An Easter Egger chicken quite simply put is a “mutt”. It is a cross of a breed that carries the blue egg color gene and a white, tan, light brown egg color gene carrier.
- Easter Eggers do NOT come in certain colors. There is no way to tell what color EE you will get from a hatch. You can NOT order a certain color Easter Egger.
- Easter Egger leg color- most commonly greenish toned but can be yellow, slate or blue.
- Easter Egger combs are pea combs- NO. They can be, but an Easter Egger can end up with any comb style depending on it’s mix.
- Easter Egger lay blue eggs- NO. They can lay blue eggs, but they can also lay pink, light green, green and even brown or white
- Easter Eggers have puffy cheeks- NO. Not always. They can, but again it depends on their mix.
Pictured- Our purebred white Ameraucana rooster with 2 of our Easter Eggers
An Ameraucana is a purebred chicken breed that carries the blue egg gene.
- Ameraucanas lay blue eggs ONLY
- Ameraucanas have slate colored leggs
- Ameraucanas have a pea comb (there is a breed exception to this rule, I will mention it below)
- Ameraucanas come in specific colors/patterns
- Ameraucanas have puffy cheeks and beards
The confusion happens when people refer to any chicken that lays a colored egg as an Easter Egger. On top of this, hatcheries will sell Easter Egger chicks and state that they lay colored eggs, this is not a true guarantee. PLEASE if you are looking to purchase true blue egg layers, ask for Ameraucanas and make sure the adult birds meet the criteria listed above.
Easter Eggers are perfectly fine too, we own quite a few of them. The only problem is that you never know what you will get for eggs.
Exception to the rule- Pea combs in Ameraucanas: sometimes different breeds are used to introduce color, for example we used lavender orpingtons to create a line of lavender Ameraucanas. After a certain amount of generations, the orpington is bred out and the result is a purebred lavender Ameraucana. The orpington has a straight comb, so sometimes that pops up here and there in our chicks and gives us a lavender Ameraucana with a straight comb. It is considered a breeding flaw and not an Easter Egger. That gets a bit confusing so I will save it for the breeding and genetics section at a later date.
Why does this matter? Well- it may or may not matter. Our Easter Eggers are beautiful and great layers, they are actually a bit more friendly than our Ameraucanas. It only matters if you are set on having BLUE eggs. If blue eggs are a must and you want to guarantee that your hens lay blue eggs, buy Ameraucanas not Easter Eggers.
There are other blue egg layers such as the crested cream legbar which we also raise. That will be posted about soon also!