Blue Egg Chicken Breeds
Who doesn’t love a rainbow of colors in their egg basket. Our basket has everything from rich chocolate browns to glossy whites. We also have a wide variety of blues and greens. Our blue eggs come from Easter Eggers. That is the most common blue egg laying chicken. Many people wonder which breed they have. Even among breeders, there is confusion as to which classification their birds fall into. I’m going to give you a little insight into the differences and let you be the judge.
Which blue egg breed do I have?
Araucanas are a breed originating from Chile. Many believe that Araucanas must be “rumpless” in order to be considered true Araucanas, but that isn’t accurate. This desired trail is only required when you are striving for an SOP (Standard of Perfection) bird. To clarify, Orpington SOP states that a bird should have a wide, barrel-like chest, but a narrow chested Orp is still an Orp as long as it’s purebred. To complicate the issue of SOP further, some countries have differing SOPs.
In the case of the Araucana, North America accepts only rump-less, Australia only accepts tailed and the British standard accepts both. The worldwide standard is a medium to large sized bird with ear tufts, small pea comb, small feathered crest and no wattles. You can see more on the American standards at The Araucana Club of America.
Ameraucanas are of questionable origins. They are available as LF (large fowl) or bantams. In many countries the Ameraucana is viewed as a tailed version of the Araucana (meaning they are the same breed regardless of whether they meet the SOP for that country). Ameraucanas are seen as birds with a pea comb, a beard and muffs. You can see more on the standards for the Ameraucana at Ameraucana.org
Now we get to the ever confusing Easter Egger. There are two schools of thought regarding what classifies an Easter Egger. The first is that any Araucana or Ameraucana that does not meet the SOP is an Easter Egger and any other blue or green egg layer is just a barnyard mutt. The other is that an Easter Egger is classified as an Araucana or Ameraucana that has been bred with another breed of chicken, resulting in a mixed breed bird that carries the blue-egg gene. There is no SOP or recognized traits for these birds since the other breed can have any characteristics. Easter Eggers can lay any color egg since it is all up to the genetic lottery.
My personal thought about Easter Eggers is that they are mixed birds carrying the blue-egg gene, regardless of if it presents. I disagree that a non-SOP purebred is suddenly a different breed. As I stated before, a purebred Orpington is still an Orpington even if it does not display all of the desired traits.
So where does this leave us? Unless you know acquire your Araucana or Ameraucana from a reputable source that knows the lineage of it’s breeder stock, you may want to assume you have an Easter Egger. For this reason, most hatchery birds sold as Ameraucanas are in fact Easter Eggers.
Regardless of which breed you end up with, these are great birds that will be sure to add a bit of flair to your egg basket.
Do you have blue eggs in your egg basket?