Marans + Ameraucanas = Olive Egger Chickens

If you have been following the blog you know that I recently hatched my very first chicks. It was such an amazing experience.

To think that an egg hatches into a living, breathing chick in just 21 days and then that golf-ball sized chick grows to be a robin-sized pullet over the next 30 days or so is just amazing.

Three of the breeds that I hatched were French Copper Marans, Ameraucanas and Olive Eggers.  All are new breeds for me, which is exciting. 

These three breeds are also linked in kind of a neat way as you will understand as you read on...

Here is each one in their journey from fertilized egg to chick to pullet.

French Black (or Blue) Copper Marans

Marans lay some of the darkest eggs of any breed.  The pores in the shells are smaller than other breeds and therefore Marans eggs are thought to be less susceptible to salmonella and stay fresher longer.  They are highly prized in French cooking, being thought to have superior taste.

Ian Fleming popularized the breed, especially in the UK, in his James Bond series of books written in the 1960s, making Marans eggs 007's breakfast of choice.

More recently, Martha Stewart renewed interest in the Marans breed by showcasing their chocolate brown eggs on her show.

These eggs are from our Marans from the Wade Jeane line. Wade Jeane was former president of the American Marans Club.  They are bred to the French standard, with feathered legs.

Out of one of those beautiful eggs hatched this little cutie. This is a two-week old Marans chick.

By three weeks...looking a bit gangly.

At month old....these two, a Black Copper Marans and a Blue Copper Marans, have officially hit the 'raptor' stage.

But in about five months, they will be laying gorgeous dark brown eggs, just like the ones they hatched out of. 

Blue Ameraucana

True Ameraucanas lay blue eggs.  These eggs are from both Black and Blue Ameraucanas and are a brilliant blue. 

The grown hens will be either blue or black, have puffy muffs or beards and have pea combs.

One of my newly hatched Blue Ameraucana chicks...

A Black Copper Marans at three weeks old...

By four weeks old, blue Ameraucana Kate has turned a gorgeous slate blue color.

By around five or six months old, she will start laying beautiful blue eggs of her own.

Marans + Ameraucanas = Olive Egger Chickens

Now for the really exciting breed: the Olive Egger.

If eggs laid by an Ameraucana hen are fertilized by a Marans rooster instead of an Ameraucana rooster, the resulting chick will be an Olive Egger who will lay olive green eggs. 

Although the chick will hatch out of a blue egg that looks identical to an Ameraucana egg, the chick will inherit appearance traits of both parents and grow up to lay olive eggs eggs. 

You can see the color variation between an (L to R) Olive Egger, Easter Egger and Ameraucana egg below.

By five weeks old, these Olive Eggers are showing traits of both Marans (feathered feet and black coloring) and the Ameraucana (cheek puffs).

And here they are at 8 weeks old.

Full grown Ameraucanas, one black and one blue.

So, while the chocolate brown and blue eggs are beautiful, the eggs laid by the resulting mix of the two breeds are just as glorious!

I would love for you to join me here...
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