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Ameraucana vs. Araucana vs. Easter Egger - The Blue Egg Layers


Ever since Martha Stewart appeared on television several years ago holding a basket of blue eggs laid by her chickens, the demand for the blue egg laying breeds has skyrocketed.

There are predominantly three breeds that come to mind when you're talking blue eggs - the Ameraucana, Araucana and Easter Egger (although Cream Legbars do lay blue eggs as well and are just becoming available in the US).

But only two of the three always lay blue eggs, so you'll want to keep reading and be sure of what you're ordering this spring if you are determined to have blue eggs in your basket come fall!


I have raised all three types of the blue egg layers.

Unfortunately, the two Araucanas I hatched both turned out to be roosters, so I was out of luck there with blue eggs from them, and every Easter Egger I have ever raised has laid green eggs - some a pale mint color, others a sage green - always very pretty, but never blue eggs, so all my blue eggs have always come from Ameraucanas. 

 So anyway, back to the three different breeds, here are the basic differences between them:

 
AMERAUCANAS

Ameraucanas are a pure breed that has been recognized by the APA (American Poultry Association) since 1984.

They were most likely originally bred from South American blue egg laying breeds but were developed and standardized in the United States.

They come in eight distinct colors including, Blue, Black, White and Wheaten, which all share these distinct Ameraucana traits:
  • Pea comb
  • Muffs and beard
  • Red earlobes
  • Tail
  • Blue legs
  • White foot bottoms
  • Always lay blue eggs
-Lavender Ameraucana-

-Black Ameraucana-
-slate blue feet of an Ameraucana-
ARAUCANAS

Araucanas are more rare than Amerauacanas and harder to find. They are also a pure breed and have been recognized by the APA since 1976.

They originated in Chile most likely and come in five colors including black, white, duckwing silver and golden. Araucanas all share these distinct Araucana traits:
  • Pea comb
  • Ear tufts (this gene is lethal to developing chicks if inherited by both parents)
  • Red earlobes
  • Rumpless (no tail)
  • Green or willow-colored legs
  • Yellow foot bottoms
  • Always lay blue eggs
-Two of our young Araucanas. Note the yellow foot bottoms and lack of tail-

EASTER EGGERS

Easter Eggers are not a recognized breed.

They are technically mutts - mixed breed chickens that do possess the blue egg gene, but don't fully meet the breed specifications of either Araucanas or Ameraucanas.

They can come in any color or combination of colors and share these traits:
  • Any kind of comb
  • Muffs/beard/ear tufts or none
  • Any color earlobes
  • Tail or tail-less
  • Any color legs
  • Any color foot bottoms
  • Can lay blue but also sometimes lay green, tan, pink or even yellow
So if you want to be guaranteed blue egg layers, you will want to raise some Araucanas or Ameraucanas.

Easter Eggers are always fun though because you never know what color egg each will lay until she starts laying, and even identical-looking hens often lay varying shades of bluish or greenish eggs.


Final note: There is no such thing as an Americana. If you run across a feed store or hatchery selling Americanas, they are likely Easter Eggers.



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