Breed Spotlight: The Ameraucana

by Meghan H

Published September 28, 2020

The blue egg laying chicken breeds have enjoyed a surge in popularity over the past several years. Because of this, the Ameraucana chicken breed has become more commonly seen in backyard flocks since the breed’s development in the 1970’s. Let’s take a look at how the Ameraucana breed came to exist.

Ameraucana Blog

The Ameraucana as a breed has a very convoluted history of breed development. Blue egg-laying chickens were first imported to the US from Chile in the 1930s. By the 1970’s many breeders were developing birds that laid blue eggs with a pea comb, some had ear tufts, some were rumpless, some with beards and some with tails. These birds were further developed into the Araucana and the Ameraucana. Two completely separate breeds, both accepted by the APA. The Ameraucana, gained ABA and APA recognition for all 8 color varieties by 1981.

Ameraucana Blog

We must mention that the Easter Egger and the Ameraucana are different breeds. Actually, the Easter Egger isn’t a breed recognized by the American Poultry Association. Unlike a true standardized breed, the Easter Egger’s feather coloring doesn’t breed true, meaning that you cannot take two birds of the same color and expect to get offspring that are the same color as their parents. With the Ameraucana, feather coloring is more predictable and the breed has been developed into 8 APA recognized colors: Black, Blue, Blue Wheaten, Brown Red, Buff, Silver, Wheaten, and White.

Unlike the Easter Egger, the Ameraucana will always lay a blue-tinted egg. The color can vary slightly from light sky blue to a faint pastel blue/green. You can tell whether the egg is a true blue when it is the same color on the inside and outside. Ameraucana hens should not lay an olive green, brown or cream colored egg.

However, according to the Ameraucana Breeders Club (ABC) color chart, Ameraucanas can lay shades of green. While it is not desired, a green egg does not indicate that they are not pure Ameraucanas.

Egg size is on the medium to medium-large size. Ameraucana hens lay an average of 3-4 eggs per week. The hens do tend to be broody and make excellent mothers.

Ameraucana Blog
Ameraucana Blog

The Ameraucana typically has a very sweet personality and even the roosters are fairly docile yet watchful. But when the hen is broody and on her nest, watch out! They are very protective mothers. I find them to be the quieter birds within my flock. Mature roosters weigh around 6 to 7 pounds and a hen around 5 to 6 pounds when fully mature.

If you want to be sure you get those beautiful blue eggs into your egg basket, consider adding either the Standard-sized Blue, Black, Splash, or Lavender Ameraucanas to your flock or the Bantam Splash Ameraucana.

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