Unlike hens that lay familiar white and brown eggs, Araucanas, Ameraucanas and mixed breed “Easter Eggers” lay eggs in a variety of colors, including blue, green, beige and shades of pink. These naturally-colored eggs make unique eggs for Easter or any other festive occasion.
The Araucana is a strange-looking bird. It is a white-feathered chicken with Yosemite Sam-like sideburn-looking tufts of white feathers next to their ears. Araucanas originated in Chile, and are believed to have first been bred by the Araucanian Indians, leading to the bird’s name. Present day Araucanas are a hybrid from two South American chickens, the Collonca (a blue-egg layer) and the Quetro, which lays pinkish-brown eggs. Araucanas lay small blue eggs.
North American standard Araucanas are rumpless (lacking a tail), while non-North American standards call for a tail. True Araucanas are frequently confused with other types of colored-egg layers, the Ameraucana and so-called “Easter Eggers”.
Ameraucana chickens also lay blue eggs, but they have a tail, muffs and a beard, and have no feather crest. These differ significantly from the ear-tufted Araucanas. Ameraucanas also have blue legs and white skin, whereas North American Araucanas usually have green legs and yellow skin.
Since the gene for blue eggs is the dominant gene, mixed breeds were developed in order to create eggs of different colors. These mixed breed chickens are often, but incorrectly, marketed as Araucanas or Ameraucanas, while the term “Easter Eggers” is more appropriate for these hens that lay multi-colored eggs.
Easter Egger Chickens
Many U.S. chickens commonly called Araucanas are, in fact, mixed breeds that should be called Easter Eggers or Easter Egg chickens. They are found in many colors, as well as white, as opposed to the American Poultry Association’s standardized colors for Ameraucanas and Araucanas.
The mixed breed “Easter Eggers” lay large and extra large eggs that can be blue, like the Aracaunas and Ameraucanas, but that can also be green, teal, pink and olive colored. “Easter Eggers” are child-friendly, friendly in general and hardy, as well, making them a fine choice for families interested in raising chickens for eggs. They are a medium-sized chicken, about 6 pounds in weight, and they are known as good egg layers, producing about four eggs weekly apiece. They are also winter-hardy and do well in confinement.
How to Save Money on Easter Egg Dye
Although few chickens are likely to lay striped or polka-dotted eggs, commonly-available “Easter Eggers” will produce enough blue, green, pink and teal eggs to fill a family’s Easter egg baskets. Consequently, it’s possible to celebrate a colored egg Easter without dipping a single egg.