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 that come up when you're talking blue eggs - Ameraucanas, Araucanas and Easter Eggers (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 I am anxiously awaiting my first Ameraucana to start laying. I hatched her this past spring and she's due to start any day now!

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

AMERAUCANAS

-Virginia is a Blue Ameraucana, as evidenced by her peacomb, blue legs, cheek muffs and beard. She will lay blue eggs-
Ameraucanas are a pure breed recognized by the APA 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:
  • Peacomb
  • Muffs and beard
  • Red earlobes
  • Tail
  • Blue legs
  • White foot bottoms
  • Always lay blue eggs
ARAUCANAS

-Two of our Araucana pullets. Note the yellow foot bottoms and lack of tail-
Araucanas are also a pure breed 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:
  • Peacomb
  • 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

EASTER EGGERS

-One of our Easter Eggers exhibiting very common EE traits including cheek muffs and a peacomb. She lays mint green eggs-
Easter Eggers are not a recognized breed. They are mongrels - 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; otherwise Easter Eggers are always fun 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.

Buying Source for Blue-Egg Laying Breeds:

References:



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22 comments:

  1. One more blue layer that just arrived on American soil. The Legbar Breed.

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    1. You know I almost discussed that breed too but they aren't being confused with the other three - maybe because the hatcheries aren't selling Ameraucana/Cream Legbars ! But you are correct, Cream Legbars do lay blue eggs as well.

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  2. I was just thinking that I would stick with the three girls we have and not expand our little flock in the spring.....until I read this! Now I am thinking that a couple of blue or green egg layers would fit in nicely with my brown and white layers!

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  3. Good news - the hatcheries are selling the cream legbars but the limit you may get is two because of such a high demand for them , oh and they are expensive at about $50 a chick.

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    1. Oh good to know, but out of my price range! Fortunately the Cream Legbars aren't confused with these other 3 breeds.

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  4. I love the temperament of my ee girl! She's by far my favorite but as she's growing up becoming the most mischievous. She's 6 months old so no eggs yet! Someday I'll have a whole flock of ee's, ameraucans, and favorals. The puffy checks are the cutest thing!

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    1. You should check out the Favaucanas that My Pet Chicken has developed!

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  5. We have an Araucana, although up until this post I thought it was an Ameraucana. Always learning something! Thank you!

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  6. We thought we have a araucanas. Her name is snow white. All white no tail and yellow feet but she must be a mix. Because her eggs are white cream color. Our easter egger in the group hasn't started laying. She is approx eight months old and she hasn't even started to squat? When do they start laying. The rest of the girls in that flock have started laying.

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    1. Well she sounds pretty anyway! The colored egg layers seem to take longer than other breeds. I have one who is almost 9 months and isn't even squatting yet either!

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  7. I love my hens, they are so pretty and love their greenish eggs

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  8. Lisa. Guess who just started to squat today. Our easter egger Iam so excited. But Ihave a question for u. She is kinda a loner and the only four hens kinda bully her. I have had to seperate her before because pecker her comb. But she doesn't eat as much and they push her around unless Iam out there to police. I can't always be there when they are eating. I have four kids and the yougest is two. So Iam concerned she not get enough and Iknowlaying eggs takes a lot out of them. So Iseperate her in the morning for feeding. Anysuggestions Iwould welcome

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    1. MIne is the same way...put out a few feeding stations with a small dish of feed and some water. When you separate her, it just puts her lower on the pecking order so you don't want to do that.

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  9. The Cream Legbars look really nice, but they only lay -- what, 180 eggs a year?! For how expensive those little cluckers are, I would like to see a higher egg production. I'm torn between getting a couple of Ameraucanas (I like chickens with tails) or a couple of EE'ers. I hear the EE'ers are dumb as a post. but are friendly and lay large to x-large eggs. I just wish someone could tell me their approx. egg count per year. I could get one of each, but if the EE'ers are ditzes, then it would be best to get two, so at least they will have each other for companionship. ; D

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  10. I kept legbars for years, they are a flighty, sex linked breed very pretty but not for inexperienced hen keepers.
    Www.ruralimages.net

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    1. Why not for inexperienced poultry keepers? Just curious why you say this because they are really like any other bird. I've got a huge flock of them.

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  11. I have Easter egg layers, what is a good price to sell the eggs at?? I sell my regulars for $2.75 per dozen. They are such a fun chicken I also have Columbia wynottes they are also fun n very laid back. Any help would be great!! Thank you.

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    1. I sell colored for $5 a dozen & brown/white eggs for $3 a dozen

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  12. My EE was probably the smartest of my flock, and the least flighty, she was also my best egg layer!

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  13. Easter eggers are great,but my orpingtons were first in the coop and boss them around. As a result the EE,s group together. I have four buff O,s,one golden laced Wyandotte, s and one welsummer. They all get along,and seem to respect the pecking order. If u want stability in a Back yard flock,NO ROOSTERS,JUST IMO

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  14. I am brand new at this, can you elaborate on why you say, no roosters?

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