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.

Olive Egger

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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  1. I love all of the info! Thanks so much!

  2. Beautiful and informative. I so thoroughly enjoyed this post. How I wish I could have loads more chicks instead of the four I am limited to. They are so fascinating and one is always finding breeds they want one or two of.

    1. I think that would be such a tease to be only allowed four ! I don't know how I would limit myself ! I hope your town changes the rules one day.

  3. Very interesting to learn about these breeds!
    Thank you!! =)

  4. Love the egg colors. Really neat. They are so pretty.

    @ 3Beeze Homestead

  5. sells both the hatching eggs and chicks.

  6. Gosh, some of my birds already lay olivey colored eggs. But I have Ameraucanas and Cukoo Marans so maybe I can get some interesting crosses. Does it work out to have a Marans hen and an Ameraucana Roo, too?

  7. I'm so wanting to get a few of these now. What are their temperments like?

    1. Well mine are only 5 weeks old and just as friendly as anything. I do notice tho - this batch that I hatched myself are WAY more friendly than any chicks I've ever had - even ones I got as day old chicks.

  8. Oh wow. I am so jealous! Congratulations! They all look just great! :o)

    Have a wonderful day!

  9. I am a new chicken momma! lol I love reading your blog and watching your posts on fb! I think I am going to try to hatch some eggs myself this summer. Thanks for all your information and most of all the beautiful pictures.

    1. Thank you so much ! I highly recommend it. I used the Brinsea Mini Advance and LOVED it. It is from and the coupon code FRESH gets you 10% off. So much fun to hatch your own and the chicks are SO friendly.

  10. Excellent information and pictures!!! That will be my next project OE's.. my Ameraucanas are 4 weeks old.

  11. How many eggs per week do you get from each of these breeds?

    1. I don't really keep track how many each lays, but they are decent layers, depending on the time of year - an egg almost every day - maybe 5-6/week.

  12. Oh I'm so glad I found your blog! I am new to chicken keeping and am starting out with a FBCM too and two hens, two each RIR and NH hens and I am picking up three straight run Lavender Americaunas in two days. So excited to cross my marans and americaunas now! Wonder what would happen with a RIR FBCM cross?

    1. Hmmm RIR FBCM - probably a muddy brown. The blue/grown cross is nice as is a blue with a white egg layer.