So i'm researching for my first backyard flock. I'm hoping to have blue eggs so i've been looking for reputable ameraucana breeders(not hatcheries) that are somewhat local to me(Maryland). it seems that most breeders have either black, blue, splash OR they have buff, wheaten, etc... I'm interested in having a mix of colors staying withing one breed but keeping with the blue eggs. I'd love to have some wheaten or blue wheaten but i also like the black and blue.
Whitmore farms http://www.whitmorefarm.com/ is close enough but they only have black blue splash.
Is there some reason that the breeders i'm finding only seem to have black type or brown type birds but not both? I thought about getting a different breed(welsummers or marans) so i can have some buff/wheaten birds but i don't know that want to end up with olive eggs. I worry that eventually if i'm not careful with the breeding that i'd eventually end up with all olive eggers. If i saw green eggs at a farmers market as a non chicken person i'd think there was something wrong with them or they were rotten.
Any thoughts? I feel like it'll be hard to tell the black birds apart since they're all black and the idea of a bunch of black birds just seems boring. is there enough color variation in the black birds that they are easily identifiable? I have 2 young children and i want them to be as excited as possible about the birds so they are more apt to take an interest in them and i feel like the wheaten/mix colors seem to be the most fun to me but i do like the blues and the iridescent colors on the black roos.
Planned setup. I have .9 acres. 70% will be fenced in 50% of the fenced area is wooded. I will be building a leanto style shed/coop and leaving the trusses exposed at the front and rear but covered with hardware cloth to keep out predators and an overhang so i don't have to worry about soaking rains. there will be an attached secure pen for them with adequate room to be safe when no one is around and when we are home they will be able to roam the entire fenced area if they like minus a small section i will be fencing off to keep clean for the kids unless that's really isn't needed.
Whitmore recommended "If you want 10-12 hens + 2 cocks, which is a good starter flock, I recommend you get 25 chicks. I would get 13 Ameraucana to ensure you get enough blue egg layers, and 6 Welsummer and 6 Delaware."
if i want to get a good mix of colors should i just get different breeds and get over the olive eggs or should i just get as many different colored ameraucanas as i can since i'm really just looking for pretty blue eggs? i'm looking to cull most of the roos as food only keeping the ones that i really like as my initial roos start to age. Maybe i should get ameraucans and mix them with cream leghorns that way i'll get different colors that all lay blue eggs.