I recently retired to the country and having past experience with chickens it was a natural for me to put chickens on the top of my list. My past experience was with 35.000 birds and now I had 15 and very quickly realized that this is a different game. A friend told me about the Araucana breed and I was very intrigued. I decided if I was going to make some eggs why not make some pretty ones. I live in Quebec and have found as you move east from Ontario the Araucana gets much rarer. I found a breeder at the Ontario border which I thought must be a great breeder judging by his operation. He had so many species of gorgeous birds and a really nice and clean operation. Upon my telling him of my lack of experience and asking him to choose for me he assured me that I was in good hands so I went ahead and bought 15 chics. It wasn't too long before I came to realize that I had 1 cochin hen, a polish hen and 7 roosters. One chic didn't make it and so now I have 4 hens and a rooster which I'm confident and enthusiastic that I can build my flock from. This is why the Araucana will always be the only chicken on my farm. Do one and do it right is my motto. My birds are nine months old and have been producing well for 3 months plus. They started producing during sub zero temperatures and have produced well during a heat wave. 4 hens 4 eggs a day with the odd 3 egg day always between 11am and 2 pm consistently.
I'm day 10 into my first hatch with a little giant incubator with rotator. I candled at day 7 and it seems that 41 out of 42 have taken but I'm not so confident of my candling skills.
Something of interest is through a friend, a prominent Montreal chef received some of my eggs and made a carbonera sauce which he later described as the best sauce he had ever made and could only attribute it to the eggs. I don't hear or read anything about any difference that there might be between a blue egg and a white or brown one. White, brown it's the same so I expected blue to be no different but actually I'm convinced that they are different. The first time that I cracked one into a frying pan i noticed that the white was very solid and later discovered that a month old one was no different. I just the other night tried for the first time boiling a few fresh from the day. This is when I was convinced that they are different as they were almost rubbery and one might think that it was boiled days ago. So I think that the secret is in the sauce. When I can produce enough to market I will definitely be talking to some chefs.
Anyway I'm very enthusiastic and excited about heading into year 2 with my birds and have definitely dug my heels in for the long haul. I'm also eager to make some Araucana friends and contacts!