when hatcheries sell easter eggers are they usually araucanas crossed with americanas? or are they araucanas crossed with any random breed?
are easter eggers araucanas crossed with americanas?
I think most of the hatchery birds have pea-comb, fluffy-cheeks, greenish legs, and various pretty colors, and many have at least 1 blue-egg gene (resulting in some blue, some green, and some brown-eggs if the bird doesn't have the blue-egg gene). I've heard also that they're a mix-breed, but I don't really know what they'd be mixed with since they're so standard in appearance (other than having non-standard colors). I also have Ameraucanas and they are similar but they have 2 copies of the blue-egg gene (instead of EEs having sometimes just 1) and they've been bred to have specific colors that breed-true such as black, blue, wheaten, etc. Hatchery birds won't usually breed true to color (won't necessarily match their parents color) and also breeding 2 together may end up losing the blue egg gene altogether. If you don't plan to breed them though, I think easter-eggers from hatcheries such as Ideal Poultry are a great choice. I have lots of them and they're beautiful and have fun personalities too. If you want to breed your birds in the future (keeping a rooster) instead of buying more at the hatchery every couple years, then you might prefer to go with Ameraucanas then to be sure and keep the blue-egg gene through the generations.