Ameraucana: Best in food, companion and breeding at The Maine Homeseatd

If you are looking for an all-around good homestead chicken with many great qualities, this may very well be your chicken breed of choice.
  1. TheMaineHomestead
    Blue eggs are a lovely addition to the hobbyist backyard chicken enthusiast's basket. Upon an afternoon stroll through the garden to a whimsically built coop a smile light the face of the egg gatherer knowing a little blue gem awaits in the nesting box. It really brightens up the rainbow egg seeker's countertop bowl.


    Ameraucanas' docile nature and gentile character make them a favorite among my rare and fancy flock. Never has an Ameraucana rooster given me any guff. The hens, most unfortunately, tend to be at the bottom of the packing order due to their sweetness.

    Here at The Maine Homestead, we keep French Black Copper Marans, White-Laced Buff Polish and several generations and variations of our Easter Egger and Olive Egger lines. But out of them all. I have found Ameraucanas to be the most useful as breeders in the OO and EE breeding programs and not mind being shuffled around. Marans in particular are not fond of being moved to another coop and will either cower on a perch for a few days or decide they need to peck at everyone to show them who's boss. Ameraucanas simply shuffle in, mind their business and blend in quite nicely. If another chicken is rude, they don't usually retaliate unless really pressed or in a corner. They will flee before fighting.


    Out of the many roosters who have gone to the chopping block here from our chick sale leftovers, Ameraucanas seem to have a darker fat in great abundance at a younger age than other breeds. They are not large birds and certainly not choice breeds to raise as fryers. It may be because they are built for a colder climate—that would explain the muff, beards and scarf of thick feathers.

    When I butcher our birds, it's usually because we have sold all the female sexed chicks and pullets out of their hatch. Other times, they are just plain mean like this Breese rooster below with a serious comb big enough to match his attitude.


    Once they are fat enough in fall they are culled in one massive day-long round. The second day is clean up and brine simmering day while the carcasses hang to cure. On the back of the woodstove I'll set aside all the fat from the birds that was near the vent and removed during processing. And the third day they are set in coolers to bring overnight. By the fourth day they are ready for the freezer. Last year I marked them for breed and found the Ameraucanas to have crisped up in the oven better too—probably for the difference in their fats.


    Our white Ameraucanas are impossible to find at night if they choose to roost in a snow covered tree. When one of them wants to perch in a branch in winter they blend in as a round fluff of freshly fallen snow. They are quieter than other breeds here as well, and the rooster seems to have a shorter crow which is missing a note someplace in the middle. The Polish, Marans, Olive Eggers and Easter Eggers will crow all darn day—but the White Ameraucana saves his crowing for early morning and sometimes in reply to all the others as if they are getting on his nerves and he's telling them "enough already!".

    If you are looking for an all-around good homestead chicken with many great qualities, this may very well be your chicken breed of choice.

    Happy egg collecting folks!

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