A Guide To Understanding The Differences.
There are Ameraucanas, Araucanas, Easter Eggers, and Olive Eggers, but aren't they basically
the same thing? Well for starters, to call those four the same, would be like calling Rhode island
reds, Barred rocks, Barnyard mixes, and Black sex links the same breed because they all lay
brown eggs. So whats the difference? Well lets look at each breed.
Ameraucanas were recognized by the American standard of perfection in 1984.
They come in the following colors: black, blue, blue wheaten, brown red, buff, silver, wheaten,
and white. They are moderate sized chickens, fully bearded and muffed. They lay medium sized
blue eggs, and have a full tail, unlike their Araucana cousins. They are most often confused with
Easter Eggers, which can sometimes look very similar. They are docile birds, and also have a
A white Ameraucana rooster
Araucanas were recognized by the American standard of perfection in 1977.
They are recognized in the following colors: black, white, black breasted red, silver and golden
duck wing. The bantam version comes in a couple more. They are moderate sized birds and
have ear tufts, not muffs and beard like the Amera. They have a lethal gene related to the tufts,
which causes some of the offspring to die part way through hatch. They also lay blue eggs.
The UK standards recognize four "types" of purebred Araucana, the large tailed, the bantam
tailed, the large rumpless and the bantam rumpless.
A wheaten Araucana hen
Easter Eggers are mutt birds not recognized by the standard of perfection. They can have
beards and muffs, or be clean necked. They also do not follow any particular size standard.
Some can be very poor layers, while others are excellent layers. Some can be the same color,
and have the appearance of a true Ameracauna, but still be an Easter Egger. They are very
nice chickens, but can be a bit timid, hence they are usually at the bottom of the pecking order.
A pair of Easter Eggers
Hatchery's often like to sell their cross bred breeds by made up names, such as ''red stars'',
''golden comets'', and ''production reds'' instead of red sex links. They do the same with
Easter Eggers, selling them as "Americana/Araucanas", ''rainbow layers'', and other made up
names. Some even selling them as true Ameraucanas.
Olive Eggers are the cross of a chocolate egg layer such as a Maran, Welsummer, etc, and an
Easter Egger, Araucana, or Ameraucana (or another blue egg layer such as Cream legbars)
resulting in a hybrid that lays olive colored eggs, and has muffs and beards. They are hardy birds,
and good layers.
An Olive Egger pullet
So Ameraucanas and Araucanas are both standardized breeds, bred to the standard of perfection,
while the Easter Egger follows no standard, and the Olive Egger is a hybrid. Does this mean that
Easter Eggers are not good birds? Not at all! They are beautiful, hardy birds, and great layers.
Unless you have bought your birds from a reputable breeder, you most likely have Easter Eggers.
If you aren't going to show your birds, than Easter Eggers are a great choice.
You will enjoy them! (and those colorful eggs!)
If you have anymore questions, feel free to post them in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading!