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Araucana vs. Ameraucana--What's your take?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by 2boys1homestead, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. 2boys1homestead

    2boys1homestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First off, what is the general difference between these two breeds? Is it just looks?

    Which do you think is a better chicken?

    These are the chickens I would like to have eventually, so I was just wondering what everyone's opinion on them was! Thanks!

    Ben
     
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    There is a good article at http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/09/ameraucana-easter-egger-or-araucana.html explaining the differences between Araucanas and Ameraucanas. I personally prefer Ameraucanas as they are prettier chickens (I don't like the tailless rump of the Araucana) and they are easier to breed than Araucanas. I actually like Easter Eggers, which are hybrids produced by crossing either Ameraucanas (usually the case) or Araucanas. I prefer the EEs because they are less expensive to purchase, they come in a variety of feather patterns and colors, they typically outlay either Ameraucanas or Araucanas, and they lay eggs in colors other than just blue (olive, green, beige, and sometimes pale pink or gold). Easter Eggers are my granddaughter's (pictured in my avatar) favorite chickens. She loves their different colored eggs. Whichever you end up getting, good luck with your flock.
     
  3. 2boys1homestead

    2boys1homestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've heard (so far) that EE's can be a much better choice as to variety and that they lay better. I'll have to give it some thought! Thanks for the link, I will definitely read it over!
     
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    You're welcome.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    I've had all three (Ameraucanas, Araucanas, and Easter Eggers) for over 5 years, here's my take:

    Araucanas: These are very rare and hard to find for a newbie to chickens, plus they're a bit different, so there's that to consider. Their lack of tails sometimes can be a problem, too short of backs can lead to issues like constant pasty butt, but otherwise a good bird has no problem. If you plan to breed them, often fertility can be an issue due to breeding not happening properly, of which some people choose to clip the feather down around their vents to solve. Again nothing serious and not always really common though. Oh and the tufts thing - Only if you decide to breed, remember that two tufted birds paired may result in a 25% chance of fatality in the developing eggs. Tufted x Non-tufted is fine though, it's what most breeders do. I shouldn't have started explaining the not-so-great stuff, but, I like realism. On the excellent note, and the reason I personally prefer Araucanas over other blue layers is that they're the smartest, most athletic (especially in flight) and most able to fend for themselves among the three, from my experience. Also the best foragers, and far more broody than the other two, which I know to a lot of people isn't a plus. I can prevent mine from getting broody by making sure the nests are consistently collected of eggs, though. But just a couple in there for a period long enough, and they'll get ideas. Oh and last but not least, I love the appearance of a rumpless tufted bird with a pea comb. I find them quite beautiful.

    Ameraucanas: These are almost about the same as Easter Eggers in every way, except through my experience, a higher life expectancy (I've had a lot of EE's with egg laying troubles in a few years, and I blame historic breeding goals solely for egg production) and of course the fact that they're a true to type breed. Oh and from my experience, they're often a bit more broody, but not near as often as Araucanas are. Like Easter Eggers they're a pretty standard breed with nothing to watch out for except, well, defects if you plan to breed seriously. (clean faces I have seen in some lines, feather stubs on shanks I've seen in some lines, and weird color defects I've seen in some lines) They're excellent layers just as all three of the breeds, I personally have NEVER known Easter Eggers as a general whole to lay better than their purebred counterparts, in fact, I've known some Easter Eggers to lay very poorly and half the time give deformed eggs or develop internal laying issues as the years go (early years at that, we're talking 3 years old)

    Easter Eggers: Just as great as Ameraucanas and Araucanas, really. They're the far far more common and cheaper option, plus they range in colors more freely in plumage color. (except versus Araucanas, since most Araucanas out there are not bred for color despite the breed having recognized true-to-type colorations) Easter Eggers, because they're mutts or simply non-recognized, non-showable forms of Ameraucanas, can either be super birds or just as good as an average free hen from craigslist (nothing wrong with that! just saying, who knows what you get) I've known some Easter Eggers to live past 19 years old, and I've known some to not make it past 3. Some are super broody, some have never considered laying on a nest for longer than half an hour. Some lay like any other production-bred hen, and some lay about once a week. In most cases they're pretty similar to Ameraucanas with consistent good qualities though. They're just not showable, they don't breed true, and they're more commonly found.

    On egg color - Easter Eggers as anyone knows can give you an assortment of colors, even sometimes brown (or as some people call it, pink, since some do have a pink tint) The reason there is because the brown gene is what gives blue eggs a more green color, so, to get a nice good green, especially a rich olive green, you've gotta throw in brown now and then, and one of the biggest hatcheries to find Easter Eggers does indeed have brown in their genes. My first Easter Egger laid straight up brown eggs. You might ask, as most do - Who lays the BLUEST eggs? There actually is no answer to that. I've seen some super blue eggs from all three categories but yes, if you want more promise - Stick with Ameraucanas and Araucanas. Who is the better bet? Neither. I've seen some really greenish eggs from both, and I've seen some incredible blue eggs from both. The deepest richest blue I've seen in my life comes from an Ameraucana, but that doesn't mean they're the winner. Also, the most BLUE of eggs actually aren't the richest in color. The more rich you go, the more teal / greenish blue it gets.

    Hope that helps for anyone reading this! :)

    Edited to add: The difference between Ameraucanas and Araucanas goes beyond looks. They're genetically different, which yes makes them look different the same as a Plymouth Rock is genetically and visually different from a Rhode Island Red.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  6. 2boys1homestead

    2boys1homestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! That was very helpful!!

    I'm leaning toward Ameraucanas since getting straight up Araucanas seems difficult and costly. I might throw in a couple EE's for flock variation, but I'll probably stick with Ameraucanas mostly.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I have not had Araucanas because, frankly, I don't like their looks at all. I have had Ameraucanas from breeder and show lines and I've had EEs, both from a breeder working on a new Ameraucana color and EEs I made myself by crossing either Delaware or Barred Rock roosters over my Ameraucanas and EEs.

    My Ameraucanas have good longevity and great personalities. I have only a splash hen and a black hen now. The blue hen who was the same age as the splash died recently at 6 1/2. The black hen is 7 years old and still lays sporadically.

    One EE lays a humongous green egg, one (who is 1/2 Blue Wheaten Ameraucana and 1/2 EE) lays a medium turquoise egg and one lays a small golf ball shaped light olive green egg when she does lay. The first and last are both over 6 years old now, though, so they don't lay consistently, but they're excused!
     
  8. 2boys1homestead

    2boys1homestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I've heard, they seem to vary a lot, but I'm liking them more and more.
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    This is my oldest living Ameraucana, Gypsy, who came from out of two different lines, Cree Farms and Rivergait Farms. She is 7 yrs old next month, my favorite hen of all I currently own. She does still lay, but in spurts.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2014
  10. 2boys1homestead

    2boys1homestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She's gorgeous! Can I ask, do you keep her for sentimental reasons or does she keep the young'uns in check?
     

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