Are Ameraucanas hard to breed?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by scimo, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. scimo

    scimo Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 21, 2007
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    I just became enlightened about the whole Ameraucan vs. EE issue. I guess my two "Ameraucanas" are actually mongrels. According to the Ameraucan Breeders Club, "Perhaps 99 percent of chickens sold as Araucanas (or Ameraucanas) by commercial hatcheries are actually mongrels (aka Easter Egg chickens)."

    Here is my question. Is it hard to breed Ameraucans? If not, why are hatcheries selling mutts instead of pure breeds?
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2007
  2. scimo

    scimo Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 21, 2007
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Whoops, this post should be placed in the "Breeds in General" category.
     
  3. snugglepup

    snugglepup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They aren't really hard to breed. But it does take time and attention to breed quality. The problem with most hatcheries is that they are breeding for volume, not quality. They want to produce as many chicks as possible. Anytime you focus on quantity you are going to sacrifice quality.
     
  4. scimo

    scimo Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 21, 2007
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    Quote:I hear what you are saying but there doesn't seem to be the same breed mixing problem with say a Barred Rock or RIR.
     
  5. HenHaven

    HenHaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a very good question! First of all, Ameraucanas aren't hard to breed. I actually don't know why the hatcheries haven't remedied this confusing issue.

    I wish they would all state clearly in their descriptions the 3 various categories: EEs/Ameraucanas/Araucana. I am sure there is still a market for people who want the mystery of what color the eggs will be: pink, green, blue, beige, etc. That is a very fun part of having and raising EEs.

    Any sales that they might lose with the upfront labeling, could probably be made up with sales of true Ameraucanas/Araucana, or at least in part...and the customers would be getting what they WANT.
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    No, not quite, but I think they are mixing production reds in with the pure Rhode Island Reds to get the orangey birds they're selling as RIR. And one of my Barred Rocks looks suspiciously like a Cuckoo Marans, but with yellow legs. You just never know.
    As far as Ameraucanas, the trick is getting good, true stock to start with. Fertility is great with my Ameraucanas, even though they are not up to show quality standards, but with a little tweaking, my lines could be better than they are. I just think they believed that people wouldn't care what they got as long as they had birds that laid the pretty-multi-colored eggs, so they mixed up the gene pool and passed off mutts as Ameraucanas and now, nobody knows what's what anymore.
     
  7. snugglepup

    snugglepup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, you can put an EE rooster over a bunch of different hens, and get tons of chicks carrying that blue egg gene, but they won't breed true. My hatchery buff orps have a couple of weird sports... makes me wonder. What we consider a breed is pretty arbitrary anyway.
     
  8. theOEGBman

    theOEGBman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also think the problem is that with the EEs, they can mix any color they want. With Ameraucanas, you want to keep one single color per pen. I do anyways. Unless its Black/Blue/Splash birds. Also, I've never seen cheap Ameraucanas that were actually true Ameraucanas,lol. EEs are a whole lot cheaper. Like stated, they breed for quality, not quantity. They could care less what the bird is, as long as they get their money. Its not that any breed is difficult to breed, its just that hatcheries dont have the time to breed them like they should. That is why RIRs from the hatcheries are more orange, like Cyn stated. They cant take them time to breed for the good deep red color.
     
  9. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is my understanding that Araucanas (not Ameraucanas) are difficult to breed, however... they have a "fatal" gene which can cause a lot of the eggs not to hatch. Even those that do might not breed true for having tufted faces and so forth. The Ameraucanas, though, I agree... I don't think they're any more challenging than any other breed. I think the hatcheries just don't care. They'll probably need someone to sue or raise hell before they change their advertising, though, to demonstrate that their so-called disclaimers don't actually mean much, legally, and that it would be better business to provide what they advertise.
     

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