Easter Egger's and Ameraucana's = same thing

JacinLarkwell

Crowing
Mar 19, 2020
3,708
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This is the only one I might consider to be one, but even then I still don't because what I have always been told was that EEs are a bird that lays blue or green eggs and has an unknown heritage. He doesn't have the gene and he has a known heritage

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humblehillsfarm

Songster
Mar 27, 2020
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Southwestern Pennsylvania
Ameraucanas are Easter Eggers That are bred to a agreed standard, Easter Eggers are not. They share many genetic traits like the Blue eggshell mutation(identical mutation to the sequenced letter ) By todays standard every Bird before 1980 was an Easter Egger
I agree with this. I bought a blue Ameraucana, she's beautiful, and two EEs. EEs have a slight chance of laying a light green or brown egg, but I knew my Ameraucana was going to be Blue, and lay a blue egg because she was bred to a "breed standard". Meanwhile, the EEs are basically left to their own devices. They have many similar traits, but can have numerous deviations. I will say this though, all three of them have the same color eggs, and one of my EEs is really quite ugly as far as chickens go, but I paid $4 each for the EEs and $20 for the Ameraucana! If I was going for blue eggs alone, I'd not spend the money on an Ameraucana.
 

whiteboy

Chirping
Apr 23, 2020
110
104
70
Utah
I agree with this. I bought a blue Ameraucana, she's beautiful, and two EEs. EEs have a slight chance of laying a light green or brown egg, but I knew my Ameraucana was going to be Blue, and lay a blue egg because she was bred to a "breed standard". Meanwhile, the EEs are basically left to their own devices. They have many similar traits, but can have numerous deviations. I will say this though, all three of them have the same color eggs, and one of my EEs is really quite ugly as far as chickens go, but I paid $4 each for the EEs and $20 for the Ameraucana! If I was going for blue eggs alone, I'd not spend the money on an Ameraucana.
And why would anybody unless they can "sell" you that they are somehow different and elite? It's a marekting scheme.
 

Trisseh

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Jun 21, 2019
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I’ll just chime in with the fact that a “breed” that’s being bred to any “standard” should possess certain and specific characteristics that are repeatable when breeding individuals/specimens of the specific breed. EEs have too much variation because in many/most cases they are the result of a cross of 2 different breeds that if crossed to others of their own breed, would breed true. If you cross 2 crossbred EEs you get wide variation in the characteristics of their chicks because genetically they pass along different information, based on what breeds were used to create the original birds. The only example of a breed that doesn’t conform to a set standard are the landrace breeds, and still within those breeds, there are particular characteristics that are expected to be shown in all progeny within that breed. They may not all be the same color or have all of the same physical manifestations of certain traits, but as a whole they fit into what is expected for that breed. :)

it does irritate me that large hatcheries are passing off crossbred birds as a “rare” breed and charging more for them though. Not all of them necessarily do it all the time, but come on, look at the supposedly pure specimens of other breeds that often come from those hatcheries. 🙄 it definitely doesn’t make me put any faith into those birds performing as expected based on their breed. Sure, you may be able to buy a whole bunch of inferior birds, cross all of those for the traits that you want to see and eventually after many generations come up with a bird that at least comes close to the standard... but that still doesn’t mean that the crossbred bird you paid an arm and a leg for was a “purebred” whatever. 🤣

sex linked birds, “SimAngus” cattle, “Victorian” bulldogs... all fall within the same category. They don’t produce a repeatable, uniform end result when breeding 2 of them together.
 

whiteboy

Chirping
Apr 23, 2020
110
104
70
Utah
BAD misspelling.
On a chicken enthusiast website? Mareks?
Ohohoho.

I'd totally pay more to get a proper Ameraucana. But only because I want to have all the breeds. I'd still get a few EE.
I kinda prefer the messy look of EE. It can be really pretty.
I love the fact EE can look so different.
Yikes, what an idiot! lol
 

humblehillsfarm

Songster
Mar 27, 2020
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Southwestern Pennsylvania
And why would anybody unless they can "sell" you that they are somehow different and elite? It's a marekting scheme.
I mean, it's elite in that I can breed her to another blue black or splash ameraucana and get the same muffs, combs and egg color and get a blue black or splash feather coloring. Who knows what I'll get from my EEs. My ugly one has a beard and truly resembles a dinosaur while they other looks like you could call her a "partridge EE" or to ruffle some more feathers, a partridge Ameraucana. I don't care either way honestly, I'll never show my birds and I love my beautiful blue bird, but I'll never buy another just for the sake of money.
 

whiteboy

Chirping
Apr 23, 2020
110
104
70
Utah
I mean, it's elite in that I can breed her to another blue black or splash ameraucana and get the same muffs, combs and egg color and get a blue black or splash feather coloring. Who knows what I'll get from my EEs. My ugly one has a beard and truly resembles a dinosaur while they other looks like you could call her a "partridge EE" or to ruffle some more feathers, a partridge Ameraucana. I don't care either way honestly, I'll never show my birds and I love my beautiful blue bird, but I'll never buy another just for the sake of money.
On another thread they have the poll about why you like chickens. Most were for eggs, and the fun of it. Most don't show, or really care. And that is Just fine and dandy. Different strokes for different folks. Thanks all for the entertainment.
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
3,903
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Cleveland OH
my summation is that people call any cross bred chicken an easter egger. When in fact they have been using the same genetic strain that is nearly identical to Ameraucanas (with the exception of color leakage). Yet one is a breed and the other is not. I find that amusing.
Er, lets ignore for a hot minute that breeds of chickens are all nearly identical genetically. Language exists for the sole purpose of communication. If I say "That sculpture is called "The Bean" because it looks like a bean, meet me here tomorrow" and you show up then I have successfully used language to communicate a meaning, even if the Sculpture is actually officially named Cloud Gate. (A real scenario that exists.)

Colloquial definitions matter as much as official ones but language takes time to evolve. Now I can give something a name, I can call you a zinkydoink, and say that it means "a human with a W avatar on backyardchickens" but unless the term zinkydoink is used by enough people in that context it's meaningless. You zinkydoink.

So! A breed, as defined by the chicken keeping community at large, is a chicken that has a specific written and nationally adopted standard and controlled genetics sufficient that they regularly breed true.
A landrace, as defined by the chicken keeping community, is a group of chickens that are not controlled genetically but maintain a specific genetic pool based on location and traits. Icelandinc Jaerhons were a landrace. Ameracuanas were a land race. But they didn't meet the rest of the definitions for breeds so they weren't breeds.
And a mixed breed is multiple types of chickens mixed together.

But that doesn't mean we don't use other terms to describe other chickens with similar genetics to meet peices of a specific definition. ISA browns, sexlinks, black star, golden comet, cornish cross, broiler, melanistic, frizzle, naked neck, showgirl; like easter egger, none of these are actually breeds BUT they do have loosely defined traits. Why are none of these breeds? Because they don't breed true most of the time, have a written definition AND controlled genetics. All three are required to meet how the chicken keeping community defines a breed.

If you disagree with the common parlance of chicken keeping and declare that the definitions of breed, landrace, mixed or specific varieties are completely invalid because of semantics and some Wittgensteinian need to define language by your own rules even though nobody else follows them... There's literally no way to have a conversation with you as a human being. Because you're walking out in public and saying "I'M ZINKYDOINK!" and everyone else around you is staring at you like you're a crazy person.

NOW with all that in mind a little thought experiment; how long does it take for language around chicken breeds to change? (Because language DOES change if enough people push for it hard enough.)

The answer in the case of Ameraucanas is more than 36 years. We're still counting. Because of a little history. Ameraucana USED to be the colloquial term for the mixed breed/landrace chickens. They were a very popular *variety* of chicken but had not met the definition of breed *as we as chicken keepers commonly define it*. (Again, if you use some other arbitrary definition nobody else uses you're just zinkydoink and we literally can't speak.)
During this timeframe many hatcheries started selling them. Much like sexlinks and ISA browns, they were never a breed but were commonly listed under 'breeds' because it's not like a hatchery is going to make a separate section for "breeds", "hybrids" "Landraces" and "Varieties". They were popular.

But then some silly people got it into their heads that they wanted to be able to show these birds and develop specific traits in them. So they took a bunch of the "ameraucanas" who had the traits they wanted and bred them all together for 15 or so years and then went to they APA and were like "Hey. We wanna make this an official breed. Most people already call these Ameraucanas so that's what we wanna call them" and the APA went "OK!" and then there was a written definition and the birds bred true and there was a controlled population and it was a 'Breed' not a landrace/variety/hybrid/etc.

But in that moment, there was a problem. How could you tell which birds were bred to the standard, and which weren't? So the ones that weren't, since they could come in all sorts of colors and lay all colors of eggs, got a new name because that's easier than filling out the paperwork to change a breed name and the landrace/mixed breed birds got renamed "easter eggers".

But much like how calling you zinkydoink is meaningless right now, that change takes TIME and enough people who change the way their language is used to actually make that change. Ameraucanas didn't get recognized until 1984. And the hatcheries were just kind of like "*shrug* We've been calling these landraces Ameraucanas for decades and we aren't going to stop now" and refused to make the transition. Many still HAVEN'T. But they ALSO refused to breed to the APA standard.

So for many many years, including today, you have old lines of a landrace formerly known as ameraucanas being sold as "Ameraucanas", and a completing definition of the APA purebred chickens that are called "Ameraucanas".

But there's still differences between the two (breeding true, defined color, consistent egg color, combs and muffs and beards, etc.) so a lot of people adopted easter egger to refer to the landrace to actually make the definition work. And it just so happens that a mixed breed/hybrid ameraucana meets what we define the landrace to be too, through its phenotype. Since there IS no defined genotype for the landrace, because they AREN'T A BREED, mixed breeds got lumped into there too.

And the reason people get up in arms about it is because they buy an Ameraucana using the national definition of the APA standard, and get an "ameraucana" using a definition that only a few people still use from 40 years ago when they were a landrace. Or people who put work into showing and breeding to a standard get asked why their chickens with literal decades of work behind them cost more than some landrace that may or may not share the same traits. And that's frustrating. At this point it feels like deliberate miscommunication designed to make money off of other peoples work in breeding specific traits and working towards a standard, and it leads to a lot of disappointed customers and breeders.
 
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ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
3,903
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Cleveland OH
tl;dr, colloquially we all know what EE and Ameraucanas mean even if you wanna play semantics and pretend that you don't. And playing semantics just feeds into confusion. Hatcheries do it for money. Not really sure what reason a zinkydoink would have to deliberately feed into a 30+ year old naming debate, but by doing so you continue to muddy the waters and make things harder for everyone who DOES want to buy or sell a purebred chicken, whatever their reasons for wanting to do so. And that's why people are cranky. The end. :p

Now, I have some really great ISA browns to sell you. They lay green eggs and they don't lay as well in the winter, but that shouldn't matter right? Genetically they're almost identical!
 

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