Hatchery "recipe" for EE ?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by fiftyfifty, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. fiftyfifty

    fiftyfifty Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 4, 2008
    suburban Minneapolis
    How do you think commercial hatcheries make their EE's? Obviously they don't meet standards for true Ameraucanas, yet they do seem to carry a lot of Ameraucana traits. Do you think the hatcheries just keep a flock of EE's? Or do they, perhaps, buy some pet-quality true Ameraucana roosters in order to get the blue egg gene, and put them over various non-EE hens bred for egg laying ability? Or do they maybe just buy fertile eggs from various farmers who could be using either of the above strategies?

    I would love an answer, but I doubt any hatchery will actually tell us. In any case, I love my 2 EE's. They were "stewing hens" I adopted. The original owner got them from McMurray. They are 3 years old now, and between the 2 of them I get 10-11 nice med-large green eggs per week, even in the dead of Winter. They have shown none of the internal eggs laying problems that the 2 Red Stars had, and they have good personalities too.

    They are a great bird. I don't know why the hatcheries call them "Araucana/Ameraucanas" because EE's are great birds in their own right. I suppose it is partly because "Easter Egger" is such a dorky name. The hatcheries should come up with a more catchy name for them (like the way they changed the name of the Red Sex Link to "Red Star"). Then they could sell them truthfully and proudly.

    On a related note, why *don't* the hatcheries sell true Ameraucanas? I understand why it would be hard for them to sell true Araucanas because of the lethal gene and all, but it doesn't seem like it would be so hard to sell Ameraucanas. They could start with a straightforward color like Black. That way people could have a choice of EE's or Ameraucanas. They would probably be only "pet quality", but at least unsuspecting newbies could buy them without ending up with something that is *totally* wrong.
  2. Old Rando

    Old Rando Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    Southern Indiana
    Hatcheries sold these birds as araucanas for decades and decades. I had some in early 1960s. The araucana breed gained a breed recognition for their standard in the 1970's I think. Araucana breeders were soon unhappy with hatcheries continuing to use their breed name. The Ameraucana breed was developed in the 1970s and gained acceptance in 1984. In the past decade or so some hatcheries have started calling their stock Ameraucanas mostly because of pressure from Araucana breeders. Ameraucana breeders are now unhappy.

    Using either breed name causes confusion for many people. The birds the hatcheries are selling that we call Easter Eggers are decendants of South American imports in the early 1900s. At that time all were called Araucanas regardless of physical characterists. They came in a wide range of colors, types and egg laying color capabilities. This is still what hatcheries are selling. I knew a lady who had once raized these birds to provide hatching eggs for a hatchery in the 1940s or early 1950s. They aren't cross-bred Araucanas or cross-bred Ameraucanas. They are what they have always been, colorful, healthy, fertile, usually muffed.bearded, usually tailed. often carrying the blue egg gene.

    It would stop much confusion if they came up with a new name. There would be many people that would still be confused. I have been a member of the Araucana Club of America for the last decade and I am aware of how unhappy many members get when EEs are called Araucana. Obviously the Ameraucana folks are just as upset now. The hatchery birds were around first, before either recognized breed had a standard. The Ameraucana wasn't even a concept when some of us had EEs.
  3. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    They are purebred, just really crummy examples of the breed.
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    OOOh boy, here we go again....they are a purebred WHAT BREED?
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  5. Old Rando

    Old Rando Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    Southern Indiana
    Fiftyfifty, If you are familiar with hatchery EEs then take a look at the South American Quechua hen's head picture on this link. Scroll down the page and you will see it. You will notice she is identical to large numbers of hatchery EEs and similar to most.
  6. sugarbush

    sugarbush Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2008
    Lexington KY
    Good post Rando...I couldn't have said it better myself.

    The problem is with the APA standards, not with the hatchery stock:)
  7. sugarbush

    sugarbush Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2008
    Lexington KY
    Quote:If you read it you will see it says that in the US these birds are heirloom breeds known as Araucana and Ameraucana. It also describes that they come tufted, bearded, and rumpless as well as with tailfeathers.
  8. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    The head of a Quechua hen

    This is pretty much what my EE looks like. I think she was sold as Araucana.. But after being on this site, I discovered she is EE. Good, hardy hen, and I love her green eggs. Would like to have blue eggs too, though!
    Mine is nearly 7 years old and still laying, not as much as when she was younger, but probably 3-4 eggs week I'd guess, I don't really keep track.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2009
  9. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    GREAT info Rando! Thanks, I often wondered too.
  10. fowlafoot

    fowlafoot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2008
    Awesome thread! Love learning new things... I do have to disagree that they are crummy examples though, technically the only standards for EEs are fluffy and lays eggs and they excel at those two things [​IMG]

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