Chickens That Lay Colored Eggs
Chickens That Lay Colored Eggs
Many folks know about Martha Stewart's Araucana chickens, who laid beautiful pastel blue and green eggs. Purebred Araucanas are from Chile, South America and despite Martha’s endorsement, are quite rare in the United States. Martha’s chickens were rumpless, which means they didn’t have a tail. Other Araucanas have ear tufts, neck muffs and beards. The Araucana is a descendent of the Collonca, which also lays blue eggs and the Quetro chicken, which lays beige pink eggs and has passed on its ear tufts to its Araucana descendants. One of the reasons that the purebred Araucana is so rare, it turned out, was because the same gene that created these attractive tufts caused many chicks to die before they were hatched.
Blue or green eggs have no more or less cholesterol or protein than any other chicken egg. Nor do they taste any better. Basically, the color of the eggshell is irrelevant to what’s inside.
The European Araucana standard is a largish fowl with a tail. The cocks can weigh six to seven pounds and the hens five to six pounds. The rooster for the bantam type of Araucana can weigh 1.6 and 1.87 pounds while the hen can weigh between 1.5 and 1.75 pounds. Araucana hens lay blue green eggs and both sexes may lack a comb, the fleshy protuberance at the top of the head, or a wattle, the fleshy dependencies below the beak. In North America the standard is for a rumpless chicken. This doesn't just mean that the chicken doesn’t have tail feathers, but that it doesn’t have the last bones of the spinal column that make up a real tail. This chicken has to lay blue eggs and must possess neither a beard nor a muff. Araucanas can be many colors. The American Poultry Association recognizes only five: black, white, silver duckwing, black breasted red and golden duckwing.
The Ameraucana is an American breed that also lays colored eggs. It is allowed to have a tail, a muff and a beard, and a flat little pea comb on its head. The American Poultry Association recognizes eight colors: black, white, blue, brown red, blue wheaten, silver, buff and wheaten. Some chickens are a pretty lavender color, but this is not yet recognized by the APA. The standard is for the large cock to weight about six and half pounds while the hen weighs five and a half pounds. The Ameraucana is descended from Easter Egg chickens, which are simply chickens that have the gene that lets them lay blue eggs. Easter Egg chickens in turn were bred from Araucanas and other breeds of chickens.
Easter Egg Chicken
Easter Egg chickens, or Easter eggers, are chickens who can lay blue eggs, though some of their eggs can be a chalky sort of green. Like pinto or palomino horses, they don’t particularly belong to any one breed. They're descended from the same Chilean stock as araucanas and Ameraucanas. Some of them have beards or muffs.
Colored eggs can also be laid by hens who have some of the Chilean ancestry, even if they’d been sold as an entirely separate breed of chicken. But as stated, the color of the eggshell doesn't matter, except that it’s pretty.
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