Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Tisket, A Tasket, A Multi-colored Basket

We are enjoying finding eggs everyday!  We think we have our 'blue egg layer' pegged as Prissy.  We have seen no signs of Grun and Flower laying at this point.  Hopefully soon!  Prissy lays an egg a day for afew days, then skips a day or two before starting up again.  Weiss is pretty steady for an egg a day, and Rosa will occasionally skip a day.  At this point, we can pretty much expect 2-3 eggs per day.  We will never tire from finding our blue eggs.
2 Breeds of chickens lay blue eggs:  Araucana and Ameraucana.  Araucana are 'rumpless' chickens:  do not have tail feathers.  Ameraucana's are known for their muffs or beards.  Our Ameraucana's came from a hatchery and according to breeders of these birds, hatchery stock are most likely mutts.  That means the Ameraucana was bred with any old chicken resulting in 'non breed standard' colorings etc.  As long as a bird has the 'blue egg gene', it will produce colored eggs.  These mutts are referred to by Chicken People as Easter Eggers.  One other interesting thing I have found out is that pure breed Ameraucanas or Araucana's will produce a light blue egg.  If the chicken is mixed with a brown egg laying breed, the brown is actually over the blue which makes the egg 'green'.  Upon inspection of a cracked egg, I can confirm that the inside of our green eggs really are blue.  You can really see the brown in the egg that makes it appear green when you compare the inside of the egg to the outside of the egg.  In order to get pure blue eggs, you most likely will have to seek out a breeder.  
"The Ameraucana Breeders Club defines an Easter Egg chicken or Easter Egger as any chicken that possesses the blue egg gene, but doesn’t fully meet any breed descriptions as defined in the APA and/or ABA standards. Further, even if a bird meets an Ameraucana standard breed description, but doesn’t meet a variety description or breed true at least 50% of the time it is considered an Easter Egg chicken."  Ameraucana Breeders Club website www.ameraucana.org

Another thing to note for those who have never seen a blue or green egg.  Egg shell color does not mean anything in regards to nutritional value.  Brown vs White vs Blue.  You pay more for brown eggs only because brown egg laying breeds don't produce as many eggs as frequently as a white laying egg breed (that would be used in commercial operations).  Many of these breeds are hybrid chickens bio-engineered to produce a high number of eggs.  The thing about raising your own birds is that you can select a lovely mixed flock of heirloom breeds that will compliment your yard and your egg carton.  Plus we won't have to color eggs at easter!  Au Natural!

Our 2 Easter Eggers are also the lowest girls in the social ladder.  They get picked on by the Barred Rocks and the Rooster.  Everyone seems to get along, but if you really watch them interact and see who sleeps where, you can figure out who's who in popularity.  It's quite facinating!

2 more girls to go!  Can't wait!