This breed of chicken is easily confused with the Araucana chicken and Easter Eggers, especially since both breeds lay blue eggs. We had a flock of Easter Eggers that lay blue and green eggs, so no wonder this is so confusing for chicken keepers!
Fresh Eggs Daily tells us the Ameraucana chickens come in eight distinct colors, including blue, black, white and wheaten, all of which share these distinct Ameraucana traits:
- Pea comb
- Muffs and beard
- Red earlobes
- Blue legs
- White foot bottoms
- Always lay blue eggs
The Ameraucana rooster is popular for backyard chicken breeders since the hens always lay blue eggs! They are quite rare and only available through breeders.
This breed is known for being docile and calm. Roosters are not aggressive and are often rather polite.
Ameraucana chickens originated here in the U.S. And, the Frugal Chicken unpacks the history of the breed for us.
"Agricultural scientists created this breed, hoping to preserve the genetics of the South American, blue-egg laying Araucana chicken - but also to eliminate its lethal gene that can kill the chick while inside the shell. Eventually, the Pratt Experimental Farm in Pennsylvania got the right genes together sometime in the early '70s."
She's right that they are charming! I'd love to have this breed in our flock.
Suitability to backyard life
According to My Pet Chicken, here are the six characteristics that add to their suitability in backyard life. My two cents is the importance of "bears confinement" as my flock during very windy and wet weather needs to stay in their mobile coop. If this was an issue, some of my chickens may be harmed by bullies, so this trait is super important.
- Cold Hardiness: Hardy in winter
- Heat Tolerance: Not especially heat hardy
- Bears Confinement: Bears confinement well
- Especially Docile: Yes
- Setter/Broody: No
- Personality: Fun
Males are dominant
They protect hens when they're in trouble, but they can be aggressive, too. It is a good practice to separate the males from females when they're not breeding if the roosters are being difficult.
Roy's Farm has a wonderful list of what makes this chicken breed different than Easter Eggers!
- The wattles of this chicken breed are small or absent, the earlobes are small and round.
- The color of the comb, earlobes and wattles are all red.
- The shanks are slate-blue, tending to black in the Black variety.
- Ameraucana chicken breed is viewed as a variety of Araucana in the UK and Australia.
- On average, a standard Ameraucana male weighs about 6.5 pounds and a female weighs about 5.5 pounds.
- Ameraucana hens lay blue eggs in various shades.
The egg color is what this breed is known for! You should contact a hatchery about baby chicks if the Ameraucana chicken is a breed you'd like to raise in your flock. When it comes to the rooster, you should be able to tell by those tail feathers.
These blue-egg layers are rare, and you'll likely be looking at an Easter Egger if you think you have an Ameraucana breed in your flock.
These two are super hard to tell apart and the American Poultry Association can also help you find this breed in your region.
Other chickens lay a variety of egg colors. The Orpington chickens lay a brown egg for example. An Olive Egger lays a deep brown egg that is also beautiful.
There are so many different breeds to choose from. I personally think a chicken coop with a variety is beautiful.
The Rhode Island Red chicken also lays brown eggs and a true Ameraucana will always lay blue eggs!
Know someone who would like to add roos to their flock? Tell us in the comments below!