Finally, a green egg! I am on my third Ameraucana, but this is my first ever green-shelled egg. Honestly, I never thought it would happen.
As many of you out there know, the Ameraucana is known for its green or blue eggshells. But did you know that Ameraucanas can lay all sorts of colors of eggs, including beige or pink? Yeah, I didn't either. Apparently, this is due to birds with the blue egg gene being crossed with standard breeds as the breed was being developed.
Ameraucanas are sometimes confused with Araucanas, which they are related to, or Easter Eggers, the breed by which the Ameraucana was developed in crossing them with Old World varieties. They are actually a distinct breed that must meet specific criteria laid out by the The American Poultry Association's American Standard of Perfection. Araucanas, originating in Chile where they were used by Quechua and Mapuche speaking tribes and coming to North America via the Falkland Islands where they had been traded by Argentinians, have large ear tufts and beards, virtually no comb, and no wattles whatsoever. The gene for the tufts is actually lethal in that if a pair who carry the tufted allele are bred together, one quarter of the offspring will die in the shell. Weird. The Ameraucana, on the other hand, does not carry the lethal gene. They do, however, have a muff (beard), which is much smaller then their Araucana cousins. Easter Eggers can have a variety of features and they carry the blue egg gene like their Ameraucana and Araucana relatives.
My first Ameraucana was a buff and never made it to laying, having died of Marek's at about 12 weeks. My second Ameraucana, Eggo, was white and she gave me pinkish eggs. I must admit, I was disappointed. At long last, my hen Cleopatra, whom I purchased at the feed store in late spring of this year, is laying little green eggs. I think we shall have to celebrate this blessed event with some ham. Isn't that what Dr. Seuss would do?
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