Monday, October 3, 2011

Green Eggs. Please Pass the Ham.

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?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. Heidi, it is great to see you in my followers' list. I have been enjoying your blog for a long time. I have just ordered half a dozen Arucanas....just for the colour of the egg shells. My cross breed Australorps lay a range of colours from pale coffee, through to an almost chestnut colour. Gorgeous!.

  2. Strict guidelines for fowl? Isn't this just going to drive the trade in counterfeit Ameraucanas?

    Congrats on the green tinge - how often do you get to say that?

  3. Tom just cured and smoked some ham. Come on over! :)

  4. I have three Ameraucanas and they all lay green eggs. I get a kick every time a person sees the eggs and ask what color they are inside. Too funny!


  5. Lucky you! The lavender araucana chick we bought turned out to be a rooster...

  6. It cracks me up that you named your Ameraucauna did we. Actually her full name is Cleopatra Jones. I don't know why, it just popped out when she was chick and my dad got her from the feed store. :) She's not laying yet.