by Lee Salmon

Ameraucanas are a relatively new breed of bird. They were developed in the 1970's in the United States. These outstanding birds were developed by persons who admired some traits of the Araucana but wanted to breed out the undersirable, self-limiting factors in the breed such as the lethal gene problem.

Photo of White Ameraucana Hen

They wanted a dual purpose fowl that was practical for both meat and egg production with the unique feature of pastel colored egg shells. Some Commercial hatcheries claim that it is possible to have blue, green, pink, and yellow shell colors. In reality, pink and yellow are stretching it a bit as the eggs are really just light shades of brown. It takes a lot of imagination to perceive a light brown egg as being pink or yellow, but the green and blue shell colors are quite real.

While the terms "Araucana" and "Ameraucana" refer to actual breeds, the term "Easter Egg Chicken" actually refers to "Araucana Mix" and is not an accepted breed. Persons purchasing chicks of this breed should be aware that unlike true Araucanas or Ameracanas, the only thing that qualifies a bird as being an Easter Egg Chicken is that it was hatched from a green or blue shelled egg. In that case, you really have no idea of what you are getting as the father could have been a Rhode Island Red or some other unrelated breed. Chicks sold as "Easter Egg Chicks" are seldom from pure stock.

Blue shells were the original color and are directly linked with the Araucana stocks brought to the United States in the 1920's. Crossbreeding gave them a diverse genetic base from which they evolved into the Ameraucana breed with uniform and distinctive features. Unlike their Araucana ancestors, the Ameraucana has been bred to have a beard and a tail. They were admitted to the Standard in 1984.

Ameraucana Photo Album

Photo of  Red Ameraucana Hen

Copyright 1995-2004 by Dennis Hawkins, All Rights Reserved.