Ameraucana chickens come with some confusion in the chicken world. Their name and origin are related to the Araucana chicken breed, yet they look just like Easter Egger chickens. We’re here to clear up all the confusion surrounding this wonderful breed.
The Ameraucana is best known for their wonderful blue eggs, and hard to spell name!
The breed comes in several beautiful colors which adds variety to your egg basket and your flock. Beloved for their quirky personalities and funny looking faces, Ameraucanas are a highly sought after breed.
We’ve put together a quick and simple breed spotlight so you can get the facts without the fuss.
Keep reading to find out if the Ameraucana breed is the right chicken for you.
Ameraucana Chicken Breed Profile
Ameraucana Chickens Personality:
Ameraucanas are smart birds with varied personalities in each bird, much to the delight of their flock owner.
They like human interaction but are not considered a lap chicken due to their dislike of being picked up. However, the bantam version is known to be more friendly birds, and make great pets.
This breed tends to be flighty and they’re very fast, which is a great feature for free ranging!
Hitting in the middle of the pecking order, Ameraucanas like to socialize with only their kind and are rarely broody. When we had Ameraucanas in our flock, we found them to be very solitary birds without any friends. They were good foragers and always alerted the rest of the flock to danger, but they didn’t exactly have warm personalities.
Ameraucana Chickens Size:
Standard Ameraucana chickens are a medium fowl, they weigh around 6.5 pounds for roosters and 5.5 pounds for hens. They stand 18 inches tall.
Bantam Ameraucanas are much smaller, with hens and roosters weighing under two pounds. These micro-sized birds may be a good choice if you have a very small coop or live in an urban or suburban area.
Ameraucana chickens have both a beard and a muff giving them the look of a well-fed chipmunk in the face.
They have very large eyes that are bay red in color, a long curved beak, and a red pea comb and wattle.
The legs and feet of the breed are usually slate blue or black with four toes on each foot and featherless shanks. However, the bottom of the foot is white as is the chicken’s skin.
The Ameraucana’s unique look gives lots of opportunity for funny and punny chicken names in your flock. Our oldest and favorite Ameraucana was named Gandalf the Grey for her long gray beard and fierce personality.
Ameraucanas come in a wide range of color varieties and two sizes, you could fill out your whole flock with just this one breed and still have a huge range of beautiful chickens to marvel at.
- Blue wheaten
- Brown red
Ameraucanas are dual-purpose breeds, meaning they’re great to raise for both egg production and meat production. This is a popular breed for any homestead, no matter what your goal is in raising chickens.
If you add standard sized Ameraucanas to your backyard flock, make sure the chicken coop has plenty of space for these birds to spread their wings. They’re very active and excitable birds who need the opportunity to run and fly.
Ameraucana hens lay around 3-4 eggs a week, about 170-200 per year. Their egg production is average as far as chickens go, but they make up for it in the beauty of their eggs!
Arguably the best thing about raising this breed is their beautiful blue eggs!
Ameraucana chickens lay medium blue eggs that are bound to add color and cheer to your egg basket! This breed, along with their cousins, Easter Egger chickens, became popular after the famed Martha Stewart shared that she raised the breed for their egg color.
Ameraucanas love to free-range but do just as well in confinement. They have some hindrance in eyesight due to their extramuff feathers so you may have to keep an eye on them.
They also like to fly and do get some height despite being as small as they are.
Best Climate for Ameraucana Chickens:
Ameraucaunas are hardy in cold climates, they’re hefty birds with small pea combs and small or no wattles, so they’re unlikely to suffer from frostbite. They’re one of the best cold hardy chicken breeds you can add to your flock.
Ameraucanas can tolerate hot climates but they’re not the ideal chicken breed if your area has unbearably hot summers. You would have more luck with a svelt chicken with a big comb and wattles, like the Leghorn.
Ameraucana history starts in Chile where Mapuche Indians had two breeds of chickens dating back to a recorded date in the 1500s. The two types, Collonca and Quetero, were bred together to make a new breed, the Araucana.
However, there was a fatal gene flaw in the Araucana breed that caused their chicks to die in the shell.
In the 1920s, the Araucana were imported to the United States. Araucana chickens are a very rare breed that still exist today, though they’re most likely to be seen at a poultry show, and not wandering around backyards. The Araucana breed differs from the Ameraucana, as they have ear tufts and lack abundant tail feathers.
In the 1970s, Mr. Keller from the Pratt Experimental Farm in Pennsylvania tried several combinations of breeding with the Araucana. He was finally was able to get rid of the lethal gene and produced a new type of chicken, called the Ameraucana.
The bantam Ameraucana was recognized first by the American Poultry Association, but the standard size followed suit in the 1980s.
Fun Ameraucana Fact:
Ameraucanas are a rare breed and can be tough to find for purchase. Due to this fact, the average price for a rooster is $18, and a hen goes for $20. Beware of a lower price tag and make sure to check the spelling of what you are purchasing. Several hatcheries and breeders attempt to dupe the public by offering Americana or Americaunas which are not the same bird.
If you don’t want to pay big bucks for an Ameraucana, you may be just as happy adding Easter Egger chickens to your flock. While they’re not pure breeds, they have a very similar look to the Ameraucana and they lay rainbow colored eggs in a variety of shades from blue, pink, and even green eggs!
We raised Easter Eggers for years, they lived very long lives and were exceptionally healthy and cold hardy chickens. We were just as happy with them even though they’re not officially recognized by the American Poultry Association.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the history of Ameraucanas and the interesting characteristics of these wonderful backyard chickens. If you’re interested in getting a true Ameraucana chicken make sure you find a reputable breeder to buy from so you know you’re getting the real deal and not Easter Eggers in disguise!
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