Saturday, April 19, 2014

An egg of a different color

Have you heard about the Easter Egger chicken?

The Araucana breed was imported to the US in the 1920s . They are rump-less and have ear tufts. Some of the original Araucanas had the ear tuft gene, which was lethal when the chick gets a gene from each parent and will die in the shell before hatching. The gene that causes the blue/green egg color is dominant.

In the 1970s the Ameraucana was developed by crossing the Araucanas with other breeds: retaining the egg color, having a tail but without the ear tufts. Now many people and hatcheries are breeding the Ameraucanas to a variety of other chickens. 

"Easter Egger" eggs
This results in the Easter Egger--a chicken with many different sizes and colors. The egg color ranges from blue to green to olive to white or brown.

As always, post questions in the comment section.

--Dale, aka Turkeyman