The Easter Egger chicken breed is a hybrid chicken known for the way it produces a variety of differently colored eggs.
The bird is not actually a breed of chicken. Because of its hardy and friendly nature, it is easy to care for and is one of the most popular varieties for beginners and experienced chicken keepers.
If you plan to add these adorable birds to your flock, then you have come to the right place. This article will discuss everything you need to know about Easter Eggers. Read on to learn more.
Background And History
The Easter Egger is not truly a chicken breed. Instead, it is a cross between two different breeds of chicken.
The cross is usually between Ameraucana and Araucana birds. However, the Easter Eggers are mixed and can be produced if other breeds are crossed with either the Araucana or Ameraucana.
The mix produces a bird that does not meet a particular breed standard. Instead, the resulting chicken will display a variety of patterns and colors.
Araucana breed originated from South America but was later brought to the USA. They are widely known for laying beautiful blue eggs.
However, a disruptive gene may make many of their eggs fail to hatch. This has made the breed rare, and most chicken keepers prefer raising the Easter Eggers, which can also lay blue eggs.
On the other hand, the Ameraucana breed was bred to be the solution to the unhealthy eggs concern of the Araucana.
They were created after the Araucanas were bred with other chicken breeds to eliminate the problematic gene from the Araucanas.
Easter Eggers have inherited appearance features and traits from both sides of their ancestors. Because of this, many of them look quite different from one another.
However, they have a few similar characteristics or features that make them a popular chicken breed.
Unlike most other varieties of chickens, the popularity of the Easter Eggers has hardly experienced a decrease since the rise of the industrial chicken.
Breed Standard And Appearance
- Roosters weigh 4 to 6 pounds while hens weigh 3 to 5 pounds
- Easter Eggers may be rumpless
- They are available in a variety of colors
The Araucanas have two main distinctive features that set them apart from other breeds. First, they are known as rumpless birds.
The breed has no tail and no coccyx, which gives the chicken a distinctly rounded appearance. They also have soft feathers (tufts) that protrude from their cheeks.
Easter Eggers may sometimes display both of these traits. However, because they are more or less a mixed bag of genetics, chicken keepers will rarely know what their Easter Egger chicks will appear like.
Besides, they do not have a standard appearance since they are a hybrid and not truly a breed. They usually have a tail, although some of them may not have.
The chickens more commonly have a beard but may also sometimes display ear tufts. In addition, they can have any type of comb varying in size and shape.
However, most of them usually have a single comb. These chickens usually have red wattles that can be quite small.
You will find them in various solid colors, with their feathers also displaying different patterns. In addition, their legs will also vary in color and are mostly not feathered.
Generally, Easter Eggers are not large chickens, although they have a round and plump body shape. The birds also have white or red earlobes.
Personality And Temperament
Easter Eggers are known for their non-aggressive natures and friendly personalities. Because of this, they are good for beginners and are incredibly a popular choice for coops and backyard farms.
They will enjoy being patted and will not mind being picked up. Therefore, they are easy to relate to and handle.
It might take them some time to get used to their new environment, but they will even sit in your lap or eat out of your hand when they get comfortable.
Because of their friendly nature, they are perfect for families with children. Besides, these chickens’ energetic and inquisitive personalities make them a perfect addition to any backyard flock.
The Easter Eggers are docile and not easily flustered. They will not like pecking fights or getting into squabbles with other birds in the flock.
However, other birds in the flock may bully or pick on them because of their gentle nature. Therefore, be sure that other birds in your flock are gentle too before adding your Easter Eggers.
It can be better if you keep them in a backyard flock solely made up of Easter Eggers. They are also curious chickens and may need chicken toys to keep them entertained.
In addition, they are generally quiet and can be kept in an urban setting without disturbing the neighbors. However, like roosters of many chicken breeds, the Easter Egger roosters may be quite aggressive and noisy.
Easter Eggers are prolific layers and can produce about four or five eggs in a week. This translates to about 210 to 280 eggs in a year.
Their eggs are normally extra large in size. The birds will need a proper diet to maintain their egg-laying ability.
These prolific layers can lay a variety of differently colored eggs, depending on the genetic makeup of the hen.
Their eggs can be pink, a range of brown tones, cream, or blue. However, each Easter Egger hen can only lay eggs of one color.
For instance, if a hen lays blue eggs, she will only lay blue eggs for her entire lifespan. If you want to collect a variety of colored eggs from your coop, you will need to keep a variety of Easter Egger hens with different genetic makeups.
Easter Eggers are not known to be broody chickens. They will not show much interest in raising chicks or sitting on a nest.
They can be a perfect choice for chicken keepers who are only interested in gaining eggs to eat instead of hatching eggs.
However, if you have a rooster and you want to raise Easter Egger chicks, you can place fertilized eggs in an incubator to hatch.
Health Issues And Care
The Easter Egger is a hardy chicken breed that will hardly encounter any particular illnesses or diseases. They are also easy to care for and will not require more special attention than other chicken breeds.
However, they may sometimes be susceptible to parasites like mites because of their tufts or beards.
You can keep down the risk of mites by spraying your birds with a repellent. In addition, you can keep your coop clean and free of mites by changing out the bedding in the nest areas and coop more frequently.
Araucanas have a genetic defect that may cause the beaks of some chickens to grow crookedly. Their beaks may cross instead of lining up, and the condition may even worsen as the chicken ages.
The defect can make it difficult for some birds to drink and eat without assistance. However, the bird can live a long and healthy life with the condition if it is provided with the necessary care.
You can help chickens with this defect by trimming their beaks and adjusting the height of water and food stations in order to make drinking and eating easier.
Luckily, this condition is relatively rare for Easter Eggers because they have a more diverse genetic pool.
Raising Easter Egger Chickens
As mentioned earlier, Easter Eggers are quite easy to care for. They will tolerate confinement in coops well. They are also good and foraging and will appreciate the opportunity to free-range if there is enough space.
Free-ranging will allow your birds to explore their environment as well as supplement their daily diet. It will bring new and vital vitamins and minerals into their food supply.
Your Easter Eggers will also do well in different environments. They will tolerate heat as long as they are provided with a constant supply of water and adequate shade. Besides, they can tolerate winter months and cold weather.
You will need to ensure that your birds have straw or hay to roost in and keep them warm. In addition, you will have to check for any signs of frostbite. However, frostbite is not a common case since they generally have small combs and wattles.
These chickens are quite inexpensive and readily available. An Easter Egger chick will cost $5 or even less. This makes them a good and affordable option for many backyard chicken lovers.
However, you will need to be careful when purchasing your chicks so that you do not end up buying a different breed. You should consider buying your chicks from a reputable breeder to be on the safe side.
Easter Eggers have been popular coop and backyard chickens for many years. They are gentle, curious, and friendly birds, making them perfect for beginner chicken keepers or families with children. They are also prolific layers and will ensure that you have a constant supply of quality large eggs throughout the year.