Looking for the perfect addition to your backyard flock? You might want to consider Easter Egger Chickens. These birds are known for laying eggs in various colors from pale blue to aqua to green.
Not only are they charming and full of personality, but they’re also easy to care for. They’re also one of the most affordable and easy-going backyard chicken breeds.
Let’s dive into everything you need to know about Easter Egger Chickens, from their appearance and personality to how to care for them.
Keep reading to find out if this breed is the right fit for you.
What Are Easter Egger Chickens?
The origin and background of this unique breed
Easter Egger Chickens aren’t a pure breed but are a mix of chicken breeds, often with Ameraucana or Araucana in their lineage. This mix gives them unique traits and the ability to lay colorful eggs.
They originated in the United States and have become extremely popular among backyard poultry keepers because of their egg-laying capabilities and easy-going nature.
The difference between Easter Eggers and other chicken breeds like Ameraucanas and Araucanas
While Easter Eggers shares some similarities with Ameraucanas and Araucanas, such as the blue egg gene, they differ in many aspects.
Ameraucanas and Araucanas are standardized breeds with specific traits like feather color, body size, and egg color.
Easter Eggers, on the other hand, come in various feather colors and patterns, and there’s no standard for their appearance or the color of eggs they will lay. This makes each Easter Egger Chicken unique, adding a layer of fun and surprise to your flock.
Appearance and Characteristics
Physical traits that make Easter Egger Chickens special
Regarding appearance, Easter Egger Chickens are like a mixed bag of surprises. Because they’re a crossbreed, there’s a wide range of feather colors and patterns you might see.
Some have tufts of feathers around their ears, while others may have feathered legs. You’ll also see a variety of beak and eye colors.
What’s guaranteed is that no two Easter Eggers will look exactly the same, making each bird a unique member of your flock.
Personality traits and social behavior of Easter Eggers
Easter Eggers are known for being friendly and easy-going birds. They’re generally good with kids and can get along well with other types of chickens.
These chickens are also known for their curiosity and intelligence. They enjoy exploring their surroundings but are also content to forage quietly or spend time in the coop.
They’re not overly noisy, making them a good choice for backyards in more urban settings.
Easter Eggers are usually very friendly and curious birds. They are often quite willing to interact with humans, especially if they have been handled regularly as chicks. They might follow you around the yard, and some might even enjoy being held or petted.
They’re generally quieter than other breeds, making them more pleasant to have around if you have close neighbors.
Tip: If you want to make your Easter Eggers even more sociable, start by handling them gently when they are young. The more positive their interactions with humans early on, the more likely they are to be friendly as adults.
Treats like fruits, vegetables, or special chicken treats can also help in bonding. Hold the treat in your hand and let them come to you.
Over time, this positive association with humans will make them more friendly and easier to handle.
Colors of Easter Egger Eggs
The range of egg colors you can expect
The highlight of having Easter Egger Chickens has to be the colorful eggs they lay. While blue and green are the most common colors, you might also find shades of pink, cream, and occasionally brown.
The exact color will vary from bird to bird, but it’s important to understand that if a bird lays green eggs, it will do so its whole life.
If a specific eggshell color is paramount to you, Easter Eggers are not a good choice!
The science behind the different egg colors
The variety in egg color is mainly due to the ‘oocyanin’ pigment, which comes from the chicken’s bile duct and is applied to the eggshell as the egg travels through the hen’s oviduct.
Chickens with the blue egg gene, often inherited from Ameraucana or Araucana breeds, have this special pigment. Because Easter Eggers are a mix of breeds, the pigment gets expressed in various ways, leading to the range of colors.
It’s a fascinating bit of science that adds a lot of fun to raising these chickens.
The Downsides of Easter Egger Chickens and Who They’re Not For
While Easter Egger Chickens have many perks, like their colorful eggs and friendly personalities, they also come with some downsides that could make them unsuitable for certain chicken keepers.
Firstly, if you’re looking for a breed with consistent egg production, Easter Eggers may not be the best choice. Their laying schedule is not steady when compared to high-production breeds like the White Leghorn. If you rely on selling eggs for income, this could be a drawback.
Another thing to consider is that Easter Eggers are not a standardized breed, meaning they can vary widely in both appearance and temperament. If uniformity in your flock is important to you for showing or breeding, this lack of consistency might be problematic.
Their eggshell color is also not standardized, so you can’t count on one laying blue eggs or green eggs. You’ll get what you get.
Lastly, if you’re interested in entering your birds into poultry shows, Easter Eggers are not a recognized breed, so they won’t be eligible for breed-specific competitions. They may still compete in mixed-breed or “any other variety” categories, but this could be limiting if you have competitive aspirations.
Caring for your easter eggers
Caring for Easter Egger Chickens is pretty straightforward and similar to caring for other backyard chicken breeds.
They need a secure and clean coop to protect them from predators and the elements. Fresh water and balanced chicken feed are essential for their well-being.
While they enjoy foraging, they also benefit from some supplemental treats like fruits and vegetables.
Regular health checks for parasites and other common chicken ailments are also a good practice.
Overall, if you’ve taken care of chickens before, you’ll find Easter Eggers to be relatively easy to manage.
They might be right for you
Easter Egger Chickens offer a unique blend of qualities that make them a fantastic addition to any backyard flock. From their playful personalities to their colorful eggs, these birds bring joy and excitement to the everyday routine of chicken care.
They are generally friendly, curious, and relatively easy to take care of, making them suitable for both beginners and experienced chicken keepers.
While they may not be the best choice for every situation, their pros far outweigh the cons for most people. I
f you’re looking to add some character and a splash of color to your backyard, Easter Eggers are a wonderful choice.
If you’re keen to dive deeper into the world of Easter Eggers, there are plenty of resources available.
Books like “Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens” cover general chicken care and include information on mixed breeds like Easter Eggers.
Websites such as BackYard Chickens offer forums where you can connect with other Easter Egger enthusiasts to share tips, stories, and advice.
Places to buy Easter Egger Chickens or hatching eggs
When it comes to buying Easter Eggers, you have a few options. Local farm supply stores often carry Easter Egger chicks, especially in the spring.
You can buy mail-order chicks at most hatcheries, including my favorite, MyPetChicken.com
If you’re interested in hatching your own, eBay and poultry-specific online marketplaces often sell Easter Egger hatching eggs.