The Easter Egger is a much loved hybrid chicken.
They are extremely popular because you are never quite sure what you are going to get in the way of plumage or egg color.
As their nickname Rainbow layers suggests they are layers of eggs with colored shells.
She makes a wonderful addition to small backyard flocks as they get on well with children and tolerate being held and cuddled.
If you want to learn more about this unique chicken then keep reading to learn all about them…
Contents and Quick Navigation
- Easter Egger Overview
- Size and Weight
- Color Varieties
- What Is It Like To Own A Easter Egger?
- Egg Production
- Noise Levels
- Facts About This Breed
- Easter Egger Chicken Care Guide
- Health Issues
- Coop Setup
- Run and Roaming
- Easter Egger Breed History
Easter Egger Overview
The Easter Egger chicken has a very large following.
Children absolutely adore them as do regular chicken folk that want different colored eggs.
They are all so different!
Some have muffs and beards whilst others do not – some even have tails.
They are definitely a one of a kind chicken.
Whilst some may look down on the humble Easter Egger, she is a beautiful chicken that gives you a great bang for your buck.
These hybrids are robust, healthy and very rarely suffer from anything more serious than parasites in their early years.
They can tolerate a wide variety of climates (from desert to snow) too.
Just make sure to give them the basics of shelter, food and water and they are good to go. While they may not be recognized by Poultry Associations in the long run that could be a good thing. It is often the case that birds groomed for show are not the best layers or performers in the pasture.
These chickens can certainly hold their own in egg laying department and make a good all purpose hen.
|Easter Egger Chicken|
|Weight:||Hens (4lb) Roosters (5lb).|
|Egg Production:||4 per week.|
|Egg Color:||Typically blue.|
|Known For Broodiness:||No.|
|Good With Children:||Yes.|
|Cost of Chicken:||$4 per chick.|
Why We Love This Breed
- They lay beautiful large eggs in a variety of colors, including green and blue.
- Easter Eggers are not known to go broody.
- She is a friendly and sweet hen that is great around children.
- These chickens are able to tolerate the cold well due to their pea comb.
- You can find them in most hatcheries.
This is definitely an unconventional chicken.
It is uncommon for two Easter Eggers to have exactly the same plumage.
Starting from the head they all have pea combs and wattles. Wattles can be large or almost non-existent.
They may have ear tufts or not.
Eyes can be a reddish bay, yellow or orange color and their beak is stout and generally horn colored.
They may have muffs or beards and some may even have a tail present.
Legs can vary from yellow to a greenish/slate color and sometimes have feathers.
As this breed is not a recognized by the American Poultry Association or the American Bantam Association there are no official breed standards.
There really is no surefire way to tell the roosters apart from the hens.
It is commonly thought that roosters have more white on their plumage and that their coloration is more random and blotchy. Whereas hens have a more evenly colored plumage.
However the best way to tell the difference is by observing their behaviors. Roosters have a lot more attitude, are more curious and walk around almost upright. While the hens will be quieter, more cautious and try to keep a lower profile.
At 7-12 weeks the hackles and sickles of the boys should start to be noticeable.
Size and Weight
Although they are considered a standard sized chicken they are a touch on the small side:
- Hens are around 4lb with roosters around 5lb.
However you might occasionally find one that is slightly larger.
There are bantams available too (hens are around 26oz and roosters are 30oz).
As noted before their plumage color is widely variable with no two birds exactly the same.
Easter Eggers plumage can take on many colors and hues. They can be white, black, brown or any mixture in between – there is no set pattern for this breed.
Feathering may be tight or loose.
What Is It Like To Own A Easter Egger?
Easter Egger chickens enjoy being active.
You will find them rummaging around the yard picking up tasty tidbits and exploring.
They are curious and friendly hens that will follow you around looking for handouts or helping with chores.
Of course one of the main attractions of this chicken is their eggs.
As a relative of the Araucana and Ameraucana they carry the blue egg gene.
This is a very unique trait that only a few breeds have.
Chickens that have this gene lay eggs that are blue shelled both outside and inside.
The particular gene responsible for the pigmentation was altered by a virus several hundred years ago in a few breeds in China (the Lushi and Dongxiang) and South America (Araucana or Mapuche).
The oocyanin pigment is spread evenly throughout the eggshell resulting in pale blue eggs.
In Easter Eggers the oocyanin colors the shell first then a second pigment (protoporphyrin) is laid on top resulting in green or olive colored eggs.
They are known as calm non-aggressive birds.
Once they have settled into your flock they will be docile enough to eat from your hand or sit in your lap.
They are not shy with humans and really are a family oriented chicken.
She may even approach you for treats or a cuddle!
They are happy-go-lucky chickens that always seem to be cheerful and pleased to see you.
Unfortunately because they are so docile it can mean they get picked upon by more breeds. It is best if they can be penned with other gentle souls such as Cochins, Polish or Faverolles. They are incredibly hardy so can tolerate both hot and cold climates equally well. Just make sure they have enough food, water and shelter.
Curiosity is another of their traits – they like nothing better than poking around to see what they might find in the way of snacks.
They are a decent producer of eggs and can lay around 4 each week.
This puts them into the 200+ eggs per year category!
Not as prolific as some but really not too shabby.
Depending on the individual chicken they should reach their point of lay around 18-20 weeks.
The color of the egg can be nywhere from blue to green, olive or light pink and shades in between. However she will only lay one color through her lifetime.
|Eggs Per Week:||4 Eggs.|
|Color:||Blue, green or olive.|
Overall they are fairly quiet chickens.
Because of this they are suitable in urban settings.
The usual loudness comes with the egg song and predator alerts, otherwise they chatter quietly.
Facts About This Breed
- They are technically not considered a true breed.
- These chickens carry a gene called enocyanin that allows them to lay blue eggs.
- Many have beards and ear tufts.
- Since there are no breed standards they can come in a variety of shapes and colors.
- They also come in bantam size.
Easter Egger Chicken Care Guide
Easter Eggers are healthy and robust chickens.
They have a pretty deep gene pool so rarely are there any genetic issues to speak of.
The usual chicken parasites (lice and mites) can be expected. They can be treated by regular feather checks and treatment as needed or by schedule.
You should watch for intestinal worms – if you see them in the droppings you need to treat the chicken to remove the infestation. Taking a fecal sample to the veterinarian once every six months is a good idea and will help you keep on top of health issues.
Their feeding regimen is the same as other chickens.
Chicks will need 20% or higher starter feed for the first several weeks of life
Then at 6 weeks or so they should change over to a grower feed which is 16-18% protein.
Finally at 20 weeks they transition to 16% layer feed. At this point they should always have access to oyster shell in a separate container – the same applies to insoluble grit.
Lastly they should always have access to clean and fresh water.
These chickens are a bit on the small side, so the 4 square feet per chicken rule will do very nicely for them.
As for roosting space, 8-10 inches each will suit them just fine.
However they are on the small side and not at all aggressive. So try to make sure there is enough roosts for them to be away from the bullies if they want to be.
Nesting boxes that are 12×12 inch will be fine for this breed. One nesting box for every three birds should be sufficient, although there will always be a favorite box that all want to use at precisely the same time!
Run and Roaming
This breed likes to free range and they are good foragers.
Allowing them time to free range will not only supplement their diet but give them exercise and mental stimulation. They like to help around the garden so put them to work at turning over a bed or pecking through the weeds.
However as docile and non-aggressive birds they tolerate confinement too.
They should have a minimum of 8 square feet per chicken in their outside pen. If they are kept in a run then provide them with boredom busters such as leaf piles, cabbage pinata and other stimulating things.
If they are penned with more assertive chickens then make sure there is enough room for them to escape from the bullies.
As always the more room the better.
Easter Egger Breed History
The Easter Egger has a pretty short family history.
In order to understand their history you need to know about the Araucana and Ameraucana.
The Araucana originated in South America and is sometimes called the Mapuche chicken after the indigenous tribe that originally kept them. The Ameraucana is an American breed that was bred from the Araucana.
Ameraucanas were created from the Araucana and other breeds with the intention of eliminating the Araucana’s lethal gene.
Both the Araucana and Ameraucana breed true – this means that their offspring will look like their parents.
The Easter Egger is a product of either the Araucana or Ameraucana that has been bred with another breed.
Although they retain the blue egg gene they are not classified as a true breed.
Ear tufts, muffs, beards and no-rump can appear in some chicks and not in others – it simply depends upon the particular genetic code of that chick’s parents.
Easter Eggers started to make an appearance in the late 1970s and now have become one of the most popular backyard chickens in the US.
They are easy to care for, friendly and lay a colored egg – very all positive traits!
All things considered the Easter Egger is a great addition to any flock.
She lays well and their egg color will always add some pizazz to your egg carton!
They are friendly, docile and enjoy exploring the yard.
She can also be left to free range and forage to supplement their diet which in turns reduces the feed bill.
They are fairly inexpensive to buy as chicks and once you have them you can always breed more chicks from them if you desire.
These delightful birds always seem to be cheerful so if you are looking for a family oriented chicken you really cannot go wrong with the Easter Eggers.
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below…
Easter Egger: What To Know About Rainbow Egg Layers? ›
Some of the most popular crosses are called Easter Egger or Olive Egger chickens. Easter Eggers can lay a variety of egg colors, from blue to green and sometimes even pink. Olive Eggers are aptly named for the olive-colored eggs they lay and are a result of crossing brown egg layers with blue egg layers.Can you tell what color egg an Easter Egger will lay? ›
Some of the most popular crosses are called Easter Egger or Olive Egger chickens. Easter Eggers can lay a variety of egg colors, from blue to green and sometimes even pink. Olive Eggers are aptly named for the olive-colored eggs they lay and are a result of crossing brown egg layers with blue egg layers.What you need to know about this chicken Easter Egger? ›
“Easter Eggers” are mixed-breed chickens that have been crossed at some point with Araucanas or Ameraucanas. This means that the body type, comb, and other features will often resemble those of one of these breeds, but the egg color and feather color/pattern can vary widely.What is a rainbow egg layer? ›
Written by Chris Lesley. The Easter Egger is a much loved hybrid chicken. They are extremely popular because you are never quite sure what you are going to get in the way of plumage or egg color. As their nickname Rainbow layers suggests they are layers of eggs with colored shells.Are Easter Eggers good egg layers? ›
Easter Eggers are notoriously excellent egg layers, and lay at least four eggs a week most of the time. A common misconception of Easter Eggers is that they will lay a multitude of different colored eggs. Whichever color the first egg that your Easter Egger lays is will be the only color they lay.How can you predict what color egg your chicken will lay? ›
There is no outer ear, such as we humans have, but chickens do have earlobes which can be clearly seen. The colour of the lobe varies with the breed of the chicken, ranging from white to almost black. Chickens with white earlobes lay white eggs exclusively while birds with dark lobes lay brown eggs.How can you predict the color of a chickens egg? ›
The breed of the chicken determines eggshell color. The color of a hen's ear area is the color indicator, with a white or light spot meaning white eggs. Usually, white hens lay white eggs, and brown hens lay brown eggs.What age do Easter Eggers start laying? ›
On average, young female chickens start laying eggs or “come into lay” around 6 months of age.What do full grown Easter Egger chickens look like? ›
Appearance. The Easter Egger can literally be a mixed bag of features. They can have any comb, with single and pea being the most common (depends on their parents). Their ear lobes can be any color but are usually red or white, and occasionally a bird will have ear tufts.Why are my Easter Eggers not laying? ›
Chickens stop laying eggs for a variety of reasons. Hens may lay fewer eggs due to light, stress, poor nutrition, molt or age. Some of these reasons are natural responses, while others can be fixed with simple changes and egg laying can return to normal.
How to make rainbow dyed eggs? ›
In four small bowls, mix together 1 cup of water with 2 tablespoons of vinegar and 15 drops of food coloring. Dip the egg whites into each bowl of food coloring. Allow eggs to soak until the desired color is reached. Remove from food coloring and dry off with a clean paper towel.Why is my egg rainbow? ›
If the egg white is pink or iridescent this is an indication of spoilage due to Pseudomonas bacteria. Some of these bacteria can make us sick when eaten and they will produce a greenish, fluorescent, water-soluble color. Also, a spoiled egg (cooked or raw) will have an unpleasant odor once you crack it open.Do rainbow eggs taste different? ›
But do eggs with different colored shells taste different? No. Eggshell color has nothing to do with taste. Egg tastes only change because of a hen's diet and the egg's freshness.What is the number 1 best egg laying chicken? ›
1. Leghorn. Any discussion of the best egg-producing chickens must include the Leghorn. Named after a town in Italy where the breed partially originated, Leghorns are well-known for their ability to efficiently convert feed into eggs 1—a fact that has made them the stars of America's egg industry.Can Easter Eggers lay different colored eggs every day? ›
Easter Eggers can lay multiple different egg colors such as blue, green, white, pink, tan or dark brown eggs. But one thing to keep in mind, the color eggs one chicken lays will stay that same color throughout her lifetime. Their egg colors don't change.What is the best Easter Egger? ›
Araucanas. If you've been thinking about raising a few chickens for eggs, consider the Araucana. Although there are a lot of great egg-layers out there, such as Rhode Island Reds and Leghorns, few chickens are as delightful, especially if you have children. This breed was originally developed in Chile.What color egg is dominant? ›
There are only two genetically determined egg colors: white and blue. The blue egg gene is dominant. Brown eggs are produced by an allele that produces a brown coating over a white egg. Thus, green eggs come from a brown coating over a blue egg.Does the color of the egg depend on the color of the chicken? ›
They get their color from the hen's genetics as the egg forms.” Archer said, more often than not, chickens with lighter earlobes also have white feathers and produce white eggs. Those with colored feathers and darker earlobes will likely produce colored eggs.Does chicken leg color determine egg color? ›
In general, the leg—or shank—color is a genetic trait that is (spoiler alert) not directly related to egg color. Rather, it's determined by a series of traits that interact, including plumage traits.What age do Easter Eggers get spurs? ›
Spurs are most likely to show up on roosters but hens can have them. And all chicks will have a little bump where the spur might grow. Right now I have a Cuckoo Maran with big old spurs, unrelated but shes a great mom. They don't grow in until around 3-8 months so I don't put a lot of importance on them at all.
Can Easter Eggers handle cold weather? ›
Easter Eggers are Hardy Birds
They can handle cold winters and also do pretty well in the heat. What is this? They have small combs that make frost bite less likely in the cold.
Birds usually start to lay at around five months (20-21 weeks) of age and continue to lay for 12 months (52 weeks) on average, laying fewer eggs as they near the moulting period. The typical production cycle lasts about 17 months (72 weeks) and involves three distinct phases, as follows.What is the most common Easter Egger egg color? ›
It's no surprise that the most popular breed for laying springy green eggs is aptly named the Easter Egger. Their eggs tend to be extra large and can range in color from teal, to green, and even light pink! These chickens make great family pets due to their cuddly nature and tolerance of small children.
However, here are some additional tips that can be helpful for sexing young Easter Egger chickens: Roosters: Tend to have separate colors for their head and neck plumage, often more splotchy coloring, pointy and longer feathers, and a redder comb. Hens: More even color pattern, rounded feathers, small comb & wattles.What is the most common Easter Egger color? ›
There is no one color that Easter Egger chickens lay. The most common colors range in shade from blue, blue-green, olive green, browns, and even pink. These colors range in vibrance and shade, resulting in a beautiful selection of nicely-colored eggs.How can I increase egg production in layers? ›
- Tip #1. Introduce birds to their new environment one to two weeks prior to lay.
- Tip #2. Increase the amount of feed or the energy content of the diet. ...
- Tip #3. Ensure proper feeder design. ...
- Tip #4. Adjust the feed formulation to meet higher calcium requirements.
- Tip #5. Ensure strict biosecurity.
Stimulating hen to lay more eggs in winter season
Trace elements like iodized potassium (10 mg/week/hen) are also fed. More fodder (5 times/day) mixed with boiled pumpkin (in spring season, 4gm/day/hen) is fed and warm water is provided for drinking. This way has been reported to stimulate 15% more egg production.
A dirty coop can cause healthy chickens to stop laying eggs. A few animals are intelligent enough to rebel against their owners when they are left to live in dirty conditions. A dirty environment, however, will cause chickens to stop producing eggs.How do you make multicolor Easter eggs? ›
3 Mix 1/2 cup boiling water, 1 teaspoon vinegar and 10 to 20 drops food color in a cup to achieve desired colors. Repeat for each color. Dip hard-cooked eggs in dye for about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon, wire egg holder or tongs to add and remove eggs from dye.Can you color eggs without shells? ›
Mix 20 drops of food coloring with ½ cup water in a mug or small cup. Place egg into colored water and allow them to sit for two hours. Remove eggs from the colored water and rinse well. Slice in half to reveal the beautiful rings around the whites of the cooked egg!
How do you color eggs quickly? ›
Make a dye using food coloring by adding 1 teaspoon of white vinegar and 40 drops of food coloring to a ½ cup of boiling water. Pour the solution along the inside of the glass until a quarter of the egg is submerged, then allow it to sit for 5 minutes.Why is my egg yolk neon? ›
If you see any of these colors, discard the egg immediately. Off-color egg white, green or iridescent – Spoilage due to Pseudomonas bacteria, a very common type of bacteria that healthy people often carry without knowing it. This bacteria produces a greenish, fluorescent, water-soluble pigment in the egg white.Why is my egg yolk neon orange? ›
The yolk color actually comes from what the hens eat: a diet rich in carotenoids, the natural yellow-orange pigment found in fruits (cantaloupe), vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, and kale), and flowers. No artificial color additives are allowed in chicken feed, so any orange yolks you spot come from a pure source.Why did my egg turn pink? ›
Pink or pearly egg white (albumen) indicates spoilage due to Pseudomonas bacteria. Some of these microorganisms -- which produce a greenish, fluorescent, water-soluble pigment -- are harmful to humans. The color of yolk varies in shades of yellow depending upon the diet of the hen.What are the rarest eggs to eat? ›
Guinea fowl eggs are rare because these birds only lay about 60 eggs each year. Because of its rarity, a guinea fowl egg is a tasty treat in certain parts of the world. A guinea hen egg has a thick shell that's the color of oatmeal with speckles of brown.Are purple eggs real? ›
There are not any naturally purple eggs. Still, plenty of hens lay dark brown eggs covered in a thick layer of purple bloom, making the eggs look lavender, purple, or plum in color. Some naturally occurring purple eggs come from chickens, but this purple color can be washed or scrubbed away.What color eggs are the most expensive? ›
Brown and white eggs are nutritionally identical. The only reason brown eggs cost more is because all that brown pigment takes more food – and more money – to produce.What chickens lay 300 eggs a year? ›
Ameraucanas & Easter Eggers
These breeds lay up to 300 eggs per year, and as a bonus, they're colorful. Ameraucanas lay bright blue eggs, and Easter Eggers can lay blue, green, cream, or even pink eggs. These breeds tend to be more flighty and frantic than other breeds, unless you handle them a lot as chicks.
Popular breeds that lay colored eggs include Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red, Ameraucana and Welsummer chickens. Fun fact: You may be able to tell the shell color by the hen's earlobe. Hens with white earlobes typically lay white or lightly tinted eggs.What is the friendliest egg laying chicken? ›
Silkies adapt well to confinement and even make good house pets because of their laid-back, docile personality! And Silkie hens are known to be good mothers and will eagerly hatch out any eggs you give them!
What age do Easter Eggers stop laying? ›
Easter Egger Chicken
As for broodiness, you'll find that the Easter Egger rarely goes broody, which is even better if you keep them for their eggs. They've specifically been bred for laying colored eggs, so breeders have worked hard to reduce broodiness in the breed.Are Easter Eggers good layers? ›
Are Easter Eggers Good Layers? Yes! They're excellent layers who will give you lovely, large eggs. The color of the eggs will depend on the genetics of the individual chicken.How much is an Easter Egger hen worth? ›
Easter Eggers are not purebred chickens, but rather a hybrid breed that is created by crossing specific breeds of chickens to produce blue or green eggs. The breeds commonly used in creating Easter Eggers include Ameraucanas, Araucanas, and sometimes other blue-egg-laying breeds such as Legbars.What color will my Easter Egger chick be? ›
There is no one color that Easter Egger chickens lay. The most common colors range in shade from blue, blue-green, olive green, browns, and even pink.Why is my Easter Egger laying brown eggs? ›
The Disappointment of Brown Laying “Olive” Eggers
Light and medium brown eggs are sometimes the result of attempting to use Easter Eggers to breed Olive Eggers or using roosters who do not carry dark enough egg genes. Most experienced breeders know this and use only dark gene carrying roos.
Unfortunately, Easter Eggers cannot lay purple eggs.
Yet, they can lay a variety of other colors, including light blue, sea-foam green, dark green, and pink. There are no known chicken breeds that produce purple eggs.
Ameraucana and Araucana chickens both originated in South America, specifically the region where Chile is today. Eventually, these breeds found their way to the United States in the 1930s, where they have since become the only two blue egg laying breeds to be accepted by the American Poultry Association.What chicken lays purple eggs? ›
“A Chilean Tinamou is a chicken-like bird that lays a dark (and very shiny) purple egg. They are not actually a chicken though, but some people do keep them as part of their backyard flock.
At what age do Easter Eggers start laying? ›
On average, young female chickens start laying eggs or “come into lay” around 6 months of age.Can a brown egg layer lay a white egg? ›
It's a common misconception that the colour of a bird's feathers influences the colour of the eggs that they lay. The truth is feather colour has no relation to eggshell colour. Are brown eggs better than white eggs? Several studies have found that shell colour has no significant effect on egg quality and composition.What are the rarest chicken egg colors? ›
When it comes to the different eggshell colors available, green eggs are perhaps the rarest. Only a few breeds lay green eggs, and many of them are newer to the chicken world as they're crosses between top egg layers, like Leghorns and Ameraucanas.What is a starlight green Egger? ›
Starlight Green Egger™
This breed was created by crossing the Prairie Bluebell Egger™ with a brown egg layer, the result is a chicken breed that lays high quantities of only green eggs.
Here's proof that it's totally possible for one chicken to lay multiple colors of eggs. As you can see, some days they have faint speckles. Some days are shinier than others. Some days the egg shell is darker, some days it's lighter.Can Easter Eggers lay cream eggs? ›
Easter Eggers can have varied feathering, comb type, leg color, and egg color, though most of them lay blue eggs. Some Easter Eggers will lay green, olive, tan, or cream-colored eggs.