“Ameraucanas” and “Americanas.” If you’re a newbie in the backyard chicken scene, you can be forgiven for muddling these names up or thinking they’re the same thing. The Americana is another name for the Easter Egger chicken, but it’s a different bird from the Ameraucana. So confusing! But let’s clear that up and explore their similarities and differences.
The Ameraucana is a purebred chicken recognized by the APA that lays only blue eggs. Americanas or Easter Eggers are hybrids that can produce eggs in various shades of blue, green, pink, brown, etc. EEs have no standard physical traits, but Ameraucanas must meet the APA standard of perfection.
The confusion between Americanas and Ameraucanas arose because unscrupulous or ignorant sellers market Easter Eggers as “Americanas,” which leads many novices in the backyard chicken scene to believe they have purchased a rare, purebred fowl when they have, in fact, bought a “mutt.” A mutt that possibly lays pretty eggs, but a mutt, no less.
Let’s take a look at the differences and similarities between these two breeds to help you understand more about them.
Ameraucanas Vs. Easter Eggers: Differences And Similarities
Easter Eggers belong to a long line of mutts. Although they are a mix of purebred Ameraucana or Araucana chickens on the one side of the family and any number of other breeds on the other side.
The similarities and differences between EEs and Ameraucanas originate from their intertwined histories with the Araucana chicken.
Ameraucanas Vs. Easter Egger: History
The story begins with the coveted blue eggs. The Araucana chicken came from South America and was the original rumpless blue egg layer.
Many breeders developed versions of what they believed should be the standard for the Araucana. Finally, in 1974 the APA recognized the rumpless tufted variety as the standard.
The breeds with muffs and beards did not make the cut. So some breeders of these varieties got together to develop a chicken that laid blue eggs like the Araucana, with different standards of perfection.
The APA eventually recognized these as a legitimate breed in 1984, and the Ameraucana was born.
The Easter Egger is a mixed breed chicken with one parent who carried the gene for laying blue eggs. Chicken farmers bred the Araucana and Ameraucana birds with so many breeds that there can be no standard.
But these birds are usually pretty and lay many different colored eggs. Each hen will keep to her color, though.
Ameraucana Vs. Easter Egger: Egg Color
Ameraucanas can only lay blue eggs. Although the shade may vary slightly, the color stays within the blue category. Any other color egg would mean the seller swindled you, selling you an Easter Egger instead.
Easter Eggers have the potential to lay blue eggs if one of their parents carries the blue egg gene. But depending on which breeds they have in their lineage, they can also produce green, pink, brown, and even olive-colored eggs.
A hen won’t change the color of the eggs she lays, though. So if she’s an olive-egger, she’s one for life!
Ameraucana Vs. Easter Egger: Color
The APA recognizes nine varieties of the large Ameraucana chicken:
- Black Ameraucanas are entirely black.
- Blue Ameraucanas are gray, and the hackle feathers are a darker color than the rest of the body. Roosters also have darker gray patches on the body.
- Blue Wheaten males look blue underneath and have long golden or orange hackles and saddles. They also have red patches on their wings. The hens have a more uniform coloring.
- Brown Red Ameraucana males are black underneath and have long golden saddle and hackle feathers. In addition, they have dark red patches on the wings. Females have golden or red hackle feathers on their heads.
- Buff Ameraucanas are light brown.
- Self-blue is also called lavender, but the chicken is a uniform gray, unlike the blue variety, which is very patchy.
- The males and females of the Silver Ameraucanas have very different colorings. Males are black with large white patches on their wings and long white and black hackle and saddle feathers. Females are mainly a pretty brown with a light brown or salmon breast and silvery hackle feathers.
- Wheaten Ameraucanas look similar to the Blue Wheaten but have no blue underneath.
- White Ameraucanas are entirely white.
Because Easter Eggers are mixed breeds, there are no standards that limit the colors and patterns of their feathers. You can never select a specific color Easter Egger because they don’t breed true.
This refers to purebred chicks resembling both parents. But these chickens are usually beautiful because of their mix-and-match patterns and colors.
Ameraucana Vs. Easter Egger: Other Features
To tell the difference between a bona fide Ameraucana and an Easter Egger, look for these traits:
|Leg Color||Black or slate only||Usually greenish|
|Feet Color (bottom of feet)||Pink Feet||Feet can be any color|
|Skin Color||Pink or white skin||any color|
|Wattles||Tiny, if any wattles||Small and red or absent|
|Comb Type||Must have pea combs||Any, but most have pea combs|
|Muffs, beard||All have muffs and beards||Can have muffs, beards, one or neither|
|Eye Color||Red-orange eyes||Reddish, yellow, or orange and may have black “eyeliner.”|
|Other||Can be rumpless due to Auraucana heritage.|
Ameraucana Vs. Easter Egger: To Purchase
Ameraucanas are only available from reputable breeders, whereas you can purchase Easter Eggers from any hatchery or feed store. In addition, Easter Eggers are much cheaper than Ameraucanas because they are not purebred like the Ameraucanas.
Easter Eggers are similar to Ameraucanas because they share some of the same ancestors. However, the most important similarity is the ability to lay blue eggs.
Other similarities only occur randomly because Easter Eggers can inherit a wide range of traits from their non-standard relatives!
The Ameraucana is an APA-recognized breed and only comes in nine selectable varieties. You can’t choose your Easter Egger’s color or traits. Nevertheless, Easter Eggers are popular inhabitants of backyard chicken flocks. They are affordable (cheap, cheap) and beautiful, to boot.
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