So, why choose Ameraucana chickens for your flock? They are clever, curious, calm birds which coexist with other breeds beautifully. They produce the most aesthetically beautiful of eggs and are a real asset to your backyard.
This is a very popular, much loved breed of chicken; a well-rounded bird that can adapt to a variety of surroundings. It can be more difficult to source than other breeds.
Would you like a charming hen for your flock that lays beautiful blue eggs?
About the Ameraucana Chickens
A modern pure-bred chicken, the Ameraucana is an American-bred chicken that was originally derived from the Araucana, a Chilean breed.
The Araucana of Chile was bred from the ancient chicken breeds Quetero and Collonca, which were kept by the Mapuche Indians for many hundreds of years. The Araucana carries a lethal gene which can kill unhatched chicks if both parents carry it. This genetic error occurs in the ear tufts.
Developed in the USA in the 1970s, the Ameraucana was bred to remove these problematic genes carried by the Araucana while maintaining the unique egg coloring. It was accepted to the American Poultry Association in 1984.
They can live happily in both hot and cold climates, though excessive heat can be an issue. On average, they live for seven to eight years. They will not lay eggs for their entire lifespan.
Appearance of the Ameraucana
The American Standard of Perfection recognizes eight different color varieties of the Ameraucana chicken: blue, black, blue wheaten, wheaten, brown-red, buff, silver, and white.
This is a smaller bird and an ideal breed for egg production. They don’t provide a lot of meat.
- A heavy muff resulting in fluffy, puffy cheeks (“beard”)
- Curved beak
- Bright red pea comb (resistant to frostbite)
- White skin
- Bright red wattle
- Bright red-bay eyes
- An upright, full tail
- Blue/black legs and feet
- Four toes on each foot
The Ameraucana is a cheerful bird with a curious and bright temperament. It is calm and quite docile, and even the roosters tend to be very polite and non-aggressive. Hens are not excessively broody, however, if they do go broody, they are nurturing mothers and protective of their chicks.
They are not territorial, so will not cause fights within the flock over territory. They tend to inhabit the middle of the pecking order – neither bullying nor submissive.
Though this is not the cuddliest of chicken breeds, the birds are generally not flighty.
Ameraucana Chickens Lay Unique Colored Eggs
Ameraucana hens in their prime will lay three to four eggs per week (170-200 eggs per year). The eggs are a beautiful blue and very appealing addition to your egg carton. They are as delicious and nutritious as any other fresh, free-range egg.
While they can be late layers compared with other breeds, they lay well during winter – so provide plenty of treats to encourage laying.
Caring for the Ameraucana Chicken
This lovely breed is a relatively low-maintenance chicken. They will generally blend well with your existing flock and don’t require special care.
- Feed as you do the rest of your flock
- Increase protein feeding during molting
- Offer treats to maximize laying
- Provide water from nipple waterers – the “beard” on these chickens can become wet if they can spill a lot of water – not nice for them in winter!
- Coop and run needs are similar as for other chickens, but understand they do like a little more space than other breeds.
- This breed does very well when allowed to free-range.
- Provide plenty of protection from predators – an enclosed ranging area with places to hide.
- Watch for heat exhaustion in summer – small combs make heat regulation difficult. Provide plenty of cool shaded areas.
What you Need to Know About Ameraucanas
- A hardy, docile bird that is social and enjoys being with the flock, especially its own breed.
Roosters, though they can be a bit bad-tempered at times, are not aggressive or territorial and will not chase you, your children, or other pets.
- This is a very efficient bird when it comes to feeding, and they are still large enough to cope without issue in a large flock with much bigger birds
- Due to their feathery “muffs”, their visibility is slightly less than for other chickens. Be aware that they may not be able to see ground predators (cats, foxes, snakes) as well as the other birds in your flock can.
- In the presence of more aggressive chickens, a minority of Ameraucanas can be fearful and skittish; another minority will be bold and outgoing. Most are easy going and gentle.
- While their smaller size enables them to get some air, they can only fly very small distances and should not escape your backyard.
- If you are looking for a lap chicken, these are not the breed you seek. They do not generally enjoy being handled or picked up.
- It’s important to purchase chicks from a hatchery, so you can see the parent stock and confirm their authenticity as Ameraucanas. Other (cheaper) breeds that will provide you with blue or otherwise colorful eggs include the Easter Egger and the Legbar. Salmon Faverolles share many physical characteristics with Ameraucanas, but don’t lay blue eggs.
This is a very popular, much-loved breed of chicken; a well-rounded bird that can adapt to a variety of surroundings. It can be more difficult to source than other breeds.