Egg Display

Home

ABC Forum

Join The ABC!

Board of Directors

Standard

History

Photos of  Ameraucana

ABC Meets

Exhibitor Point System

Club Merchandise

Downloads

Links

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What are the major differences between Ameraucana and Araucana chickens?

What are Easter Egg chickens?

Aren't Araucanas the "original" breed of colored-egg chicken?

Are Ameraucanas just mongrels produced by crossing Araucanas with other breeds of domestic chickens?

Who decided which attributes the Ameraucana breed would consist of?

Which varieties are recognized by the American Bantam Association and by the American Poultry Association?

Where can I get a list of Ameraucana breeders to try to obtain hatching eggs and/or birds?

Are blue eggs, from Ameraucanas and Araucanas, lower in cholesterol than white and brown eggs?

What are the major differences between Ameraucana and Araucana chickens?

Both breeds lay eggs with shells colored various shades of blue, have pea combs, and should have red earlobes. Beyond that few similarities exist in specimens meeting the requirements of recognized poultry standards. Perhaps 99 percent of chickens sold as Araucanas (or Ameraucanas) by commercial hatcheries are actually mongrels (aka Easter Egg chickens), meeting the requirements of neither breed.

According to the American Poultry Association (APA), the Araucana breed must be rumpless (no tail) and have ear tufts. Ear tufts are clumps of feathers growing from small tabs of skin usually found at or near the region of the ear openings. This feature is unique in the U.S. to the Araucana breed. This trait is nearly always lethal to unhatched chicks when inherited from both parents. Tufted Araucanas, therefore, are always genetically impure, i.e., they don't breed true and will always produce a percentage of "clean-faced" offspring.

The Ameraucana breed, on the other hand, has a tail and sports muffs and beard in the facial area. These characteristics are true-breeding. Other requirements of both breeds may be found in the APA's Standard of Perfection and in the American Bantam Association's (ABA) Bantam Standard.

Top of Page

What are Easter Egg chickens?

The Ameraucana Breeders Club defines an Easter Egg chicken or Easter Egger as any chicken that possesses the blue egg gene, but doesn’t fully meet any breed descriptions as defined in the APA and/or ABA standards.  Further, even if a bird meets an Ameraucana standard breed description, but doesn’t meet a variety description or breed true at least 50% of the time it is considered an Easter Egg chicken.  By definition an Easter Egger is not a breed of chicken.

Top of Page

Aren't Araucanas the "original" breed of colored-egg chicken?

Although the APA Standard claims some Araucanas came from South America, the ABA Standard is correct in stating that Araucanas, as described in the our Standards, originated in the United States.

Historical evidence does not support the notion that only one type of chicken laid colored eggs in their native South America. No genetic linkage exists that would require colored-egg chickens to be tufted or rumpless. It is true the first recorded imports from Chile combined the traits of rumplessness, ear tufts, and colored eggs - but those birds resulted from a single breeder combining several strains and subsequently misrepresenting them as native fowl. An artist's depiction of the earliest imports in a 1927 National Geographic article served to perpetuate this myth. The Ameraucana breed was formulated and standardized, primarily in the north central U.S., to provide a colored egg fowl possessing more practical and true-breeding characteristics.

Ameraucanas were recognized as a separate and distinct breed in the early 1980's by the APA and by the ABA.

Top of Page

Are Ameraucanas just mongrels produced by crossing Araucanas with other breeds of domestic chickens?

No.  As far as can be determined no tufted-rumpless fowl were used to create any of the eight recognized varieties of Ameraucanas. The Ameraucana breed has specific requirements with regard to shape, weights, coloring, comb, earlobes, and so on. While it is true that commercial hatcheries continue to cash in on crossbred mongrels by advertising them as Araucanas or Ameraucanas, it takes much more than eggshell color to make a true breed.

Top of Page

Who decided which attributes the Ameraucana breed would consist of?

Because general agreement among fanciers could not be reached, certain American Poultry Association officials created an Araucana standard and imposed it on the public in 1976 without benefit of the normally required qualifying process. Quite obviously this standard was originally a goal to be strived for, but birds were subsequently developed meeting it’s' requirements. In contrast, Ameraucana bantams were bred first to conform to a proposed standard, then achieved standard recognition through the normal qualifying processes. The small group of breeders who developed Ameraucanas selected its' traits via majority vote.

Top of Page

Which varieties are recognized by the American Bantam Association and by the American Poultry Association?

Eight varieties have been recognized by both organizations since 1984. They are: Black, Blue, Blue wheaten, Brown red, Buff, Silver, Wheaten, and White. These same eight specific color patterns are recognized in both large fowl and bantams (miniatures).

Top of Page

Where can I get a list of Ameraucana breeders to try to obtain hatching eggs and/or birds?

Click here for the ABC Breeders Directory.  It is also available, in print, from the club Secretary for $2 to club members and $5 to non-members. 

This website also features the ABC Forum.  The sub-forum Ameraucana Marketplace is designed to provide a place to buy and sell Ameraucana chickens, eggs and related items.

 

Top of Page

Are blue eggs, from Ameraucanas and Araucanas, lower in cholesterol than white and brown eggs?

No. This is a very common question because years ago some hatcheries claimed that these eggs were reported to be lower in cholesterol and higher in nutritional value than other chicken eggs. William O. Cawley, Extension Poultry Specialist at Texas A&M University, wrote a paper, POULTRYDOM'S MYSTERY CHICKEN - THE ARAUCANA, 10/79, that sets the record straight.

 

Top of Page 

Ameraucana Breeders Club and logo™ 1999–2013 Ameraucana Breeders Club – All Rights Reserved.