Easter Egger chickens are chickens that lay colorful eggs. Eggs can be shades of blue, green or pink.
Easter Egger chickens can add color and variety to your egg basket.
When most people think about eggs, they think of the traditional store-bought white or brown eggs.
To many people, brown eggs are exceptional.
I have found though that you can really wow people with eggs laid by ‘Easter Egg’ Chickens.
Easter Egger chickens lay eggs that are shades of blues and greens.
Add these to a carton of brown eggs and you’ll definitely turn some heads!
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What is an Easter Egger Chicken?
When people refer to Easter Egger chickens, there are actually several types of chickens that they can be referring to.
There are several pure breeds that lay blue or green eggs.
There are also some crosses of those breeds available often simply called Easter Eggers.
Araucanas and Ameraucanas are two of the more popular pure breeds that lay colored eggs.
Then there are Cream Legbars, Easter Eggers and as of recently, Olive Eggers. Prairie Bluebell Eggers also lay beautiful blue eggs.
All of these breeds of chickens are known for being extremely docile and hardy breeds, which makes them excellent candidates for people interested in backyard chickens.
If handled frequently when they are young, these docile breeds can be kid-friendly and will follow you around as you work outside.
The breeds that produce these Easter eggs are medium-sized birds, weighing right around 6-7 pounds. These medium-sized birds will cost you less in feed.
Even though they aren’t large birds, they typically produce large to extra-large eggs.
If you are considering getting Easter Egger chickens, click here to read how you should prepare for chicks.
Eggs laid by these birds will vary in color tremendously.
Some hens will lay eggs that are sky blue, turquoise or teal, while some will lay eggs that are sage green, pea green, spring green or even hues of pink.
Each bird will only lay one color egg, so if you want variety in the shades of color, plan on having multiple hens.
Did you know that it takes the average backyard hen about 24-26 hours to produce an egg? Hens create eggs from the inside out, starting with the yolk and finishing with the shell.
All shells begin white and are dyed inside the hen with pigments to create the different colors. The coloring of the egg takes about five hours. That’s a lot of work!
Olive Eggers have been gaining popularity lately.
These are birds that are bred to create a dark olive-colored egg.
This is done by crossing a green or blue egg layer with a chocolate egg layer. Common crosses for olive eggers are done with Araucanas, Ameraucanas, or Easter Eggers with Marans or Welsummers.
What do Easter Egger chickens look like?
There are many variations in what the birds will look like as well.
Between the different types of colored egg layers, there are endless traits in the birds themselves.
Ameraucanas and Araucanas are both bearded breeds. They have small tufts of feathers on their faces that make them look like they have a beard.
Many of the cross-bred chickens that have one of these two breeds in them will be bearded as well.
Many Easter Eggers will have colored legs as well.
Some hens will have green legs. This can range from a pea green to a willow green color. It’s a different look from the traditional yellow or black legs seen in white or brown egg layers.
If you happen to have pure Ameraucanas, you’ll notice that they are a ‘rumpless’ breed. These birds lack a coccyx, which is the tail of the bird and where tail feathers are attached. Since they don’t have a coccyx, they don’t have tail feathers.
The Cream Legbar is an extremely popular chicken breed in the United Kingdom, but is pretty rare in the United States.
It is a cross between Araucanas, Barred Plymouth Rocks and Golden Leghorns. This blue egg layer doesn’t do well in confinement but is extremely successful as a foraging breed.
Legbar owners describe these birds as having huge personalities. They are very curious and friendly. They are often the life of the flock.
Something noteworthy about Cream Legbars is their auto-sexing trait. This means that you can determine the gender just by glancing at the chicks, even as young as a day old!
Males will have a small, pale dot on the top of their heads and have little or no eye streaks. Females will have dark brown or black stripes on the top of the head that goes down the length of the body.
This makes it extremely easy to sex these birds. No more guessing how many hens and roosters you have!
If you purchase Easter Eggers, the crossbred version, you should know that they do suffer from a genetic defect. 1 out of every 100 chicks will exhibit the cross-beak trait. This trait causes the bird’s upper and lower beak to be misaligned, almost creating a scissor appearance. The trait doesn’t get better as the bird gets older, but usually gets worse.
Araucanas carry a lethal gene called the ear tuft trait. Birds that carry two copies of the gene will usually die during incubation or shortly after. Good news though, crosses with Araucanas don’t carry these genes.
Easter Egger hens will add a splash of color to your egg basket.
You can wow your friends and family with the beautiful eggs produced by some of these breeds. If you sell eggs, you’ll be able to offer gorgeous eggs that your customers won’t be able to get in the grocery store.
There are many breeds of chickens that produce colored eggs. There are breeds that can lay light green eggs, dark green eggs, blue eggs and even eggs that are pink.
You can learn more about colored egg layers and order them through these hatcheries:
You might also be interested in these chicken posts:
Creating the ideal brooder temperature for chicks
Ordering baby chicks online
Why do chickens need dust baths?
Buffalo gnats and chickens
Wendy Watson says
Hello! I have a little female I’m in love with. At one day old she was waiting for us and stepping up into our hands. She separates herself from the flock often to hang out with us. However, we have no idea what she is. Shes our little gem. Shes a little bigger than an old english and all black but for the golden brown lacing around the back of her neck and a thin bit of it in a line down her chest. She has a muff and a small beard with a touch of white on her beard. She has large vulture hocks and feathered feet. She has 4 toes, her feet are black with one white toenail on her middle toe. I was hoping you’d have an idea.
It sounds like you have a bit of a mix on your hands! The black with the gold lacing on the neck sounds like a black copper maran, but the muff and beard sound like an Ameraucana or Araucana cross. I’ve had a few crosses that were excellent layers and had amazing personalities. It’s easy to get the best of both worlds with hybrid birds. 🙂
I may have an Easter ether but it’s I’m not sure. I ordered show birds from Murray McMurtry hatchery and got a free surprise chick. My chickens are now 8 weeks old and the bird I suspect to be the surprise chick is a female with green legs. As a chick, she almost looked like one of the Sussex I had, with the brown stripe down her back bordered with black, but unlike the Sussex, the rest of her body was gray. She has no leg feathers, muffs, or beards, and she oils like my silver laced Wyandotte’s but her feathers have gray spots . Any idea what breed she might be?
Sorry not oils like the Wyandotte, she almost looks like the Wyandotte
It’s possible that she’s a cross of some kind; it’s hard for me to tell without seeing her but I would look at English Orpingtons and Marans. They have similar body shapes to Wyandottes, can have gray spots and don’t have leg feathers, muffs or beards.
Vanessa Gilbert Weeks says
I have 2 ee Roos that have yellow legs. I thought they all had green or bluish gray legs. They’re suppose to be purebred. Your opinion please.
Easter Egger chickens are a broad category and some breeders will sell crosses that lay colored eggs. An Easter Egger chicken isn’t necessarily one breed, so it’s hard to say that they could be purebred. Most Easter Eggers do have dark colored legs but the occasional bird could have yellow legs. It depends on the the breeds that were crossed to make the chicken. I would look for other signs of them being Easter Eggers also (i.e. beards and muffs, coloring, etc.) I hope that helps!
Kashif Ullah says
I am a farmer and a chicken keeper. I have eight hens and 2 roosters of easter eager chickens. They lay colorful green eggs. I really loved it.