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What You Need To Know About Buying Ameraucanas

Thousands of chicken owners seeking blue eggs have purchased Americanas/Ameraucanas only to find out that they are actually cross-breed chickens that should be referred to as Easter Eggers. The TRUE Ameraucana breed is only advertised and sold in specific colors. There are 9 APA recognized color varieties of large fowl Ameraucana, and with few exceptions, these colors are not crossed to other colors.

  • Black

  • Blue

  • Blue Wheaten

  • Brown Red

  • Buff

  • Silver

  • Wheaten

  • White

  • Self Blue (also referred to as Lavender)

The Ameraucana Alliance has an excellent webpage with photos of what each of these varieties should look like as chicks and as mature fowl.

Many commercial hatcheries, which frequently supply feed stores with live chicks, have been duping the public for over a decade by misrepresenting stock. Why they insist on doing this, I just don't understand.

Pro tips for buyers:

  • If you see chicks advertised as Ameraucanas at the feed store and they have chipmunk stripes - they are NOT AMERAUCANAS. Only one Ameraucana variety has chipmunk striped chick down, and that is the Silver Ameraucana. Silvers are not offered through commercial hatcheries, and there are very few breeders working on this color.

  • If you see chicks advertised as Ameraucanas, but no specific color is mentioned, they are very likely NOT AMERAUCANAS. Further, if the brooder box is full of chicks in random colors and patterns, they are NOT AMERAUCANAS, they are Easter Eggers.

  • Watch the spelling! One subtle way that hatcheries try to get around being dishonest is to change the spelling of the Ameraucana name. Most commonly, you will see the imposters advertised as Americana. Just remember "i" is for "imposter". Even the signage may state that the birds may lay green or brown eggs. These are Easter Eggers.

  • Keep in mind that many backyard chicken owners are not aware that they did not purchase true Ameraucanas to begin with. These owners assume that the offspring of their purchase are also Ameraucanas, and will unwittingly market them as such. Educate gently.

  • Ameraucanas will not have green, willow, white or yellow colored legs. Ameraucana legs should be slate colored. Ask to see photos of the parent stock if you are buying chicks from an individual.

You can greatly increase your odds of purchasing a quality bird by checking for a breeder near you from the Ameraucana Breeders Club list of breeders.

If you must order from a commercial hatchery, the only hatchery I can recommend for true Ameraucanas is Cackle Hatchery in Missouri. The Ameraucana breed is actually one of the hatchery owner's favorite breeds, and they have been known to produce quality birds. Their Easter Eggers are called Easter Eggers, and their Ameraucana are specific colors.

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