Ameraucanas are the perky, chubby-cheeked birds that add a 'pop' of blue to your egg basket. They have a fascinating history. In the 1920's some Brits working in southern Chile found chickens that laid blue eggs and had several other exotic traits. They created a new breed, Araucanas, that combined all these novelties. Back in England everyone loved the small blue eggs, but two of the other traits ('tufted' and 'rumpless') turned out to be semi-lethals. In the 1970's some American breeders crossed Araucanas with Leghorns and other productive breeds to create Ameraucanas that lay better and have 'whiskers and beard' instead of the semi-lethal genes. Since the Araucanas were so genetically mixed to begin with, and then outcrossed with American and European breeds, there is an amazing spectrum of colours and feather patterns in this breed.
When the APA accepted Ameraucanas in to show breeding (1984) they narrowed down the acceptable plumage to 7 colour varieties for the purpose of show judging. But chopping the gene pool down to 7 isolated pieces is terrible for genetic health! So while breeding pure Ameraucanas we cross the colours in every generation to produce the best layers of large blue eggs. About half of our chicks will be the classic red/gold/black, while the others are many colours: blue, wheaten, splash, etc. and the chicks are a delightful rainbow of light, medium and dark colours.
Ameraucana hens are sweet and personable; their whiskers and beards always make me smile. They are excellent foragers and some will go to great lengths to get out, explore the world and find their own food. Their small pea comb makes them very cold hardy. Our flock is genetically 'deep', which means that you can safely breed your own next generation from the chicks you get from us. Some of the hens will go broody and make great mothers! Most of the roosters from our line make good flock sires, but a fraction of them may be aggressive, so if you are breeding your own chicks we suggest that you keep a generous 'short list' of cockerels until they are mature enough for you to judge their adult temperament. Crossing Ameraucanas with breeds that lay brown eggs will produce hens that lay other egg colours: olive, khaki, etc. This is how many Easter Eggers are produced!
Many people prefer to buy only female chicks, but this breed is extremely difficult for vent sexing, and we can promise only 80% accuracy. We prefer to sell Ameraucanas as straight run (unsexed), and the pricing structure reflects this. If you buy sexed chicks and get more than 20% males you can exchange some of the males for females, or get a refund.