While many people know that Araucana chickens are the source of the blue egg craze, they often confuse this unusual breed with the Ameraucana and the Easter Egger.
It’s not surprising, though, given that all three breeds of chickens in question are known for producing primarily blue eggs.
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The Araucana is difficult to find in the United States because it is a rare breed. Due to genetic issues that reduce hatch rates, many hatcheries have decided not to breed them.
In terms of hatcheries selling blue egg layers, the Easter Egger and the Ameraucana are the most common varieties. This is where the Araucana comes into play.
The Araucana is exceptional not only due to the color of her eggs, but also because she possesses physical traits that are not seen in other common chicken breeds.
One similarity is that she stands erect, like certain types of wild game birds. Her famous posture is the result of her back sloping gently toward her bottom half.
There are two telltale characteristics (or lack thereof) that will most likely indicate you are in the presence of an Araucana as opposed to an Easter Egger.
The Araucana is characterized by the presence of funny-looking tufts of feathers on its cheeks. In some cases, they may protrude from a crease of skin under the ears like a handlebar mustache.
Usually, there are two tufts (one on each side), but this is not always the case. The more they expand in all directions, the more likely it is that they will develop unique personalities of their own.
However, there is one certainty. You’ll notice a dramatic improvement in the look of your Araucana after you add these.
Without a Tail (rumpless)
What this means is that they don’t have rumps, which is pretty much what you’d expect. In other words, unlike some other types of chickens, these do not have long tail feathers.
An additional indicator of the Araucana’s character is its erect bearing. Aside from the obvious appeal of the chicken’s beautiful eggs, these features are what make this breed so desirable.
Many chicks die in the incubator because of the very gene responsible for the comical tufts. That’s why a lot of places to buy chickens don’t stock Araucanas…
This is why you might need to track down a specialized breeder if you want your very own frizzled rumpless chickens. In contrast to large, floppy combs, the pea combs on an Araucana’s head rest closer to the chicken’s crown. If you look closely, you can see that the comb of an Araucana has little pea-like projections.
Unlike the Brahma chicken, the Araucana has clean legs, though the color of the legs can vary depending on the chicken’s overall coloring.
Black, red, silver duck wing, white, and golden duck wing are all colors available for the Araucana. This chicken’s darker variants may have black or blue legs.
Chickens of the Araucana Variety and Their Typical Measurements
The average size of an Araucana chicken is smaller than that of a standard chicken. So, they are larger than bantams but smaller than Brahma’s (the king of chickens).
The average weight of an Araucana is 5 pounds. However, a bantam size is available if you look hard enough, and both sizes are uncommon. Although the Araucana is typically categorized as a small bird, its rapid rate of development is intriguing.
Araucanas, if you happen to raise more than one type of chicken, will likely mature past their clumsy adolescent phase before the rest of your flock.
The Araucana Chicken’s Egg-Laying Habits
Although their diminutive size makes Araucanas unsuitable for use as meat birds, their stunningly blue eggs more than make up for this shortcoming.
Chickens may be on the diminutive side, but their eggs are just the right size for an Easter basket, and there’s no need to dye them! The Araucana is not designed for mass production, but she can help pay the bills by laying around three eggs per week.
Although she is a hardy bird, this hen usually stops laying eggs during the winter months because she is from the warmer climates of South America. She will pick right back up when the temperature rises, just in time for Easter egg hunts with the kids.
The Araucana Personality
However, the Araucana’s temperament is still up for debate. The breed’s ardent supporters are split on whether or not their chickens are friendly; some say they are, while others insist they are nervous and frightened.
It may depend on the individual and how they choose to interact with their Araucanas as to whether or not their high energy levels translate into unfriendly chickens.
One need only conduct a web search to learn that those who are committed to the advancement of the Araucana breed have nothing but positive experiences with their Araucanas.
In fact, many breeders will tell you that these hens thrive on human interaction and are therefore ideal for use in classrooms.