Ameraucanas are a relatively rare breed of chicken, but one growing in popularity (at least in our area). And why not? They’re sweet-tempered birds that lay pretty blue eggs. We recently purchased six Ameraucanas to start our chicken flock, and so far we have been enjoying our little birds very much.
It was from the Chilean birds, Araucanas, that Americaunas were bred. While Araucanas are tail-less & muffed, Ameraucanas have a pretty tail, muffs, (think earmuffs) and a beard. Pretty fancy. Ameraucanas also carry some other important traits of their predecessors- they are cold hardy (with only a little pea comb- it doesn’t freeze so easily as other chickens with big ones), blue egg layers, and a decent (though not ideal) dual-purpose bird (eggs & meat). They come in a variety of colors to boot.
Here are three (oh, four- one is hiding) of our beauties at about 11 weeks old:
So far, they are a little shy and skittish, but who can blame them after being transferred into a strange place with strange people? I hear that they get more curious and confident as they get older. They’re still sweet and will calm down a bit when you hold them gently. We’ve got them in our chicken tractor in the part of the garden that’s died down now so they can work up the soil and fertilize it for us for next year.
For further reading/to purchase birds, check out:
- Ameraucana Breeder Club
- Ameraucanas (Backyard Poultry Magazine)
- My Pet Chicken
- Americaunas (on Wikipedia)
- The Chicken Whisperer’s Guide to Keeping Chickens: Everything You Need to Know . . . and Didn’t Know You Needed to Know About Backyard and Urban Chickens (Affiliate link- this is a book my dad bought us about a year ago and it’s been very helpful in planning our flock.)
Chicken owners, what’s your favorite breed? Ameraucana owners, is there anything you wish you had known when you bought your first birds? This first time chicken-owner would love to hear back from you.