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.
This week, I’ve still been up to my ears in canning. It’s getting to that point in the season when the initial charm of putting up goods for the winter is wearing off, and I’m pushing myself to get through the end of everything before the frost comes. I have plans for when garden season is over… like reading and sewing and perhaps just sitting on my bottom and drinking tea at the end of the night.
But the best news of all this week? Drumroll please… WE GOT CHICKENS!
(Sorry, this isn’t the best photo- they were still feeling rather shy after their transition to our home. There will be more photos to come!)
Five hens and one rooster (all Ameraucanas) are hanging out in our homemade, reclaimed material “chicken ark” in the side yard right now. (My mother dubbed this thing the ark. You may be able to tell why once you see it.) Finally getting these birds is a huge step for us. I am both thrilled and a little nervous. So chicken masters, please school me in your fowl-ish ways so we can do this thing successfully.
That was the news. Now on to the reads:
Why I’ll Never Tell My Son He’s Smart– This article from Khan Academy addresses why praising your child’s struggles in learning is better than emphasizing the things your child is already good at. A must read for parents and educators alike.
A Whole New and Necessary Way to See Your Messy House– From Glennon Melton. Why we should stop worrying so much about what our homes look like and embrace the amazing gifts we already have. I really resonated with this one- my home is far from beautiful most of the time, but we are richly blessed with everything we need.
The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had– Want to homeschool but fear that your own education is either lacking or has grown fuzzy in certain areas? A good friend and I are just beginning to work through this (slightly intimidating) volume by Susan Wise Bauer. Bauer gently guides you through a chronological study of various genres of literature and helps you engage with the great books that you never got to read as a youngster. We are starting with the poetry section, and first on our list is The Epic of Gilgamesh. If you want to skip Bauer and just check out good ol’ Gilg, You can find several paper and/or kindle editions here, or you can Google it and find free PDF translations like this one.
Preserving the Harvest When You Don’t Have a Garden- I know that many of you don’t have an expansive garden yourselves, but would still love to be able to save peak-of-season fresh fruits and veggies at dirt cheap prices for the dead of winter. Ten Acre Homestead provides some practical suggestions for doing so. I would also add farmer’s markets & country farm stands to her list to check for bulk produce.
That’s it for this week folks. Have a great day. I’m off to hang out with my birds. (I have chickens! I still can’t believe it!!!) 🙂