Americanas: The Ameraucana chicken breed

The Ameraucana chicken is a popular American chicken breed that can seldom be found in the Philippines. Ameraucana is known for its beard and unique blue eggs. The breed is often called and confused as Americanas, especially in Spanish-speaking countries.

It was developed in the United States in the 1970s and derives from Araucana chickens brought from Chile. It was bred to retain the blue-egg gene but eliminate the lethal alleles of the parent breed. There are both standard-sized and bantam versions. Ameraucana is one of the breeds that has been added recently to the Standard of Perfection of APA. It was added in 1984. The name derives from “America” and “Araucana”

Ameraucana Chicken image credit to Livestocking

Although they came from blue egg-laying chickens and are closely related to Araucana, they have notable differences. Araucana has ear tuffs while Ameraucana has muffs and beards. They are also docile and sweet. They are also different from Easter Eggers which lay both blue and green eggs.

Ameraucanas are raised mainly for eggs but they are not broody and an incubator is needed to meet a good hatching rate. They lay around 3 eggs per week which is average for many chicken layers.

Some notable characteristics

  • Ameraucana chicken colors: Ameraucana is available in wheaten, blue, black, white, and silver with wheaten as the most population.
  • Ameraucana chicken egg color:  Ameraucana lays blue eggs which are very unique compared to other chicken breeds. The Ameraucana chicken eggs are medium in size and hens lay an average of three to 4 blue eggs per week. This comes out to around 200-220 eggs per year.
  • Many think Ameraucana is related to Easter Egger but they are not. The latter is not considered a breed and is not recognized by the American Poultry Association.
  • Ameraucana hens are broody and take care of their chicks.

Ameraucana in the Philippines

Although Ameraucana is not as popular as Rhode Island Red (RIR), Barred Plymouth Rock (BPR), Black Australorp, and other heritage breeds like Orpingtons and Sussex, there are several people who breed Ameraucana. In one of his Facebook posts, former Cotabato Governor and Department of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol said that he is breeding Ameraucana on his farm. There are also some small backyard farmers who raise this breed but looking to buy is definitely a challenge.

Although they are raised primarily for their colorful eggs in the US, they are raised in the Philippines as pets, and business as selling chicks can bring a good amount of money.

Cost of Ameraucana

In the US, the cost of fertilized eggs depends on the hatchery but the average is $2 to $3. The chicks cost around $12 to $20. In the Philippines, Ameraucana day-old chicks can cost between P330 to P550 and because it is very hard to find, some breeders even sell them for a higher price. Hatching eggs are really hard to find locally.

Raising and breeding Ameraucana

Like many other American heritage breeds, Ameraucana needs extra care and free-ranging is highly recommended rather than confinement inside the cage. Ameraucanas are playful and need extra space where they can forage and flex their wings from time to time. Standard local commercial feeds and other organic foods like corn, vegetables, and fruits can be given as alternatives. Vaccination is also recommended as they may be susceptible to diseases brought by migrating wilds birds.

Ameraucana hatching eggs

Outside the Philippines especially in the United States, Ameraucana hatching eggs are sold on farms and even available online. If you are planning to raise Ameraucana, it is best to buy hatching fertile eggs as it is cheaper compared to buying Ameraucana breeders which can have a shipping issue.

It is not difficult to look for Ameraucana hatching eggs for sale. Just type “ameraucana chickens for sale” on Google and you will be able to find hatching eggs for sale near you.

Frequently Asked Questions on Ameraucana Chicken

Are Ameraucana chickens friendly?

The Ameraucana is a happy, friendly, and sociable chicken that makes a perfect addition to your flock if you want light blue eggs. They are good foragers and just love to free-range. As an added bonus they are relatively quiet and docile which makes them well suited if you have particularly close neighbors.

How long do Ameraucana chickens live?

Ameraucana chickens 7-8 years depending on several factors like feeding, housing, and nutrition. Birds that are enclosed in a fence but receive direct sunlight tend to live longer than those inside the pen and in open fields.

What is the difference between an Ameraucana and an Easter Egger?

Easter Egger Vs Ameraucana: the Easter Egger is a hybrid breed chicken while the Ameraucana is purebred. Ameraucanas will always have muffs and beards while Easter Eggers may or may not. Finally, Easter Eggers lay several different color eggs while Ameraucana chickens will only lay blue eggs.

What color eggs do Ameraucana chickens lay?

Ameraucanas lay blue eggs. Other traits include a pea comb, white skin, full tails, muffs and beards (always together), and slate or black legs; they have no ear tufts. The APA recognizes these colors: Black, Blue, Blue Wheaten, Brown Red, Silver, Wheaten, and White.

Are Ameraucana chickens cold-hardy?

Ameraucana chickens lay beautiful medium-sized blue eggs. They are particularly cold-hardy because they have a pea comb and very small wattles, so they are less prone to frostbite.

How long does it take for Ameraucana chickens to lay eggs?

They start laying eggs at about 6-7 months old, although it can depend on certain factors, such as the individual chicken, her diet, the time of year, etc.

Are Ameraucana chickens aggressive?

Ameraucanas are generally rather docile and calm birds. While they aren’t the most cuddly of all breeds, they aren’t very flighty. Roosters are not aggressive and are often rather polite.

How high can Ameraucana chickens fly?

Whether your chickens will fly over a fence is dependent on a few factors. Most chicken breeds have no problems flying over a 4 feet fence, while the flier breeds like Leghorn, Redcap, Ameraucana, and Hamburg can even fly over a 6 feet fence.

Are Ameraucana chickens quiet?

Ameraucana hens are calm, quiet, docile, and easily handled as long as they do not feel threatened. Quiet chicken breeds are also typically comprised of decidedly calm and jovial hens, as well. The environment the chickens live in can also play a substantial role in how quiet or noisy they become on any given day

Do Ameraucana chickens go broody?

Ameraucana hens tend to go broody frequently and easily. This means they happen to enjoy raising their own little clutch of chicks, and if you plan to breed these birds, leaving the mother hen to do her job will make the process easier for you.

How do you take care of Ameraucana chickens?

Their nutritional needs are no different than any other members of your flock. This means you will want to feed them a basic layer feed – use a game bird feed if you have roosters to prevent adding too much calcium to the diet and supplement with oyster shells for your hens only.

Are Ameraucana chickens small?

As with many breeds of chickens, Ameraucanas come in both a full-sized version, what might be thought of as a “regular-sized” chicken, and a bantam variety, which is a smaller version of the same breed.

What color will my Ameraucana chick be?

The coloring of the Ameraucana is quite variable, with several color palettes to choose from – anywhere from black to white, blue to wheaten. The variety of colors available makes this a beautiful bird. It is considered a winter hardy, dual-purpose breed.

Why is my Ameraucana chicken not laying eggs?

All hens regardless of breed go through a “resting” period when they stop laying. It often occurs when they are molting or stressed and also when the number of hours of sunlight decreases in the fall and winter.

What’s the difference between Araucana and Ameraucana?

Araucana are rarer than Ameraucanas and harder to find. Their main distinctive feature is that they have no tails. But they do have prominent ear tufts. They are also a pure breed and have been recognized by the APA since 1976.

Are Ameraucana chickens good foragers?

Ameraucana chickens are hardy in both heat and cold. They are cautious and smart. They are excellent at foraging

Are Ameraucana chickens good setters?

Ameraucanas are known for being good setters, meaning they will stay in their nests longer so you can have fewer egg-eaters in your flock. The chicks are usually calm and docile compared to other chickens that may peck at them while they’re young or run away from humans when older.

How can you tell the difference between Ameraucana and Easter Eggers?

If your Ameraucana has yellow feet, or some other color it is an Easter Egger. Skin color is the same color as the feet, the feet are just the easiest way to see it. Ameraucanas have pink/white skin. They don’t have yellow, or any other color

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