I am breeding show quality Ameraucana in the self-blue (lavender) and a blue, black, splash varieties. These are full size birds not bantams.
My self-blue (lavender) rooster came from Chicken Scratch Poultry. Lavenders are very rare. My hens were originally Black and came from Secret Garden Farm out of California. They are from show quality stock and have the bluest sky-blue eggs. The resulting chicks had a lavender and black gene. My second generation hens hatch lavender and black chicks. I have third and fourth generation Lavender hens from my original stock. I have added genetics directly from Paul Smith.
I have the Blue, Black and Splash combination of Ameraucana. I obtained my stock from Gypsy Hen Farm, Deer Run Farm. Genetics are from Paul Smith, Sharon Yorks and Max Strawn. The blue, black, splash pen will throw chicks in any combination of these colors. Ameraucana’s are a medium size chicken. Roosters weigh 6-7 pounds and hens weigh 5-6 pounds. They are good egg layers, laying 3-4 blue eggs per week, 250+ eggs per year. They are the first birds to start laying in the spring and often lay throughout the winter. The breed, in general, isn't known for extra large eggs. Their eggs average a USDA medium to large size. In general, egg size continues to increase with the age of the hen with adults laying a large egg. My eggs average 2 ½ inches long by 1 ¾ inches wide. They average a weight of 60 grams falling in the USDA large egg size.
My Ameraucana’s are happy chickens. They are housed together at all times in their own separate coop and run. I let them free range every 3-4 days alternating between the different breeds that I have so they don’t get mixed up. I feed them organic layer feed with free access along with daily cracked corn and wheat. My coops are cleaned daily to make sure they have a clean environment. The Ameraucana is considered a rare breed in the United States. Ameraucana is a pure breed not an “Americana” or “Easter Egger”. They are an American Poultry Association (APA) recognized breed and will breed true unlike the others which are a mixed breed and do not breed true to type. Characteristics of these amazing chickens include: bearded, muffed and tailed without any tufts; pea comb; a lack of prominent wattles; "bay" (red-brown) colored eyes; red ear lobes; neutral “horn” colored beaks; white skin; and "slate blue" shanks and feet. The bottoms of their feet are white. Ameraucanas lay various shades of pastel blue to blue-green eggs. Mine lay a sky blue. Ameraucana's are hardy in winter and deal with the cold well. Mine generally lay through the winter months. They bear confinement well and have a docile personality History/Origin: Ameraucanas were developed in the United States, descending from the Araucana out of Chile. Araucana chickens were first imported into the United States in the early 1930’s. Little is known about their history prior to that time. They were admitted to the American Standard of Perfection in 1976. Noted leaders in Ameraucana development include Mike Gilbert, Don Cable, Jerry Segler and Paul Smith. I am in the process of adding the Paul Smith line into my flock.
The Ameraucana is known as “America’s most newly recognized APA/ABA Standard Breed being recognized by the APA and admitted to the American Standard of Perfection in 1984. Currently the APA only recognizes these 8 specific colors: black, blue, buff, white, silver, brown-red, wheaten and blue wheaten. They are currently trying to get lavender recognized through the A.P.A. To learn more, including standards and photos of show-quality birds, visit www.ameraucana.org.
Other things to consider: Trying to capture sales for blue eggs, many hatcheries over the years have sold a non-dominant mix of chicken that lays pastel shelled eggs in various shades of blue, pink and green. They have marketed these as “Araucanas”, “Ameraucanas”, “Americanas” and most recently “Easter Eggers”. The blue egg shell trait is dominant and crossing with other breeds leads to a variety of pastel shell colors. Pure Ameraucanas have the specific traits listed above; other chickens that lay colored eggs without those specific traits are likely crossbreeds. . An excellent article to read is “Ameraucana Myths & Facts” by Vicky Thompson. It can be found here: http://ameraucana.org/forum/index.php?topic=957.0 References: Ameraucana Breeders Club http://www.ameraucana.org/ American Poultry Association http://www.amerpoultryassn.com/ Ameraucana Alliance http://ameraucanaalliance.org