If you’re a Christian who’s deep in faith, then you’re aware of the beautiful colored eggs that appear during the Easter festival to symbolize rebirth. But, despite enjoying the festival, have you ever asked yourself whether these colored eggs are real or just dummies? While some are painted, others are real and are produced by rare types of chickens called the Easter Eggers. So, to enjoy this amazing phenomenon, you need to start by asking when do Easter Eggers start laying?
Now, two factors can trigger this question. One of them is curiosity and the other is the need to have Easter Eggers in your homestead or backyard. In a nutshell, Easter Eggers are generous chicken breeds that begin their egg-laying cycle at the age of 5 to 6 months.
These chickens are hybrids and close descendants of the Ameraucanas or Araucanas. They have a vibrant personality that makes them gorgeous and good-looking. The eggs laid by these chickens are also colorful as they come in shades of blue, green, and pink among other colors. So, with a lot to talk about, this short guide will walk you through the life of the Easter Egger to understand its personality and its egg-laying life.
What Is an Easter Egger?
Whether it’s out of curiosity or you’re planning to keep Easter Eggers on your farm or backyard, it’s always good to start by knowing what exactly these rare birds are. Now, in a simple description, Easter Eggers are a breed of chickens that lay colored eggs instead of the regular white or brown eggs.
The reason why they’re named Easter Eggers is due to the colored eggs they lay. Remember, during the Easter festival, Christians used to paint their eggs with different colors to symbolize rebirth and resurrection.
But, despite laying colored eggs, Easter Eggers don’t meet any particular breed standard. They’re actually offsprings that came after people crossbreed Araucanas or Ameraucanas with other breed species. Since they don’t carry any specific characteristics from their parents (the Araucanas or Ameraucanas), Easter Eggers exist in an infinite number of varieties and can lay eggs with an infinite number of color variations.
How Many Eggs Do Easter Eggers Lay?
Now, if you want to keep Easter Eggers in your backyard or as part of your flock, then you need to ask yourself how good are they when it comes to laying eggs. Before we proceed, you need to note that Easter Eggers are offsprings of Araucanas or Ameraucanas crossbred with other chicken species. So, the number of eggs they lay hugely depends on the genetic makeup of the hens they’re crossbred with.
However, on average, these rare birds can lay around 4 eggs per week. This means that you’ll expect to collect around 200 to 280 eggs annually, which isn’t a disappointing figure. But, other than the genetic makeup, the number of eggs Easter Eggers can lay depends on other factors such as the health of the chickens and whether they’re getting sufficient sunlight and water.
We’ve mentioned that Easter Eggers lay colored eggs. What you need to understand is that each Easter Egger chicken only lays one color of eggs. So, if you have many hens, you’ll enjoy seeing eggs with a good variety of colors.
Easter Egger Egg Color
Now, this is where things get interesting. The reason why Easter Eggers are popular is due to the beautiful colored eggs they lay. In fact, these chickens seldom get broody meaning they commit most of their lives to laying eggs.
We’ve mentioned that Easter Eggers are hybrids of Araucanas or Ameraucanas crossbred with other chicken species. Araucana and Ameraucana chickens both lay eggs with blue shells. So, by combining these breeds with others, your Easter Egger will end up laying eggs of a particular color.
According to most Easter Egger experts, the most common types of colors you’re likely to get are blue, green, pink, tan, brown, and olive green.
Now, what happens if you need eggs with a specific color? In this case, it’s wise to discuss the color of the eggs you’ll expect with the breeder or hatchery you’re planning to buy the chicks from. Otherwise, you can easily determine the color by buying an egg-laying pullet or mature hen.
Easter Egger Chicken Colors
Now, Easter Eggers are a mixed bag of genetics meaning they’re available in a wide range of colors. Starting with the combs, some Easter Eggers have pea combs while others have regular single combs. Some have ear tufts, beards, and tails while others don’t.
When it comes to the colors, the ear lobes can sometimes be white or red. The feathers can display different patterns of grey, black, copper, or gold colors depending on the chickens they’re bred with. The eyes usually have black or shiny eyeliners.
Lastly, there are the legs. The legs themselves are clean and the shanks can be blue, green, yellow, or black.
Easter Egger Chicken Temperament
While answering the question of when Easter Eggers start laying eggs, it doesn’t hurt to discuss this bird’s personality and temperament. Now, the reason why we can’t miss discussing Easter Egger’s personality is due to their unique and interesting characteristics.
First, these chickens are not shy with humans. This makes them friendly and cheerful birds. In fact, they tend to approach humans for treats and even hop to their owners’ laps to be cuddled. It’s because of this temperament that Easter Eggers are considered excellent pets in most homes, especially those with children.
But, despite their friendly, energetic, and inquisitive personalities, Easter Eggers are extremely docile and gentle. This personality makes them easy targets of aggressive chickens that love picking fights with others. Therefore, to keep them safe, you can consider mixing them with other docile breeds such as Faverolles and Cochins.
Easter Egger Rooster vs. Hen
We’ve mentioned that Easter Eggers are hybrids of either Araucanas or Ameraucanas crossbred with other chicken species. This mixing of species makes Easter Egger roosters and hens possess almost identical traits that make it difficult to tell them apart. So, in this section, we’ll highlight some common characteristics that help to distinguish males from females.
|Easter Egger Rooster||Easter Egger Hen|
|Size||Although Easter Eggers are medium-sized chickens, the males usually appear larger than the females. When they’re fully grown, the males weigh around 5 pounds with bodies growing as tall as 18 to 20 inches.||On the other hand, females have smaller bodies that weigh around 4 pounds. The bodies grow as tall as 16 to 18 inches.|
|Wattle & Combs||Just like most other chicken breeds, the easiest way to differentiate roosters from hens is by the size of the combs and wattles. Roosters have longer wattles and prominent combs.||Hens, on the other hand, have smaller wattles and combs. In fact, hens can take up to 20-26 weeks before their wattles and combs grow bigger. This is different from roosters that develop wattles and combs as early as 6-12 weeks.|
|Color & Plumage||Roosters have hackle feathers that have shades of different colors from the rest of the body. The beaks are yellow to dark brown in color.||Hens, on the other hand, have one uniform color. It’s hard to tell the color of the feathers of both roosters and hens as the color depends on the chickens they’re crossbred with.|
|Behavior||Roosters tend to get hostile and territorial just like roosters in other chicken breeds. They also start crowing from as young as 14-20 weeks.||Hens have a gentle and docile temperament. They’re also quieter than their male counterparts. To those asking when do chickens start laying eggs, then Easter Egger hens mostly start laying from 20-24 weeks.|
Ameraucana vs. Easter Egger
Now, most people confuse Easter Eggers with Ameraucana chickens. In fact, even poultry experts sometimes disagree on various aspects of these two breeds leading to debates. So, if you’re planning to add any of these two breeds among your flock, then it’s obvious you’d want to differentiate them to make it easier to distinguish them from their appearance.
- Breed Type
The first major difference between the Easter Egger and the Ameraucana is the breed. Easter Eggers, on their part, are hybrids meaning they don’t possess specific characteristics across the breeds. This is different from Ameraucanas which are pure breeds meaning they have similar characteristics. Remember, we mentioned that Easter Eggers are offsprings of Ameraucanas or Araucanas bred with other chicken breeds.
When it comes to physical appearance, all Ameraucana chickens have muffs (light feathers on their cheeks) and beards (feathers under their chins). Easter Eggers can have muffs and beards or might miss having them. Since they’re crossbreeds of Ameraucanas and other breeds, they can pick these features or fail to have them at all.
- Egg Color
About the color of the eggs, Ameraucana chickens only lay blue eggs. This is different from Easter Eggers which lay eggs of different colors. Here, you’ll be amazed to find blue, green, brown, light pink, and tan-colored eggs.
In most cases, these colored eggs depend on the genes of the chickens used to mate with the Ameraucana breed. I’ll also mention that each hen lays eggs of the same color throughout its lifetime.
Easter Egger Bantam
The Easter Egger Bantams are a particular breed that lies in the Easter Egger bracket. These chickens have exactly the same characteristics as Easter Eggers such as being friendly, curious, and extremely quiet. These chickens have pea combs and are notorious for laying green or blue eggs. Just like Easter Eggers, the Bantams aren’t pure breeds meaning they’re available in an assortment of different colors. This characteristic is one of the ways you can tell them apart from other pure breeds.
How Long Do Easter Eggers Chickens Lay Eggs?
Before we begin, we would like to start by answering one pressing question—when do Easter Eggers start laying eggs. Now, this question is quite common among farmers who are planning to add Easter Eggers to their flocks.
In most cases, Easter Eggers begin laying eggs when they’re 6-7 months old or when they’re a year old, depending on various factors. Speaking of factors, there are three main things you must consider when keeping Easter Eggers. They are:
- Diet: When it comes to the diet, Easter Eggers require around 16-18% of a protein diet. They also need a balanced dietary feeding that includes high calcium content, fruits, insects, herbs, and clean water to lay healthy eggs.
- Season: Another factor is the season. All chickens lay fewer eggs during winter than during summer. The reason for this is that sunlight is highly needed in the egg formation process. Therefore, it’s normal for your Easter Eggers to lay fewer eggs during winter.
- Environment: Lastly, the living conditions of your Easter Eggers will hugely determine their egg-laying potential. A dry, fresh, and generous space is essential as it gives your chickens a stress-free environment that’s conducive to laying eggs.
That said, Easter Eggers can proceed to lay eggs for up to eight or ten years. At first, the pullets lay an average of 3-4 eggs weekly, which translates to around 200 eggs annually. However, these numbers begin to drop as the chicken ages making the eggs fewer each year.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What Are Easter Egger’s Health Issues?
Easter Eggers are generally healthy and hardy birds that don’t suffer from any particular diseases or illnesses. However, depending on the type of chickens they’re bred with, these birds can sometimes suffer various conditions. For instance, the tufts and beards possessed by the Ameraucana breeds can attract parasites such as lice and mites. Therefore, you need to spray the chickens regularly to keep the parasites away.
Q2. Do Easter Eggers go Broody?
Well, they don’t. In fact, this is one disturbing characteristic of these rare birds. In most cases, the hens don’t hear the call of “motherhood” as other breeds do. They prefer to devote their lives to egg-laying rather than hatching chicks. So, if you intend to hatch chicks, then you might consider incubating them.
Q3. Where Do I Get Easter Eggers?
Well, the best place to get Easter Eggers is in the hatcheries. Here, you can buy chicks that are a week or two weeks old depending on your needs. You can also consider incubating the eggs if you have the right tools available.
From what we’ve discussed, you don’t need to ask why Easter Eggers are popular birds in most barnyards, backyards, and coops. Although they’re hybrid chickens, Easter Eggers have friendly, curious, and gentle temperaments that make them excellent choices for most families.
Best of all, these birds are colorful and lay eggs in an assortment of colors. So, other than being fun, these birds are useful as they provide you with nutritious eggs. To those asking when do chickens start laying eggs, Easter Eggers start laying eggs at the age of 6-7 months.
That said, this guide has offered you brief and helpful information regarding Easter Eggers. So, in case you need to keep these birds as part of your flock, then we’ve provided you with everything you need to take into account when raising these rare birds.
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Hello, I am John Reid. I have been raising chickens for the last 15 years. I have got my experience from my father. My father is the owner of a large chicken farm. This is our family business that has been continuing for over 35 years. I am very interested in backyard chickens and I know how to take care of them. You can learn more About Us here. Happy Reading!!