Ameraucana chickens (AKA Araucanas or Easter Egger Chickens) are a heritage breed of chicken that are unique in many ways. First of all to clear the air a bit, “easter egger chickens” are not a true breed, but rather a combination of breeds that tend to lay eggs of various colors. This is important to note because Araucana and Ameraucana chickens are breeds, which are recognized by the American Poultry Association(APA).
Araucanas are recognized as a dual purpose breed. They grow at a moderate rate as far as meat production. They tend to lay blue and green eggs, which is what is their most distinctive trait. Another unique trait that the Araucanas possess is the tufts behind their ears. This makes them easy to recognize from a distance. Furthermore, the breed is rumpless. This means that they have no tail and lack a tailbone altogether.
Due to several factors, Araucana chickens are difficult to reproduce. This is often due to traits associated with the rumpless genes. Oftentimes the chicks can die in their eggs at 18-21 days of incubation. The breeding of a rumpless rooster to a rumpless hen can result in severe shortening of the backbone. This leads to either culling from the gene pool or the inability to breed back altogether.
The Aruacana breed does remain a popular one, due to the special tinting of their eggs. They tend to lay green eggs, but colors can vary from green to blue to even a pink color. A lot of chicken fanciers like to raise them simply for the fun of walking out to discover a rainbow array of eggs.