Fun crosses for cool coloured eggs.
What is an Easter Egger?
An Easter Egger is not a breed of chicken. It is the name given to the mutt offspring of a blue laying chicken crossed with another breed. Depending on the genes inherited from the cross, the Easter Egger will grow up to lay a blue, green, pinkish brown, brown, cream or khaki egg. Easter Eggers are sometimes advertised as Rainbow Eggers or Americanas (note the spelling, Ameraucana is a recognized breed of blue/green laying hens whereas Americanas are mutts). Easter Eggers will not breed true and the outcome of any hatch will be a surprise based on the combinations of genes inherited from the parents. These chickens come in a wide variety of colours and patterns, generally have a peacomb and can sometimes have muffs, tufts and beards.
What is an Olive Egger?
An Olive Egger is a subset of Easter Eggers that lay an olive coloured egg. The Olive Egger is obtained by crossing a parent with the blue egg gene (such as Arcana, Ameraucana, Cream Legbar) to a parent with the dark brown egg gene (usually a Maran or Welsummer). The offspring (F1) then inherit one blue gene and one brown gene and they produce eggs in shades of olive. If the Olive Egger hen is bred back to a dark egg rooster her offspring (F2) will lay a darker khaki egg. If the Olive Egger is bred back to a blue egg rooster her offspring (F2) will lay a spearmint shade of green.
Our Olive Eggers
Our children are raising Olive Eggers in our brooder pen along side 2 Buff Orpington chicks and their mama. We have 4 young F1 Olive Eggers hatched from an Ameraucana and a Welsummer crossing. 3 of them look very like Welsummer hens but have Ameraucana slate feet and peacombs. The last one is probably a cockerel and has Welsummer yellow feet, green tail feathers and red feathering, but its dispered throughout his body. He also has the big black beard and muff, peacomb and black feathering of the Ameraucana parent too. All 4 have peacombs, a good indicator that they inherited the blue egg gene. They are beautiful and unique looking birds. The pullets should lay an olive shade of egg with brown speckles, fingers crossed! They should reach point of lay by Christmas and we should have our first olive egg before the year’s out.