Easter Eggers are a crossbreed of chickens that lay blue and other colored eggs and as a result, lay a variety of different colored eggs. Typically blue or green and every shade in between, but also white, and even pink.
You may also come across ‘Olive Eggers’, these are aptly named as they lay olive-colored eggs. This is often the result of crossing a blue egg layer with a brown egg-laying breed.
Easter eggers are some of the most sought-after and interesting varieties of backyard chickens. Here’s a closer look at how they’re created, why they lay such colorful eggs, and more!
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What Are Easter Eggers?
There's often some confusion around just exactly what an Easter egger is. Essentially, an Easter egger is any crossbreed of chicken that possesses the ‘colorful egg’ gene.
Technically speaking, an Easter egger also cannot meet any breed standard defined in the American Poultry Association's (APA) standards. Otherwise, it would be a named breed or variety.
Most Easter eggers are created by crossing the Araucana or Ameraucana with another breed, as these are two of the most common breeds that lay blue eggs.
Easter eggers are called Easter eggers because they lay colorful eggs we typically associate with Easter.
With most chicken eggs being brown, blue or olive-colored eggs are often in high demand due to being unusual and unique.
At What Age Do Easter Eggers Start Laying?
Because Easter eggers are hybrids of other chicken breeds, there's no set answer to this question that is always going to be right.
As a general rule of thumb, however, you should expect to find your first egg somewhere in the 18 to 26 weak range and this is typically for most chickens.
If you're new to raising backyard chickens, don't be surprised to find small and underdeveloped eggs at first.
Chickens start out laying what are called ‘pullet eggs’ for the first couple of weeks. But don't panic, once their reproductive system is fully matured you’ll start finding regular-sized eggs.
How Do You Tell What Color Egg an Easter Egger Will Lay?
There are really only two ways to tell what color egg and Easter egger will lay;
- The first is to ask the hatchery or breeder selling you the chicken. If they know exactly which breeds they are using to make their Easter eggers, they should know what color eggs they're going to lay.
- The other way is to simply wait until they start laying eggs!
Each chicken only lays one color egg though. Once you find that first egg, allowing for a slight variation in shade, that's the color eggs your chicken is going to lay.
How Many Eggs a Year Does an Easter Egger Lay?
It’s hard to give an approximation for any breed of chicken, with Easter eggs as it's even more difficult.
Again, the more you know about the breeds that were used to make a particular Easter egger, the more accurately you can guess how many eggs you can expect per year.
As a rough ballpark figure, I would say you should be able to expect between 160-180 eggs per year.
Do All Easter Eggers Lay Colored Eggs?
All Easter eggers do colored eggs, yes. That’s why they’re called Easter eggers!
It's the question of ‘what color eggs do Easter eggs lay?’, that most people ask. The answer to this is that they lay a variety of egg colors.
Most commonly they lay either blue or green eggs. If an Easter egger is created from a blue egg layer crossed with a white or light brown egg-laying breed, you’ll most likely find it lays blueish-white eggs.
When a blue-laying chicken is bred with a dark brown laying breed, like a Marans or a Penedesenca, that’s when you get an Olive egger laying green-ish colored eggs.
Can Easter Eggers Lay Green Eggs?
Yes, Easter eggers can lay green eggs. They're not a kind of bright green like grass, green chicken eggs are much more of an olive color.
This is why chickens that lay green or olive-colored eggs are referred to as Olive eggers. By giving them their own name it helps chicken owners better understand what color eggs they can expect.
What Chicken Lays Purple Eggs?
Unfortunately, there is no breed of chicken that lays purple eggs. Eggshells get their color from pigments called porphyrins, which a hen releases from cells in her uterus.
There are breeds with pigments that make eggshells white, creme, blue, brown, and all kinds of shades around these colors.
But none that cause an eggshell to be purple. Neither can purple be made from combining any of the colors hens are able to produce.
Related - Here’s a look at what color eggs black chickens lay. (They don’t lay black eggs)
Can Easter Eggers Fly?
Easter eggs are no better at flying than other chickens. This means at best, an Easter egger will be able to spend just a few seconds in the air.
If you're concerned about losing your chickens or having them hopping your fence and annoying your neighbors, you usually only need a fence a few feet tall.
As long as chickens have everything they need in close proximity to their coop, they’re pretty good at staying close to home and should always come back at night.
Hopefully, I've busted a few myths and helped you better understand what color eggs the amazing Easter eggers are capable of laying.
If you’re after a bit more color in your egg basket, these are the chickens for you. They lay all kinds of shades of blue, olive green, white, and pink eggs.
Image credits - Photo by Kelly Neil on Unsplash