Ameraucana chickens start laying eggs between 20-24 weeks (5-6 months) of age. They are one of few breeds to reliability lay blue eggs, so I can appreciate you’re anxious to start collecting their eggs.
How Many Eggs Do Ameraucanas Lay?
The Ameraucana isn’t among the prolific laying elite like the Rhode Island Red and Leghorns, but they are reliable layers.
With all the right conditions met, you can expect a hen to lay around 200-230 eggs – light blue eggs no less – per year.
That works out at about 3-4 eggs per week on average. Although, like most chickens, they will lay more during the summer months, and less during the winter when the daylight hours are shortened.
What Color Eggs Do Ameraucanas Lay?
Ameraucanas lay blue eggs. Ther are one of the few breeds that always lay blue eggs, as long as you have a pure breed, of course.
There is some variation in the shade. You might get some pale or powder blue eggs, and even some that look more cream or olive. But one thing you can be sure of; they’re not brown!
Related – Like unique colored eggs? Check out the Marans chocolate colored eggs.
How Long Do Ameraucana Chickens Lay Eggs?
Ameraucanas have a life expectancy of around 10 years. Like most chickens, they will peak early producing at 100% capacity for their first year, and this will taper off in the following years.
Generally speaking, egg production reduces a little each year until a hen retires from laying at around 6-7 years of age.
You never really know when a hen will lay her last egg, some carry on into “retirement”. As a rule of thumb, however, laying for 7 years is the average expectancy.
Some History and Facts About Ameraucana Chickens
Often confused with the Araucana (the similar names don’t help!), the Ameraucana is a breed of chicken derived from the aforementioned Araucana in the U.S. in the 1970s.
It was selectively bred to retain the blue-egg laying gene, as this is a desirable trait, but to eliminate the tufted and rumpless lethal alleles the parent breed has.
Ameraucanas have a lot in common with Araucanas, but they are recognized as two different breeds. They look different too, there’s no mistaking tufts and the lack of tail on an Aracuana.
Some quick facts:
- Roosters weigh around 6.6 lbs
- Rooster bantams weigh around 1.7 lbs
- Hens weigh around 5 lbs
- Hen bantams weigh around 1.6 lbs
- Comb type – Pea
- Egg color – Blue
Varieties recognized by the American Poultry Association:
- Blue Wheaten
- Brown Red
- Self Blue
Where To Buy Ameraucana Chickens, Chicks, and Hatching Eggs
You have to be careful when buying rare breeds like Ameraucanas. Especially if you don’t want a surprise when collecting that first egg – and by surprise, I mean finding it’s not blue!
If you’re looking for pure Ameraucanas for sale, I recommend checking if Cackle Hatchery currently has any available.
Cackle Hatchery is my go-to online hatchery. They are NPIP registered, have a huge range of more than 200 breeds of poultry, and their customer service has always been excellent in my experience.
At the time of writing this, Cackle Hatchery was selling:
- Black Ameraucanas
- Blue Ameraucanas
- Lavender Ameraucanas
- Buff Ameraucanas
- White Ameraucanas
As well as some easter eggers. Easter eggers are essentially a mixed breed that possesses the blue egg laying gene, but they can also lay green, cream, pink, and many shades in between.
If you want to guarantee blue eggs, don’t buy an easter egger! Although you will end up with some wonderfully unusually-colored eggs.
Are Ameraucanas a Good Choice for a Backyard Breed?
In a word – Yes!
Just because they are rare, it doesn’t mean they aren’t an excellent choice for a backyard breed.
Ameraucanans are personable, friendly, adaptable, hardy, fun.. All the things someone would look for in a backyard chicken.
With the obvious added bonus that they lay blue eggs.
Being native to Chile, as you may expect, they do prefer the warmer months. I can’t find any complaints from owners in colder climates, apart from the fact they lay less in the winter.
That’s normal for most breeds though. As the daylight hours draw in, so does a chickens ability to produce eggs on a regular basis.
So, if you’re after a blue layer, something a little more unique, or just fancy adding a couple of these adorable birds to your flock – I say go for it.
The Difference Between the Ameraucana and Aracana
Don’t feel bad if you’ve confused Ameraucanas and Araucanas before, or even if you thought the only difference was a spelling mistake!
These two breeds sound and look very similar. They also have similar histories and are both blue egg layers.
Physically, the main differences are:
Ameraucanas have muffs and beards. This mean they have small puffy feathers on their cheeks, and, well, beards. They also have tails, which is always an easy way to tell the difference.
Araucanas don’t have tails, they are rumpless. They also don’t have muffs and beards, instead, they have the more distinctive larger ear tufts. Which are feathers sticking out from just below their ear flaps.
Both are excellent backyard breeds. They’re easy to raise, great layers, friendly, and a lot of fun to be around.
Related – When do Araucana chickens start laying eggs?
Image credits – Photos by Jason Leung and Kelly Neil on Unsplash
Ameraucana Breeders Club – AmeraucanaBreedersClub.org
American Poultry Association – Accepted Breeds and Varieties of Ameraucanas