Several people in the world have embarked on poultry farming due to several reasons. This includes the nutritional value of poultry products and a form of investment for many families at large. Before you embark on poultry farming, you need to learn more about different chicken breeds around. This way, you will decide on the best ones to domesticate, depending on the project’s purpose at hand.
The Easter Egger is one of the best chicken breeds we have around. These hens are primarily raised purposely to lay eggs for consumption and commercial use. They are one of the chicken breeds around that lay colored eggs. They usually lay blue eggs. The Easter Egger hens are also of different colors and shades. In this article, you will learn more about the Easter Egger and, most importantly, its features at large.
The origin of the Easter Egger
These chicken breeds were discovered several decades ago by the Araucana Indians. The chicken originated from Chile, a country in South America. This is a crossbreed of the Ameraucana and Araucana and other different chicken breeds. This resulted in an adorable breed that lays eggs of different colors.
Easter Eggers are a few unique breeds we have in the world. There are those with wattles, and others may lack depending on the parent genes. The color of the eyes ranges from orange, reddish, and others yellow. Another part that differs from one to the other is their legs. The color of the legs varies from greenish and yellow. Other hens have feathers even on their legs.
Tufted gene problem
The world is hit by the tufted gene that results in high mortality rates, especially to this chicken breed’s chicks. Since this is something that appeared normal days back, most hatcheries have hybridized different breeding programs. This includes breeding other breeds, including the Araucana, to encounter the tufted gene problem.
What does this mean? If you are looking for a typical Easter Egger chick, then avoid getting them hatcheries. Chicks from hatcheries might be a mixture of two or more breeds combined.
The Easter Egger is hybrid vigor.
Easter Egger chickens are one of the rare and unique breeds found in the world. They are relatively stronger compared to other chicken breeds we have around. Those from mixed breeds are stronger since they exhibit the qualities of different breeds at large. The lay four eggs per day, and they can live for longer than others.
The Easter Eggers are adorable and good-looking. Try to look at their shades as they change at their early stages to the time they mature. The color of their feathers will change color as they grow.
The color of their eggs
Most hens lay brown and white eggs. However, other chicken breeds lay eggs of different colors. The Easter Egger, for instance, lay eggs of different shades at large. They lay brown, blue, pink, blue, and many other shades that fall between these colors.
Unlike the traditional egg layers that lay as many eggs as over five per week, the Easter Egger lays an averagely four eggs per week. However, no health benefit has ever been researched about the colored eggs. It is said that all eggs have the same nutritional qualities, whether brown, white, or any other color. The appeal of the hens lies in the colored eggs they lay and their varied appearance at large.
Feeding the Easter Egger chickens
When it comes to food, chickens are much content to it. They eat anything they come across; insects, pests, worms, and vegetables. If you need to maintain them healthy always, ensure you feed them on vitamin-rich foods and boosters.
The Easter Eggers loves eating grains. You should never worry about preparing special feeds for them. They can eat corn, rice, and any other kind of grain. They also feed on kitchen leftovers, vegetables, and fruit peelings. There are many ways you can feed your Easter Egger hens. You can either scatter the feed on the ground for them or get a big dish to place their feed. The egg-laying hens need calcium in their diet to ensure they produce quality eggs.
The features of the Easter Egger
- They are calm and friendly; they cuddle with each other and even with the owners.
- They are small. This is why they are domesticated purposely to lay eggs and not for meat.
- A mature Easter Egger roster weights about seven pounds while the hen five pounds.
- They produce an averagely of 250 eggs per year.
- They lay eggs in a variant of different colors, brown, green, pink, and blue. However, they mostly produce eggs with a blue gene.
- The Easter Eggers have four toes.
- Their ear lobes are of different colors, but mostly, they are white and red.
- Most of them have tails; a few have exhibited the genes of Araucana that lack tails.
- The wattles of this breed are small and red.
- Fewer hens have ear tufts.
How long do they live?
The Easter Egger is one of the long-living hens in the world. But then, why is this way. Unlike other chicken breeds that lay many eggs, the Easter Eggers lay averagely four eggs per week. This is the reason they stay longer compared to other chicken breeds in the world. They can live as long as about eight years.
Are these hens noisy like other chicken breeds?
The Easter Egger are friendly birds you can domesticate anywhere. They are calm and domicile. Unlike other breeds like the Plymouth Rock chicken, the Easter Eggers are quieter birds that won’t cause problems.
When you plan to start a poultry farming project, space will be a factor you will have in mind most before you start anything. Unlike other chicken breeds, the Easter Eggers don’t take up large rooms because of their small size. About four square feet is enough for every hen. You can see, you can hold a large flock in a small space as such.
The living space of the Easter Eggers also should be well ventilated and lightened. Sufficient light provides them some comfort. Construct them a sturdy living space where predators can’t possibly reach and enter.
Are these breeds heat tolerant?
These are unique creatures around. Unlike other chicken breeds that can’t do well in the cold, the Easter Egger can do well under these climatic conditions.
The diseases they are prone to
Like other chicken breeds around, the Easter Eggers are prone to some pests and diseases. They are prone to respiratory infections, fowl pox, and grape worms. The main parasites that attack these breeds include the mites and lice.
Cases of intestinal worms are also common to them. You can find out this by checking their droppings. Once you notice any of the infestations, you should check a veterinarian who will advise you accordingly on how to keep them off from those issues. Mites and lice hide in their feathers, check the feathers regularly, and schedule treatment if you notice them. You are recommended to get your chicken into antibiotics and vaccines to prevent them from diseases.
How to take care of the Easter Egger chicks
You will always ensure that your hens have a great life to give you quality eggs. For the chicks, you will provide them with a quality chick starter. As they grow, you will introduce them to a layer diet. Ensure your feed comprises 16% protein. Oyster shells are great for the chicken to lay quality eggs. You will always ensure to incorporate this into their diet.
When do they start laying eggs?
The Easter Eggers starts to lay when they reach maturity. This is around six to seven months. However, you can find others taking up to a year to start laying. The diet you will provide them greatly determines when they will start laying eggs, the environments, and season at large. For instance, they will lay fewer eggs during winter compared to other seasons. They will also lay more and faster if you feed them in diets composed of 16% layer feed when they start laying.
Are they the best breeds to domesticate?
The Easter Eggers are adorable chicken breeds you can love to raise at home. Their beautiful appearance and colored eggs show it all why they are the best breed to have. They can live in any environmental conditions; they tolerate both heat and cold. They do well in cold environments. However, if you are looking for a dual-purpose breed, this is not your option. They are purposely domesticated to lay eggs.
The Easter Egger is a great pet and investment you can consider adding to your poultry flock. Their different and adorable colors make them the choice of most people who plan to domesticate hens. They lay eggs of different colors, blue, green, and pink. However, a particular hen will lay a particular color throughout and not a mixture of all the colors. They are calm, friendly, and productive breeds worthy of domesticating.