The elusive Ameraucana

“Hawkeye”
Wheaten Ameraucana rooster

After going through three hatchery-bred Rhode Island Red roosters for biting the hand that feeds them (and spurring the legs that bring them that food), the search was on for an Ameraucana rooster.  After asking the experts at www.backyardchickens.com, I had decided that the wheaten Ameraucana was the perfect rooster – beautiful, protector of his flock, but gentle and docile with people. I thought finding one would be as easy as going into town to pick up those chicks the year before.  Boy, was I wrong.

Amy, blue wheaten Ameraucana hen
true Ameraucana

Ameraucanas, true Ameraucanas, are pretty rare.  There are a lot of folks who say they have Ameraucanas, but what they actually have are Easter Eggers and Olive Eggers, aka AmerIcanas.  What’s the difference, you may ask. The Easter Eggers (nicknamed because of the many colored eggs the hens lay) and Olive Eggers (olive colored eggs) are all mixed breeds: a light brown or white egg layer (such as the Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds) bred to an Ameraucana (or any other breed with the blue egg gene) creates this very pretty minty green eggs, as well as other various pastels.  A wide variety of Easter Eggers will make your egg collection basket look like an Easter basket every day – hence the name.  Olive Eggers are any very dark brown egg layer (such as the Marans) bred to any breed with the blue egg gene (like the Ameraucana).  The eggs from that combination will have an olive green cast to them – very striking!

Miss Muffett – an Easter Egger hen
I thought I was buying a true Ameraucana

The problem with calling Easter Eggers and Olive Eggers Ameraucanas is that: 1) they don’t usually match the standard colors for Ameraucanas, according to the APA breed standard (you can read more about that at the Ameraucana Breeder’s Club, and 2) they won’t breed “true” – in otherwords, no matter how much they may look like a purebred Ameraucana, their chicks won’t. And some of the Easter Eggers look enough like an Ameraucana to fool you – especially when you’re a novice, like I was when I first started. To be fair, some of the people that call their AmerIcanas AmerAUcanas don’t know the difference, either.  But if you want a true Ameraucana, go to the source!

I went to the Ameraucana’s Breeders Club and looked up a breeder near me and found Suzanne Blumer and beautiful Huckleberry Farms in upstate South Carolina. A few phone calls, some pictures exchanged, and a paypal payment sent and I was on my way to pick up my new Ameraucana rooster. Of course, I took extra crates and boxes just in case something else caught my attention, too. I learned pretty fast that, when planning a visit to another farm, be prepared to bring home more than you planned.

We are now working on our third generation of Ameraucanas, most of whom are descendants of the foundation cockerel, Hawkeye. Although Hawkeye is now retired and living out his days in his own private pen, his wonderful temperament and beautiful example of the breed lives on in all my Ameraucana breeding pens.

Sand Castles Farm is a proud member of the Ameraucana Breeder’s Club.


4 Comments  to  The elusive Ameraucana

  1. Jeff and Cheryl Vance says:

    How close are u to Greenville SC do u sell chicks or adult and if so what is price of wheaten am

    • sandcastles says:

      Hello
      I am just outside of Aiken, SC and about two and a half hours from Greenville, SC. I don’t currently have any adults for sale, but might have some later this year. I have just started hatching chicks out for this season and will be having some available beginning in about a week to a week and a half. I sell my 3 day old – 3 week old chicks for $8/ea straight run.

  2. Ann Vance says:

    Hi,

    I found your listing on the breeders directory. I am interested to see if you have any of your large fowl Wheaten/Blue Wheatens available. Looking for pricing on delivery of day old chicks. I live in Capron, Virginia (23829)

    Also looking for black copper marans if you know of anyone.

    Thank you so much,
    Ann Vance

    • sandcastles says:

      Hi Ann

      I’m sorry, but I won’t ship chicks. I know many do, but it is not something I am comfortable doing. I will be happy to ship some eggs, if you have access to an incubator.

      Susan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>