The Ameraucana is a North American derivative breed of the Chilean Araucana chicken, thus its name is a combination of “America” and “Araucana”. It is one of the few types of chicken that lays blue eggs.
Scientific & Common Names
Kingdom - Animalia
Phylum - Chordata
Class - Aves
Order - Galliformes
Family - Phasianidae
Subfamily - Phasianinae
Genus - Gallus
Species & Subspecies - G. gallus domesticus
Common Names – Ameraucana, Tailed Aracauna
These chickens have pea combs, which are small rows of red fleshy growths on the top of the head. They also have “ear muffs” which are puffed out feathers on the side of the head. Its legs are a grayish blue, and on birds with darker feathers the leg skin tends to be darker as well. Unlike the Araucana, which are “rumpless”, the Ameraucana chickens have tailfeathers. They come in many color combinations, including black, blue, red brown, buff, silver, white, wheaten and blue wheaten. Though another coloration known as “lavender” is quite popular, it is not officially recognized by the breed standard.
The characteristic rumpless tail and ear tuft feathers of the Aracauna are the result of dominant lethal alleles, which are genes that can cause the death of offspring if they are present in both parent chickens. These characteristics have been selectively bred out of the Ameraucana chicken, so that breeding them is less difficult and more eggs can be produced.
Ameraucanas are docile, friendly birds with a generally mild temperament. They can be skittish or easily spooked, especially if they are not provided with enough human contact.
Ameraucanas have been selectively breed to increase fertility and egg-laying efficiency over the Araucana, and also to remove certain undesirable genes that lead to complications. In some countries outside the United States, the Ameraucana is considered a variant of the Araucana. While Ameraucanas have been bred since as early as 1960, the breed has only been recently recognized by official breed standards since 1984.
Though true Araucanas are quite rare due to the difficulties in breeding them, Ameraucanas are more plentiful, especially in the United States. However, some chickens are passed off by disreputable breeders as Ameraucanas when they are in fact hybrids that may possess the blue egg gene. These chickens are sometimes referred to as “Easter Eggers” and do not reliably produce blue eggs. Occasionally, breeders will intentionally misspell the name as “Americauna” or “Americana” to deliberately mislead customers into thinking they are purchasing true Ameraucanas.