Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Easter Egger

I interrupt the series of garden tour photos for this picture of a chicken.

In comments, Ki suggested that we try Araucana chickens. I've looked into it, but they're expensive and difficult to find in the US. And even if you do, they'll most likely be Americanas instead, or Easter Eggers. Those we do have, and of all the chickens we've owned, they're my favorites.

We free-range our chickens, but even with a livestock guardian dog there's somewhat of a predator problem,

and the heavier chickens we've had (Dominiques, Buff Orpingtons, Marans) always seem the first to go. The lightest chickens (Rhode Island Reds, White Leghorns, and Lakenvelders) have also tended to be the flightiest, which is no fun when you're attempting to remove eggs from under them. (They freak out.) Easter Eggers are somewhere in the friendly but wary middle ground.

True Araucana chickens lay blue eggs, but they are difficult to breed. So hatcheries sell Easter Eggers (even if they call them something else), which usually lay green eggs, but sometimes blue or pink.

Two of our girls started out laying bluish eggs, but this year they're more greenish. (A particular chicken's egg color usually changes over time.)

It's OK though.

I like them all.


Katie said...

I love the photos! What beautiful things free range eggs can be!

LauraP said...

Aren't the varying shades in the nest fascinating? I suspect that someday when I have grandchildren, I'll get some Easter Eggers, just because.

Floridacracker said...

I was feeding my chickens the other day when plunk! Out dropped an egg as I stood there. I had never been present for the big event before.

Stacie said...

WOW! I had no idea! I thought they were all just white or brown..mostly white. I didnt' know they came in colors too. Is there a difference in taste between the different breeds?

Juli said...

Gorgeous chicken! Wow... and I love the egg selection! Ohhhh I can't wait to have chickens again some day!!

Heather said...

That photo is amazing! You are a great photographer.

Laurie said...

Very, very cool! We used to have chickens that laid colorful eggs. I'm not sure what breed they were, but the eggs were very pretty.

Rurality said...

Thanks y'all!

Katie, I should have taken a pic of the insides too I suppose, to show the difference there. (The yolk is much more of an orange color.)

Laura, at one time I wanted to have chickens laying in every color possible! I just love the look on people's faces when you give them a carton of eggs that are all different colors.

FC, Wow I've never been that lucky. Was she embarrassed? :)

Stacie, between all these eggs, they all taste the same. But they do taste much different than the one's you'd buy in the grocery store. That's because of the chickens' diet. If they can eat bugs and grass along with their chicken feed, the eggs will taste much better, and the yolks are a darker color. Some people will tell you that there is a difference in nutrition too, but I've never seen a scientific study that says so.

Juli, just writing this entry made me really want new chicks again next spring, even though we're eating fewer eggs nowdays. (I had a cholesterol problem that I've been trying to get under control.)

Thanks Heather! I have to admit that the bobcat and coyote pics were taken by our game camera so I can't take too much credit for those. :)

Laurie, they were probably the same as these. I don't know of any others that lay in such happy colors. :)

KFarmer said...

What a striking photo of the hen. She is really pretty. I like your eggs too-Oh so tasty, oh so yummy, oh so good, in your tummy! :)

Ki said...

Wow, you do have Easter eggs really neat looking. This is what we wanted when we bought our Auracanas which turned out to be all males. What a racket in the morning.

Yikes, I thought the bobcat was at first glance a mountain lion. I always thought bobcats had exaggerated side whiskers?

The word verification I got was: zuzaxlu. Pretty neat.

robin andrea said...

What fantastic colors! I had no idea. And that chicken is gorgeous. Now that's a sentence I never thought I'd write.

pablo said...

Obviously, I need to refresh my cache more often. I missed this post.

Okay, not an egg question: how far back is your game camera set from the path and/or how wide is the path the camera looks on?

Rachel said...

The colored eggs are so pretty! Raising chickens reminds me of when I was a kid and had to gather all the eggs. We only had white and brown eggs though.

If I lived where I could have chickens I'd have some!

Rurality said...

KF, yeah I forgot to mention how different and pretty all the Easter Eggers are. It seems like no two look exactly alike!

Ki, oh no all males - we were lucky that didn't happen to us when we got all straight run chicks. As for the bobcats, I think a lot of people mistake them for mountain lions. Not sure about the whiskers... I haven't ever been close enough to tell!

RA, maybe y'all need to get some. :) I know how much Roger loves them LOL.

Pablo, well we move it around a lot so it's not always the same. On these pics I think the path was about 3 feet wide and the camera was maybe a foot off of that. Lately hubby has it in a spot that has not gotten any pictures.

Rurality said...

Oops Rachel you must have been commenting while I was. :)

Yeah they are fun to have around! I wish ours would stay in the yard more often.

vicki said...

Isn't it always the case that the colors that occur in nature are so superior to the flash and neon we create? The last egg photo is a real knock out. That would make a wonderful art photo, enlarged, for somebody's kitchen!

I'm enjoying all the chicken posts (the garden ones, too) but the chickens are very cool.

Nicole said...

Wow, I have never seen eggs that color (naturally). Great pictures.

fred said...

Sorry, couldn't find an email, and just happened to find rurality apparently hosted (or highjacked) to Pakistan.

What's this all about?

.. Dallas Meow >^^ said...

we JUST started buying free range eggs - but all these colors - amazing

Rurality said...

Thanks Vicki! That picture is from my first month of blogging almost exactly 2 years ago. But I think it remains one of the favorites.

Nicole, until we had chickens, I'd never seen them either, except in pictures.

Fred, yeah I've noticed that. PKblogs mirrors everything on blogspot -- it's really for people in Pakistan (and other places where blogpot URLs are blocked) to be have access to blogspot blogs. I think the problem is that so many people link to pkblogs, their pagerank is very high... and often a search will bring up the mirrored page before the original page! It can be aggravating. :) But I guess it doesn't really hurt me. Lately I've noticed that there are similar sites (like inblogs). Don't know what, if anything, can be done about it.

Meow, once you get used to "real" eggs, it's hard to change back! Grocery store eggs will taste bland. Oh yeah I forgot to mention that free range eggs also do a lot better in baking. I don't bake much but I've been told that. They will also give recipes a different color sometimes. For example if you make a lemon pie with regular eggs and want it to look nice and yellow, you'll have to add food color. But with these eggs the color will be naturally a nice bright yellow.

earlysnowdrop said...

I had no idea that chickens laid eggs of such varying colors. Thanks for sharing these photos with us.

eastereggerlover said...

I have an easter egger that is'nt laying eggs yet. How old are they when they start laying eggs? I've looked in a lot of websites but they only usualy tell the differance of americaunas(i dont know if i spelled both of them right)or auracaunas and what color of eggs easter eggers lay

Rurality said...

If I remember correctly, the average is about 6 month old to start laying.