Easter Egg Layers

When deciding what chicks to order, we looked at every breed we could find. A few years ago when my husband Mountain was a farm manager at Salt Spring Cheese on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, he was responsible for running their Easter weekend gathering and celebration. One of the entertainment stalls we set up provided kids and adults an opportunity to interact with baby chicks. We ordered “Easter Eggers” because of their unique look and their colorful eggs.

Photo Credit: www.FreshEggsDaily.com

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Considering how much we enjoyed the chickens at the Salt Spring Cheesery, it made sense that we would choose the same breed for the micro farm we are currently developing on our 2-acre in town property. If you have read my previous blogs, you’d know that our chicks arrive on August 30th, 2016. As of today, they are exactly 2 weeks old! If you are not familiar with this breed, and you are considering ordering your own backyard or farmyard chickens, I encourage you to check them out before you make your final decision! Our hens are just layers, but apparently they also make decent meat birds but they are excellent layers and their eggs are beautiful.

Photo Credit: www.FreshEggsDaily.com
Photo Credit: www.FreshEggsDaily.com

 

Quick Stats: Easter Eggers
Type: Standard
Class: All Other Standard
Egg Color: Green
Egg Size: Large
Egg Production: Excellent
Meat Production: Better

According to Murray McMurray Hatchery where we purchased our chicks:

“This unusual breed gets in name from the Indian tribe of Chilie where they were first discovered.  Our chicks have some Araucana and some Ameraucana blood mixed and consequently are not for show but are beautiful chickens known for their ability to lay colored eggs of shades varying from turquoise to deep olive to shades of brown.  Each bird will typically lay a different shade of colored egg that will amaze your friends and make a wonderful “show and tell” type project for school.

Adults are of medium size with pea combs and our breeding stock are selected for their ability to produce colored eggs.  They exhibit a wonderful combination of colors and color patterns and 10 or 20 of these birds will make an absolutely beautiful laying flock that is extremely hardy and will be the talk of the town.  Baby chicks come in all colors, plain and fancy, just like the adults.  This is a unique breed and great fun to have when the colored eggs start coming.  Our chicks are recommended for egg laying color and ability, not for exhibition.”

So far we are loving out little Easter egg hens!

Posted by Joy

This article has 6 Comments

  1. I did not know that there was such a thing as a natural green egg. Looks so pretty. I have a few questions. So, can anyone have chickens in their residential yard? Do they make a lot of noise, and do they take up a lot of space? I have often considered this. I love fresh eggs. I just want to consider my neighbors. Then how big of an enclosed area do I need?

    1. Hey,

      Thanks so much for asking questions. Raising backyard chickens in an urban location (we have 2 acres within city limits) is new to me. That said, I have been researching like crazy to get ready for my little brood of hens. What I have learned so far is that it is important for their emotional and physical health for chickens to have time outside each day.

      If your chickens do have access to the great outdoors, they need 4 square feet of coop space each and 10-20 square feet of outdoor space per chicken. I currently have a baby monitor in their coop to make sure they are safe because we have a lot of predators that would love to eat our girls. They go into a trance like state when they are sleeping which happens as soon as it is dark out, so they are silent at night time unless there is an eminent threat that wakes them (happened at about 3 am in our coop but our dogs scared off the offending predator).

      During the day our hens are relatively quiet. They have a sweet little sound that I hear within a few feet of them, or on our baby monitor which is currently on 24-7. What I have learned is that in a lot of residential settings that are within city limits, you are prohibited from having a rooster. Makes sense to me. While some people love being woken up by the call of a rooster I wouldn’t appreciate it lol.

      The set up was kind of intense. There was a lot to learn and a lot to do but now that we are set up properly (which I will be writing about tomorrow) I am finding it truly enjoyable. Thanks again for your thoughtful comment and for challenging me to answer questions! I am learning along the way and was pleasantly surprised that I was able to answer your questions without needing to research. I must be made for this.

      Sincerely,

      Joy

  2. Those eggs are beautiful! I have just been turned on to fresh eggs from a local farm, having purchased only supermarket eggs for my whole adult life and I simply cannot go back – there is no comparison to fresh eggs. I’m not sure I’m ready for all the work that goes into having chickens,…although I have heard they might help my flea/tick problem? My neighbor up the road has a few and they just roam free in her yard, right up to the edge of the road during the day ( we live in a very rural, small town). Just out of curiosity, when you talk about 4 square feet of “coop” space – what exactly does that mean? Do they need some sort of soft bedding? What do they lay their eggs on? Does their food and water go in the coop or outside? This is all very intriguing. And the baby chicks – like many baby creatures-are adorable!

    1. Hi Elaine,

      Thank you for asking! It is a lot of work getting set up but now that we have the systems in place, it’s not too bad. They don’t lay until between 4-6 months but once they start laying you need laying boxes, they also need roosting areas that are higher off the ground. To have them outside free ranging wouldn’t work for us because our dogs would eat them but it sounds like you are in a better position to free range your chickens if you decide to get some.

      They eat all insects, fleas, and definitely ticks. In larger farm like settings, there are birds called guinea hens that remove all pest but they don’t work u=in residential, micro farm, or urban settings. The coop itself needs to have 4 square feet of floor space per bird or they feel too cooped up and can be quite brutal to each other. We use straw for their bedding. We were using wood shaving bedding that was meant for rabbits in their initial bin but it needed to be cleaned out really quickly, didn’t absorb the moisture and smelled really awful (of course, they were in my bathroom when they were in the bin lol).

      Their eggs will eventually be laid in nesting boxes but we haven’t installed those yet because they won’t lay until Spring. There are specific feeders and waterers that work incredibly well. We hung ours inside the coop. It is a bit complicated to explain but my upcoming posts will be focused on sharing the process of setting up a proper coop. If you’re interested in learning more just check back. I took over 100 pictures of the set up process and hope to motivate myself to write an e-book to help others incorporate chickens into their lives.

      They are so incredibly adorable and truly enhance our lives even though they aren’t yet laying eggs!

      Thanks,

      Joy

  3. Hi Joy,
    Are they good with children and other pets? We had a mixed flock until we had to move house and give them away so I am researching the best birds for our next flock because we just loved having chooks! They’re all such individual personalities and so much fun to be around. We had some that liked picking up the bugs as you were digging in the garden, another that loved our border collie dog and would follow him around everywhere and a couple who just liked to be off with their particular chicken friend minding their own business!
    Do easter eggers like being handled? We hand raised our chooks but still found that some liked to be handled and others didn’t. And are they calm (for when our crazy dog starts barking at parrots) or nervous and flighty?
    Thanks for your help with my research and all the best with your flock!
    Rachel

    1. They are the most docile chickens I have been around. Even our rooster is decent. The only incident so far was him having an aggressive reaction to my orange bucket, lol. Ours seem to enjoy being handled but we raised them with kids and they were held when they were chicks. I have been reading a bit about the increase in salmonella so we just wash our hands carefully and don’t eat around them. I find them to be quite confident and overall wonderful chickens to have. Good luck! Let me know what you decide! – Joy

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