In current American usage, an Easter egger or Easter-egger is any chicken that possesses the "blue egg" gene, but doesn't fully meet any breed standard defined in the American Poultry Association's (APA) standards, or in the case of Easter Egger bantams, the American Bantam Association's (ABA) standards. The name derives from the resemblance of their colorful eggs to Easter eggs and for many years most hatcheries mistakenly labeled their Easter eggers as Ameraucanas or Araucanas. The Araucana, Ameraucana, and Easter eggers are descended from the same foundation stock that spread around the world from Chile and the Falklands. Because of the many breeds that go into them, Easter eggers come in many colors and patterns. The pigment oocyanin deposited on the surface of the shell accounts for the blue-green color. Easter eggers are hardy and excellent layers.
Easter Eggers are one of the most popular hybrids in backyard flocks because of their egg color. However, 1/16 of the chickens resulting from crossing a brown-egg breed and a blue-egg breed will have a single comb and lay brown eggs, which is undesirable. Easter Eggers come in an infinite number of color varieties and lay an infinite number of different egg colors.
Their eggs vary in shade from blue to green and in some cases even pink. An Easter egger crossed with a variety that lays dark-brown eggs, such as the Marans, will result in offspring that lay olive-green eggs, sometimes called olive eggers.
- "Araucana, Ameraucana, Americana, or he Easter Eggers: 'What Eggsactly Is the Difference?'", APA-ABA Youth Poultry Club
- "Ameraucana Chickens (Easter Egger)", Chicken-Breeds.com