There has certainly been a surge in chicken keepers outside of the farm. With this rise, the USDA now offers informational resources to support what’s known as ‘backyard poultry flocks’. Some of these flocks include the specialty, ‘hybrid’ breed known as Easter egger or the elusive white Easter egger chickens. What are Easter egger and white Easter egger chickens exactly?
Easter egger and white Easter egger chickens are popular for ‘backyard chicken breeders’. Besides their beautiful colorful eggs which make them highly desired, they also have lovely, variable plumage, sometimes all white, and are known for their hardiness, being rarely sick and living 7-8 years.
These amazing birds are quite versatile, too. Weighing between 4-5 pounds, Easter eggers can be reared for food or simply kept as home pets, providing the occasional lovely egg.
Read on to learn more about this chicken known for its cheery disposition and openness to human interaction as much as its colorful eggs. I also recommend The Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens: How to Raise a Happy Backyard Flock (available on Audible or Kindle Unlimited) for further research on (white) Easter eggers!
How Do You Identify an Easter Egger?
The Easter egger is quite a spectacular bird. Its distinct features make it stand out among its peers, yet due to their genetic makeup, they are also quite varied among themselves. So what does an Easter egger look like then and how do you identify an Easter egger?
Easter egger chickens are identifiable mostly by their colorful eggs, not based on their own outside coloring and features. Easter egger breeders should prove identifying genetic makeup of the birds (their parents) to ensure accuracy. Purchase an Easter egger after verifying parentage or eggs.
It might seem challenging to identify a white Easter egger bird or any Easter egger when its description is so non-specific. This is because the feature each possesses depends on the genes it inherited from its parent-bird.
In fact, no two Easter eggers have the same appearance, even if they have the same parents, which is one reason the white Easter egger is so rare!
Each individual egger possesses mixed features. Some have beards, others don’t. Some have tails, where others are tailless. Both hens and roosters have small red wattles. And while their legs are usually clean, a few tend to have legs covered in feathers. It’s an enigma to be sure!
Easter egger or Easter-egger: any chicken that possesses the colorful egg gene, but doesn’t fully meet any breed standard defined in the American Poultry Association’s (APA) standardsWikiPedia
Roosters and hens have similar appearances, too, among eggers. However, breeders can usually tell the gender of eggers just by observation!
It might sound sexist, but it’s generally true that rooster eggers have a lot more poise and charisma! They strut about with their head held high acting quite confident. The hens, on the other hand, are more timid, quiet, and cautious than their male counterparts.
But most breeders also agree that Easter eggers are commonly open to human interaction, including the hens…once they ‘get used to you.’
Easter eggers are generally considered quiet and non-violent birds. However, they can get loud and rowdy if under attack by predators. So if your Easter egger chicken begins to cackle all of a sudden, it’s best if you check on them.
In addition, the hybrid bird really likes to eat by grazing regularly. It is a common sight to find it licking and pecking away at any surface, searching for little helpings of food.
But again, to be sure, the distinct trait that separates an Easter egger bird from other breeds is the color of its eggs. This is because the bird contains a pigment known as the Occyaning pigment. This pigment is responsible for the production of its colored eggs.
We’ll discuss this more in the next section.
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What Color of Eggs Do White Easter Eggers Lay?
The bird is a cross-breed; you could refer to it as a hybrid. It is not an actual chicken breed per se. Instead, it is formed by breeding two other chicken breeds (this is similar to designer dogs like ‘shih-poos’ made from shit-zu and poodles or the ‘goldendoodles’ from Golden retrievers and poodles).
The parent-birds of an Easter egger are the Araucana and the Ameracauna, both known for laying blue eggs. But the combination makes more the distinctive variety visible in the Easter egger!
White Easter eggers, as well as all eggers, typically lay blue eggs, but can also lay green, white, olive, pink, and shades of brown eggs. Keep in mind that your particular Easter egger will lay only one of these colors in its lifetime. To have color variety, you need lots of Easter eggers.
Though there are many color variations of Easter eggers, the individual Easter egger will only lay one egg color throughout its lifetime.
To be clear, though, Easter eggers are considered good egg layers. You can almost guarantee getting three or four large eggs each week. The size of the bird’s egg is either large or extra-large. Very rarely does an Easter Egger produce a small-sized egg.
With three or four large or extra-large eggs each week, the egg keepers can expect about 200-280 good size eggs per year. This is good news for most chicken breeders, since one of the biggest perks of breeding chickens is getting good egg production.
And while the color of the eggshells differs from other types of eggs, the main reason for their popularity, the Easter eggers’ eggs taste remains the same, or better according to chicken experts.
So the eggshell color does not affect the general taste of an egg, but Easter eggers produce delicious, large eggs!
Special Note: There is no discrepancy or deficiency in terms of edibility, health, or nutrient quantity between an Easter Egger’s egg and another breed’s egg.
How Long Does it Take an Easter Egger to Lay Eggs?
Easter Eggers typically begin their egg production at 20 to 24 weeks (about 5-6 months of age). If at this stage, your bird does not begin laying eggs, it could be a result of certain factors such as stress, malnourishment, or lack of light, for instance. Contact a vet or specialist knowledgeable about chickens for support if your egger seems to be struggling.
As mentioned before, once your egger begins laying eggs, you can expect 4-5 eggs per week. The eggs will be substantial in size too, typically what’s considered large or extra-large for chicken eggs.
How Do I Grow and Maintain an Easter Egger?
If you’re looking for a bird that is friendly, easy to rear, and produces a collection of beautiful eggs, then an Easter egger is a great option! These hybrid birds are very easy to grow and maintain as far as chickens go.
The birds are highly tolerant and adaptive and can withstand many unfavorable conditions. Therefore, in general to raise and maintain Easter eggers all you need is to give them a steady supply of their basic amenities, that is: food, water, and safe shelter.
The birds are relatively tolerant; this means that they have strong immune systems, another reason for making it a good breed to keep. Regardless, it’s also recommended to have them de-wormed and vaccinated to boost their immunity and lifespan.
However, the Easter egger is small in stature and does not provide much meat. For this reason, most breeders use them for producing beautiful and tasty eggs, not for meat. If you want a meat chicken, look elsewhere.
Also, just because Easter eggers are smaller chickens doesn’t mean they need small spaces. Their pen should be thoroughly spaced, giving each bird you keep enough room for walking around freely. They thrive being able to roam freely (and getting good exercise) so if possible, open pens at least part of the time work well for them too, as long as the environment is secure.
Note: Sometimes breeders raised Easter eggers with other breeds of chickens. If raised in a confined pen with other breeds, you should separate the birds from bigger birds which could bully Easter eggers. Given the smaller size of eggers, they are not strong enough to fight off bigger birds over food and so on.
Wrapping Up White Easter Egger Explained
So to conclude, I’ve listed the highlights of white Easter eggers and Easter eggers below.
- White Easter eggers are hybrid birds (white in color) known for their lovely, pastel colored eggs (usually shades of blue, green, and brown) as well as their own vibrant white feathers.
- Easter eggers in general are designer-breed birds from Araucana and Ameracauna, bred for the color of eggs they lay.
- Easter eggers are as varied in their own color as can be; they can be white chickens, shades of brown, and even chickens with black feathers from head to tail!
- Easter eggers are described as friendly-natured, mild mannered chickens, open to interacting with humans (though this isn’t guaranteed!).
- Lastly, most Easter egger chickens lay 4-5 large to extra-large eggs per week.
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