Have you ever heard of an Americana chicken? Often mistaken for other breeds, the term ‘Americana’ isn’t a recognized chicken breed but a common mispronunciation leading to some feathery mix-ups. There’s also a ton of confusion surrounding Americana chickens that few chicken fanciers know about.
Let’s decode them – in detail!
What Are Americana Chickens?
In poultry circles, there’s no official breed named Americana. When homesteaders refer to Americana chickens, they usually mean Easter Egger chickens, Ameraucana chickens, Araucana chickens, or any chicken that lays colored eggs.
To add to the confusion, hatcheries and sellers often mislabel them, further muddying the waters.
Araucana vs. Ameraucana vs. Easter Egger Chickens
- Araucana: This older breed is known for its rumplessness (lack of tail) and distinct ear tufts. They lay blue eggs. Originating from Chile, Araucanas came to North America in the 1920s or 1930s.
- Ameraucana: This breed was developed in the U.S. in the 1970s, derived from chickens that carried the blue egg gene of the Araucana but didn’t meet the Araucana standard (due to having tails, different colorations, et cetera.). Ameraucanas have muffs and beards, are tailed, and lay blue eggs.
- Easter Egger: This is where the term “Americana” often gets misapplied. Easter Eggers are not a standardized breed. They are mixed-breed chickens that possess the blue egg gene. They can lay various egg colors from blue to green and even pinkish. Easter Eggers can be a mix of any breed but are often associated with Ameraucana or Araucana heritage due to the blue egg gene.
|APA Acceptance?||Unrecognized||Yes – 1984||Yes – 1976|
|Origin||Varies||USA||South America / Chile|
|Temperament||Varies – but usually friendly||Docile, friendly||Alert|
|Rarity||Somewhat common||Rare||Very rare|
|Head Dress||Varies||Ear Muffs||Ear Tufts|
|Rooster Weight||Varies||Six pounds||Five pounds|
|Hen Weight||Varies||Five pounds||Four pounds|
|Egg Color||Blue, green, yellow, orange, pink||Bluish||Bluish|
|Eye Color||Varies||Reddish||Red or brown|
|Comb Style||Varies||Pea Comb||Pea Comb|
|Ear Lobe Color||Varies||Red||Red|
In summary, the Americana isn’t a recognized chicken breed. The confusion commonly arises due to misunderstandings or mislabelings involving the Ameraucana breed and Easter Egger chickens.
What Mix Is the Americana Chicken?
The Americana chicken isn’t a specific mix or standardized breed. Instead, it’s an informal and often mistakenly used term that can encompass a variety of chickens with mixed heritage, especially those that lay colored eggs.
The true recognized breeds are the Ameraucana and Araucana, each with distinct characteristics and standards. The Americana label is more of a catch-all, often referring to chickens with a blend of features from various breeds, including but not limited to the Ameraucana and Araucana.
In other words – Americana chickens usually refer to Easter Egger chickens. (If a chicken breeder advertises Americana chickens – it’s likely an Easter Egger. In other words – it’s a mixed chicken, often of Ameraucana or Araucana heritage. It will almost invariably lay colorful eggs.)
Here’s the complete owner’s guide for anyone raising Ameraucana or Araucana chickens by Ruth Corbin. The book details the history of Ameraucana and Araucana chickens in vivid detail. You’ll also learn the little-known difference between Easter Eggers, Americanas, and Ameraucana chickens.
Why Raise Americana Chickens
Despite not being a ‘true’ breed, you might choose to raise Americana chickens for several reasons.
- Colored Eggs: One of the main attractions is the variety of egg colors. While Ameraucanas lay blue eggs and Araucanas lay blue or greenish eggs, the so-called “Americana” chickens can produce a broader range of egg colors, including blue, green, olive, and sometimes even pinkish hues.
- Unique Appearance: Since the Americana isn’t a standardized breed, these chickens can exhibit a delightful mix of features. Their lovely feather mix can make for a visually diverse and fascinating flock.
- Hardiness: Many of these mixed-breed chickens are hardy and well-adapted to various climates, making them suitable for different regions.
- Temperament: While individual personalities vary, many backyard chicken keepers find these birds friendly and good with families, making them popular for hobbyists. Americana chickens also have reputations as excellent pets – especially for children.
- Availability: Due to their popularity and the lack of a strict breeding standard, they’re readily available at hatcheries and local breeders. You can usually buy them at a more accessible price point than purebred varieties.
Getting an Americana chicken can be an adventure in poultry-keeping! Discovering each bird’s egg colors and individual personalities will be a joy. They have excellent reputations among backyard chicken keepers who value diversity in egg color and chicken appearance over breed purity.
Thanks so much for reading our Americana chicken guide!
We know it’s confusing differentiating between Americana vs. Ameraucana vs. Araucana chickens.
So – we saved a handy cheatsheet to help differentiate the three distinct birds.
- Americana – Also called the Easter Egger chicken. These chickens are a mixed mash breed – not a certified breed recognized by the American Poultry Association or the American Bantam Association. They lay random-colored eggs, usually blue, pink, orange, or green.
- Araucana – The original blue-egg layer. Many have unusual ear tuft feathers sticking out of their ears.
- Ameraucana – Derives from the Araucana breed. They retain the colorful eggs – but don’t have the lethal alleles gene that Araucana chickens possess.
We also want to say that we love all three birds. Each one makes an excellent addition to your backyard flock. And the eggs from any are spectacular!
But – if you have small children, we recommend the Ameraucana or the Americana (Easter Egger) – as they have reputations as being kind, laidback, friendly chickens.
Thanks again for reading.
Have a great day!
- How Many Eggs Does a Chicken Lay a Day? – What About Per Week? Or Year?
- What Chickens Lay White Eggs? White Egg Laying Chickens Top 19!
- 15 Largest Chicken Breeds In the World – and the Biggest Eggs!
- 5 Farm Birds That Eat Ticks on Their Daily Farm Patrol!
- Do Chickens Need Light at Night to Lay Eggs? [and Do Chicks?]