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Digital Subscriptions > Chickens > Chickens 101 > Feeling Blue?

Feeling Blue?

OLHA BIBI/SHUTTERSTOCK

Ameraucana, americana, araucana or Easter egger? What’s the difference? Will they all lay blue eggs? For years, the distinction between the blue-egg– laying breeds has eluded backyard chicken keepers.

Myths and misconceptions about the breeds have led to more confusion than ever, from the origin of the blueegg layer to the cholesterol level in her eggs.

Let’s put all those questions to rest.

BLUE?LAYER ORIGIN

The blue-egg layers we know today are descended from two varieties of chickens native to the coast of Chile.

They were called the collonca and the quetro. Raised by the Araucana Indians of the region, the collonca variety laid blue eggs, was rumpless and had a small single comb. The quetro variety had a tail, was tufted and laid brown eggs.

Both of these birds were popularized in 1921.

A chicken expert in Chile, Dr. Ruben Bustos, bred the collonca and the quetro, developing a variety that was rumpless, had tufts, and laid blue eggs. He called them collonca de artes, meaning collonca with earrings. At the first World Poultry Congress that same year, Spanish poultry expert Dr. Salvador Castello reported on his observations of Dr. Bustos’s birds.

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