We have two beautiful chickens in our tiny backyard: Shauna, the Ameraucana, and Ruby, the Rhode Island Red. They’re over a year old now, and have been living quite happily in their coop in the backyard since late last Spring. Ruby lays lovely, caramel-colored eggs, and Shauna, who should lay beautiful, light blue eggs with a touch of green, lays greenish eggs that are a color somewhere between army and olive. They’ve started making lots of noise as soon as the sun comes up every morning, so my husband has been jumping out of bed at 5:30 every day to open their door and let them out. They’re quieter if they can roam the yard, eating grubs out of the lawn and pecking at the vegetable seeds the girls planted Easter weekend. My husband wants to send them down to the farm with the rest of the chickens, but I–who gets to murmur “go let the chickens out” before rolling over and going back to sleep–I like them right where they are.
Lesson #9 in Backyard Farming: Araucanas and Ameraucanas lay the pretty blue/green eggs. There are lots of mutt chickens that lay pretty blue/green eggs too. They fall into the “Easter Egger” category. In addition to Rhode Island Reds, lots of other breeds lay eggs in varying shades of brown. On the farm, we have more Rhode Island Reds, and a whole bunch of Buff Orpingtons, Lavender Orpingtons, Speckled Sussex, and Partridge Rocks. And we have one lone, white egg-laying Leghorn.