I began raising chickens on my farm last spring when I purchased 50 Americauna chicks. They are also known as “Easter Eggers” because their colored eggs come in shades of blue, green, olive, and pink. Even the inside of the shells are colored blue. Americaunas are active foraging birds, calm and tame, and good egg layers. They are very hardy here in Minnesota where we’ve had lows to minus 20 this week. Their combs and wattles are small and compact and so less susceptible to freezing. They also have feathery ear muffs and masks that insulate their heads and faces.
I started out with 50 chicks last spring but a disease infected my young flock and killed nearly half them. The survivors were brought outside and kept in a small pen by my house where I planned to keep them until the coop was built and they were large were large enough to be released into their pasture. Well, that was a not without disastrous problems, too. First, there was a neighbor’s cat that killed a few, then a racoon killed more until I was down to 13 chickens. And then there was a flood in June that nearly drowned them. But eventually the coop was built, the pasture fenced in and then the chickens, 13 hens and one rooster, were moved into their new home.
They began laying eggs in late November, slowly at first and then through December and January I was getting on average 5 eggs a day. I’m hoping they will slow down a bit this month since the light was cut back to 9 hours a day but start back in late April with more eggs as the days become naturally longer. Come May I will be selling a few dozen eggs a week (I hope) at the local farm market. I’ll also be buying some new Americauna chicks and Norwegian Jaerhons to increase my flock. In the meantime, I am eating an egg now and then, freezing some, and giving some away.