Fowl Stuff
FAQ Page

 

Home       Chicks       About       Photos       Links

 

 

Where can I find accurate information about Ameraucana chickens?

Aren't Ameraucana, Araucana and Easter Egg chickens the same?

How do I know I'm really getting Ameraucana chickens?

What breeds and varieties of day-old chicks do you offer?

Are your chickens standard-bred?

What is a “standard” chicken?

What about the egg color?

Do you sell hatching eggs?

Do you sell locally?



Where can I find accurate information about Ameraucana chickens?

Go to the Ameraucana Alliance website and the Ameraucana Forum.

Top of Page

Aren't Ameraucana, Araucana and Easter Egg chickens the same?

No.  Ameraucana (often misspelled "Americana") and Araucana chickens are both relatively new breeds and both lay blue eggs.  They are different breeds with different characteristics that are defined in the APA and ABA standards. Easter Egg Chickens or Easter Eggers are not a "Standard" breed (they really aren’t even a “breed” of chicken).  They are mixed breeds (aka mutts or mongrels) that happen to possess the gene for blue eggs.  Just like a mixed breed dog may make a great pet but be disqualified if entered into an AKC sanctioned dog show, mixed breed poultry may be great for the backyard/barnyard but they are not “Standard” bred for exhibition and would be disqualified if entered in an APA sanctioned poultry show.  Only standard breeds are meant for exhibition.

§       Wyandotte, Ameraucana, Plymouth Rock, Chantecler, Leghorn & Cornish are just a few examples of (standard) breeds of chickens.  There are also some breeds, such as Braggs Mountain Buff, that are not recognized by the APA but because they breed true they are a breed of chicken by definition.

§       Red Star, ISA Brown, Cornish-Rock cross & Golden Comet are a few examples of hybrid or crossbred chickens.  They are the result of crossing two breeds to produce offspring that are meant to be either superior layers or meat birds.  These are not breeds (as the parent birds were) and they do not breed true.  Breeding a hybrid to a hybrid does not produce a hybrid or as an example, a Golden Comet cock bred to a Golden Comet hen will not produce Golden Comet chicks.

§      Easter Eggers & many “Heinz 57” variety barnyard chickens are examples of mixed-breed chickens.  These are not breeds since they don’t breed true or meet the standard (APA) requirements and they are not hybrids (crossbred) because they are usually not the product of a cross between two standard breeds.

 

Top of Page

How do I know I'm really getting Ameraucana chickens?

If they are advertised as Americana, Americauna, or Easter Egg chickens, you can be sure they are NOT really Ameraucanas.  If they can't get the name right, they don't know what they have.  Also beware of the fine print that says their chickens "are recommended for egg laying color and ability and not for exhibition" orOur flock is multi-colored with a wide variety of colors and feather patternsor ** Breeds marked this way are production strains and Should Not be used for 4-H.  Those disclaimers and similar ones mean they are selling mongrel chickens (mixed breeds), not Ameraucanas.  Most commercial hatcheries will sell anything that doesn't lay a white or brown egg as an Ameraucana or Araucana when they are really just Easter Eggers which is not a “breed”.  Also, when it is time for “chick days” at feed stores you can bet what they sell as Ameraucana and Araucana chicks are really Easter Eggers too, because they come from the big commercial hatcheries.  

A chicken is an Ameraucana when it meets the APA Standard breed description AND meets a variety description or breeds true at least 50% of the time, whether the variety is recognized or not.  Since the APA only judges on phenotype (what is seen and not genetics), you could say if a bird meets the APA Standard’s Ameraucana description to the extent that it could be exhibited in a sanctioned show and not be disqualified by a competent licensed judge it is an Ameraucana.

Educate yourself about Ameraucanas before you buy.   Besides all of their great practical qualities, Ameraucanas, especially bantams, from Fowl Stuff are also great for 4-H, FFA and other youth poultry projects such as showmanship competition.

Top of Page

What breeds and varieties of day-old chicks do you offer?

I specialize in docile, dual-purpose, non-hybrid, standard Ameraucana chickens that due to their physical characteristics are especially well-suited for cold climates.  Ameraucana chickens are some of the best breeds (bantam and large fowl) for those interested in self-sufficient living, sustainable agriculture, the Buy Local movement and preppers with survival in mind.  Although these breeds are relatively new, as compared to some others, I personally consider them as “Heritage” breeds, due to the history of their development, their unique genetic traits, their ability to reproduce without artificial insemination and the fact that they are not only bred to a “standard” but also do well in the barnyard or backyard.  Some talk of “Heirloom” breeds of chickens, but heirloom refers to plants not animals.  “Standard” bred poultry may be exhibited at APA sanctioned poultry shows, plus “dual-purpose” breeds are utilized for both their meat and eggs.  They mature more slowly (naturally) than the commercial hybrid chickens that are bred solely for meat or eggs.  If your main concern is eggs or meat please consider buying hybrid layers or meat birds from a “big commercial hatchery”.  The hybrid meat and egg birds are great for what they are intended for and the big hatcheries are generally best at providing them…although I’m also now offering a hybrid Bantam Blue Egger.  If you want a “standard” breed of chicken for exhibition always buy from an experienced breeder/hatchery, like Fowl Stuff hatchery.  A couple commercial hatcheries, such as Cackle Hatchery, are now offering some varieties of standard Ameraucanas.  Beware of many internet “hatcheries” that really aren’t hatcheries, but just websites that take orders and have chicks drop-shipped from a big commercial hatchery.

Please keep in mind that breeding standard bred chickens among themselves usually produces offspring like the parents…more standard bred chickens.  A hybrid crossed with a hybrid does NOT produce hybrid chickens like the parents.  Breeding a Cornish/Rock (hybrid) cross to another doesn’t produce more hybrid meat birds like the parents.  If you are able to hatch chicks from hybrid meat type or egg laying chickens they will be mixed breed chickens, not hybrids.

I use “compensation mating”, critical selection and other breeding practices to achieve a goal of continuous improvement and chick uniformity.  Please check out the Order Form, under "Chicks" for the most up-to-date list of breeds and varieties offered and note that the list is always subject to change. 

 

·      Bantam and large fowl (LF) Ameraucana:  Fowl Stuff (formerly Blehm Hatchery, Birch Run Hatchery & Chick Hatchery) is well known for top quality day-old Ameraucana chicks.  Several varieties of both bantam and large fowl Ameraucana are bred and several varieties were originally created/developed by me, including LF black, LF lavender, LF buff and others.  Ameraucanas have pea combs, lay blue eggs and were admitted to the APA in 1984.  These are some of the best available anywhere!

 

·         Buff Bantam Blue Eggers are a new hybrid I’ve come up with.  These are for the customers that have requested just pullet chicks.  They want a few laying hens and some of them have to deal with ordinances that allow only a few pullets/hens.  I’m crossing bantam buff Ameraucana cocks over bantam Lakenvelder hens to produce sex-linked blue-eggers.  The pullets are buff with some black.  These hybrid pullets/hens should be better layers than most bantams due to the hybrid vigor (heterosis).

 

·         Other Bantams:  Vorwerk and Lakenvelder are two bantam breeds that I once breed and improved for many years, but quit when the decision to cut back was made.  Now I’m back into them…for a while anyway.  These are beautiful chickens, but a bit flighty.  In colder climates they should be kept indoors during the winter months to avoid frostbite to their single combs and wattles. 

    

Top of Page

Are your chickens standard-bred?

Yes (except non-standard chickens, like my Bantam Blue Eggers).  My breeds and varieties of chickens are bred to represent the "standards" as outlined by the APA and ABA in their books describing the standards for recognized poultry.  They are also “pure” for most characteristics, but not necessarily “purebred” chickens.  There is no guarantee that any standard-bred poultry will produce day-old chicks that will mature into “show quality” (exhibition) birds.  Also, even the best show quality birds may not produce offspring that is show quality or ever meets the standard due to recessive genes and other factors.  When you buy a bird from me you are only buying that bird…not future generations.  My chicks are hatched at my hatchery and come from eggs produced by my birds or a reputable breeder.  Culling according to phenotype starts with day-old chicks.   

Below is a chart rating several characteristics of the different breeds and varieties being bred.   Numbers have been assigned representing the status of those characteristics. 

1 = needs much improvement…3 = average…5 = very good.  rev. 5/15/2017

Bantam Ameraucana

Varieties

Egg Color

*Egg Size

Type/

Shape

Size

Color/

Pattern

Docile

Comb

Leg Color

Lobe Color

Eye Color

Lay Rate

buff

4

S+

5

5

4

5

5

4

5

5

3

silver

4

S

4

4

3

4

2

5

5

4

3

lavender

4

S

5

5

4

5

5

5

5

5

4

wheaten

4

S+

5

5

4

5

5

5

5

5

3

lavender silver

4

S

5

5

4

5

3

5

5

4

4

black

4

S

5

5

4

5

5

5

5

4

4

*Egg Size is only an average of what is seen at Fowl Stuff Hatchery.   

Large Fowl Ameraucana

Varieties

Egg

Color

*Egg Size

Type/

Shape

Size

Color/

Pattern

Docile

Comb

Leg Color

Lobe Color

Eye Color

Lay Rate

silver

4

L

4

4+

4

5

3

5

5

4

4

lavender

4

L/XL

5

5

4

5

5

5

5

5

4

black**

5

L/XL

5

5

4

5

5

5

5

4

4

lavender silver

4

L

5

5

4

5

5

5

5

4

4

**Many breeders still mix blue and/or splash Ameraucanas with their blacks to produce more than one variety from a breeding pen/mating.  My breeding pens for black Ameraucanas only contain black Ameraucanas.  The best properly laced blue Ameraucanas come from mating blue to blue.  Since blue Ameraucanas don’t breed true, I stopped breeding them and developed lavender Ameraucanas.  Lavender to lavender birds always produce lavender chicks and the color is similar to blue (gray).   

Other Bantams 

Breeds/Varieties

*Egg Size

Type/

Shape

Size

Color/

Pattern

Docile

Comb

Leg Color

Lobe Color

Eye Color

Lay Rate

Vorwerk

S

5

5

4

3

4

5

4

4

3

Lakenvelder

S

5

4

3

3

4

5

4

4

3

Blue Eggers (hybrid pullets)

S

-

-

buff

3

-

-

-

-

4

 

Top of Page

 

What is a “standard” chicken? 

  

Did anyone ever ask you if you have “standard” chickens, when they really want to know if you have “large fowl”?  This is not just a problem with new-comers to the fancy, but many old timers, breed clubs and show clubs refer to large fowl as standards.  It is true that if the bird looks like what the American Poultry Association’s (APA) written “standard” says it should it is a standard.  But, so is any bantam chicken that looks like what the “standard” says it should.  If your birds are not mongrels they are standard chickens, regardless of their size, or any other traits.  My bantam chickens are standards, because they are bred to meet the standard.  I have standard bantams and standard large fowl.  Some will say they mean a standard “size” bird.  But there again my bantams are standard size when they meet the weights described in the standard.  They could call a large fowl a regular sized chicken as opposed to a banty, or miniature chicken, and that is fine when using colloquial terms.  Once someone understands what the word “standard” means relative to breeding they should begin to use the proper terminology.

Also note that Breeds, Varieties and Strains are different things.  Plymouth Rock is a breed.  Barred is a variety and Joe’s barred Plymouth Rocks could be a stain of that breed and variety bred by some guy named Joe.

Roosters are not entered into poultry show competition at APA sanctioned meets.  They only accept Cocks (C), Hens (H), Cockerels (K) or Pullets (P).  Some people that are not familiar with proper fowl terminology use “rooster and chicken” in place of “cock and hen”.  Even though “chicken” refers to all chickens regardless of gender it has sometimes been used to mean just female (hen) chickens, just as “dog” refers to all dogs but also specifically to male dogs. 

These are just some observations about some poultry terminology and you could probably add to the list.  It is not a list to pick on anyone, but rather to get us all on the same page and not promote a bilingual fancy.  When in doubt about the proper jargon, in the poultry world, check the APA “standard”

 

 Top of Page

 

What about egg color?

 

Egg shell color doesn’t affect the nutritional value of eggs, but blue is prettier.

 

Ameraucana chickens should lay eggs with very light blue shells.  You will know the blue egg shell color is the proper blue when the inside and outside egg shell colors are the same. 

Many varieties and strains still carry modifying (brown egg) genes that cause their eggs to appear greenish (blue + brown = green).  This is a common fault that Ameraucana breeders are trying to correct thru selective breeding programs, although it is not an easy task.  These brown egg genes were introduced when blue egg laying chickens were crossed with brown egg laying chickens.  There is a lot about shell color that is still a mystery and some of what we think we know today may be better understood in the future, as with all genetics.  

One way to better understand egg shell color is to think of the shell as if it were vinyl siding on buildings.  Imagine you have two chicken coops…one with white vinyl siding and the other with light blue vinyl siding.  The material for making siding (and egg shells) starts out white (the base color).  If light blue is desired, then a little blue dye is mixed in before the siding is formed.  Just as white siding is white on the outside, inside and throughout; blue siding will have the blue color throughout.  Now you decide you want both coops to be the same color so you buy some cheap brown paint and paint both coops, but they don’t look the same color after the paint dries.  The brown paint was only applied to the exterior of the siding and didn’t penetrate into the siding.  It even comes off when you brush up against the painted surface.  Depending on the shade of brown paint used on the white coop the exterior now looks that shade of brown.  But, on the coop that was light blue the cheap paint didn’t do a good job of covering and as some of the blue vinyl color “bleeds” thru the brown paint the coop appears to be some shade of yucky green.

  

Top of Page

 

Do you sell hatching eggs?

 

No.  Sellers of hatching eggs often get blamed when eggs don’t hatch and their reputations suffer whether there was fault on their part or not.

For sources check the Ameraucana Directory, available on the Home page of the Ameraucana website.  Ameraucana Alliance members may also post want ads for Ameraucana eggs and chickens on the Ameraucana Forum.  Keep in mind many others don’t sell hatching eggs for the same reason I don’t.  Buying day-old chicks is far less risky for both the seller and the buyer.

 

Top of Page

 

Do you sell locally? (Birch Run, Michigan)

 

Yes.  I usually have extra chicks to sell each week from March thru May.  Email me to request to be contacted when extras are available.  The prices for these “extra” chicks are very low if the customer takes them all (depends on what hatches).  If a customer wants to pick and choose the prices are higher with a minimum, but still much lower than the prices for our top of the line chicks that are ordered in advance.  When here isn’t a waiting list I post the extras, for sale, on BestFarmBuys.com on Tuesday evenings.  Click on Listings By State, Michigan and then Poultry – Chickens to find any of my listings.

Most of these extra chicks are culls* and some could be leftovers, after filling orders for specific varieties.  This may be a great option for those in the mid-Michigan area that want a backyard flock. 

You can buy a small chick transporting box here for $3 or $5 for a large one.

Please note – My Fowl Stuff hatchery is not open to the public and any birds sold here are by appointment only.  First come – first serve. 

*Culls are my seconds or “rejects” due to improper chick color or other physical characteristics.  These are straight run and may be bantams and/or large fowl.  They are sold as “backyard” chickens, not Ameraucana or any other breed name.


Home      Chicks    About     Photos     Links

2017 Fowl Stuff.com – All Rights Reserved.