Getting to Know Olive Egger Chickens

Cross Breeding Chickens Can Result in Popular Hybrid Breeds Like the Olive Egger

Cross-Breed: Olive Egger chicken

Origin: Olive Egger chickens are not a breed, per se, but a cross of two breeds — usually a blue egg layer and a dark brown egg layer. For example, when an Ameraucana hen’s egg is fertilized by a Marans rooster, the resulting chick will be an Olive Egger who will lay olive green eggs. The chick will hatch out of a blue egg, but it will inherit the traits of both parents. From the mating example above, Olive Egger chickens often take on the coloring of a Marans (black with feathered feet) and Ameraucana features (like puffy cheeks).

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olive-egger-chicken
Egg Color
: Olive green

Egg Size: Large

Laying Habits: 150-200 eggs would make a good year

olive-egger-chicken

Testimonial from an Olive Egger chicken owner: “I had really wanted to add some olive green eggs to my egg basket for a long time, and was concentrating more on the egg color than on the chicken breed itself, but now having raised Olive Egger chickens for several years, I can tell you that they are some of my favorite hens. Mine are a cross between a Black Ameraucana and a Black Copper Marans, so they’re solid black with the trademark Ameraucana cheek puffs, and one has the feathered feet of a Marans too! Unlike Marans who I find a bit standoffish, and Amerauanas which can be skittish, their offspring, the Olive Egger chicken, is a chatty, friendly hen who I think has retained some of the best qualities of each of their parents. My Olive Eggers are more consistent layers than my Ameraucanas, which is nice. They are extremely cold-hardy, but don’t seem overly bothered by heat either. They are on the smallish side, definitely more Amerauana-sized than Marans-sized, but their eggs are good-sized. They are fairly talkative chickens, but they tend to chatter quietly and rarely cluck loudly. They have been a wonderful addition to my backyard flock.” – Lisa Steele, from FreshEggsDaily.com

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You can see the color variation between an (L to R) Olive Egger, Easter Egger and Ameraucana egg below. Photo by Lisa Steele, FreshEggsDaily.com

Comb: Varies

Popular Use: Eggs and meat

Varieties
: None recognized, as this is not a standard breed

Temperament
: Varies

Skin Color
: Varies

Weight: Usually large, but varies based on breeding

It really isn’t an Olive Egger chicken if it is
: Not a cross. Favaucanas, Ameraucanas, and Aruacanas have been known to lay greenish eggs from time to time, but are not considered Olive Egger chickens.

Learn about different colored chicken eggs and chicken breeds from Backyard Poultry, including Orpington chickens, Wyandotte chickens and Brahma chickens.

Promoted by: Seabuck 7

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Originally published in 2016 as the May Breed of the Month and regularly vetted for accuracy.

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Comments
  • Barbara B.

    have been into chickens only 6 months and still in learning process

    Reply

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