Yesterday, my daughter and I made a trip to Upper Stewiacke to pick up five Ameraucana chicks at Riverview Birds. The lady told us they were approximately two weeks old. They were packed in a small box for transporting, and my daughter held them on her lap for the thirty minute drive home.
When we arrived home, the chicks went into a 20-gallon aquarium with shavings and a water fountain. I had set it up the day before and had the heat lamp on 24-hours beforehand as recommended when starting chicks. Since these birds were two weeks old, 32 degrees Celsius was a little warm for them, so I raised the heat lamp to lower the temperature.
Usually, I keep the chicks in the basement until they’re about six weeks. These chicks will go outside on May 1st. They’ll live in the barn with the miniature donkey for a while and when they’re about ten weeks old, I’ll put them in the chicken coop.
I have not owned this breed of chicken before, so I’m interested in seeing its behaviour in the hen house, and, of course, seeing those eggs which are not brown or white.
While researching heritage livestock, I learned about Ameraucanas great disposition and decided it was a chicken worth learning more about. They come in black, blue, blue wheaten, brown red, buff, silver, wheaten and white. They have no feathers on their legs and have four toes. Characteristics of the breed are its muff, beard, full tails and slate or black legs.
The shells of the medium-sized eggs can be bluish, greenish or brown. Their fully feathered faces insulate the birds against the cold temperatures, making them perfect for Nova Scotia winters.
The Ameraucana breed was formulated and standardised in the north central United States and became recognised as a distinct breed in 1984.
Be careful with the spelling of this breed’s name. You’ll find it misspelt as Americana and mistaken for Araucana. Ameraucanas are similar to Araucana because they are breed related. Although some sellers may refer to Ameraucanas as the Easter Eggers, they’re not. Easter Eggers are chickens which carry the blue egg gene and don’t meet any breed description standards. Often these chickens are mixed breeds which just happen to carry the blue egg gene. These types of chickens are very common whereas the Ameraucanas are rare.
The chicks cost $5.00 each, and I believe that’s a fair price for healthy two-week old chicks.