If you are on the hunt for some olive eggs, you better add an olive egger chicken. These birds are unique in their own special way for the rare colored eggs they lay.
Most chicken enthusiasts are familiar with brown eggs like the ones laid by blue copper marans chickens or some white eggs like those of Egyptian Fayoumis and Andalusian chickens.
Although there are some who know about the blue eggs of Ameraucana and Araucana chicken, olive eggs are a mystery and a tale to many.
In this article, I am going to cover everything you need to know about olive egger chickens. Continue scrolling!
What are olive egger chickens?
Olive eggers are not a true heritage chicken breed but rather a cross breed. To come up with olive egger chickens, a brown egg laying breed is crossed with a blue egg laying breed.
Here, the genes of both parent chickens combine to form an olive egger chicken. In this case, a marans rooster is mated with Ameraucana hen and the resulting chick hatched from the eggs laid by this Ameraucana hen will be an olive egger chicken.
Marans chickens are excellent layers of brown eggs while Ameraucana chickens are famous for their blue eggs.
So, despite the eggs being laid by a blu egg layer, the resulting offspring will lay olive eggs because there is a mixture of blue egg genes and brown egg genes.
Features of olive egger chicken
Olive egger chickens carry the combined features of their parents. These birds are not large but are medium in size though some may be large or small depending on the dominant genes.
On average, olive egger hens weigh 6 pounds while roosters weigh 7-8 pounds. Those that carry more marans genes will be larger than those with more Ameraucana genes.
They do not have a particular color because they are bred from various blue egg laying chickens with brown egg laying chickens.
These chickens will have muffs and puffy cheeks like those with Ameraucana chickens. Some have a pea comb and dense fluffy feathers. Some features may vary.
Temperament and Hardiness
It is not easy to tell whether olive eggers are calm and docile because they are not a true pure breed. They have combined genes and individual bird may vary from the rest.
However, most olive egger chickens are calm and docile. Some that have Welsummer chicken genes are very friendly and chatty.
Olive egger roosters are not aggressive and make good pets. When integrated with other chickens, they will provide protection because they are predator savvy.
Easter egger olive egger chickens are known for tolerating and doing well in areas that experience winter. Most olive egger chickens are bred from birds that do well in cold climate and as the resulting offspring they too are cold hardy.
Some may exhibit feathered legs and rumps an indication they can do well in the cold while this case may be opposite in some.
Egg laying and uses
Olive egger chickens are good dual purpose birds. This means that they can be raised for both meat and eggs. In a good year, these chickens can lay a bunch of 150-200 large olive colored eggs.
These colored eggs are an excellent addition in your egg tray where they make a tasty breakfast snack and a cheap source of olive protein.
Maybe, you are wondering how long does it take for olive eggers to lay their first eggs? Well these chickens reach laying maturity at 24 to 30 weeks after hatching.
Because they carry combined genes, some olive egger pullets may lay earlier than others depending on the parent gene.
Since olive egger chickens are good dual purpose birds, they are used for meat as well. If you have several roosters that are constantly fighting over hens, you can choose to fatten yourself with some.
They have good quality, meat and provide an excellent cheap source for white meat.
Olive egger chickens are members of the jungle fowl family. They have a lifespan of 5-8 years but this period can lengthen or shorten depending on the quality of life they live.
Roosters kept as pets can live longer until they die of old age or illness. Those raised for meat will live for few weeks until they attain the right market weight.
Some baby chickens will live for few hours or days and succumb to mortality related issues. Olive egger chickens that receive the best and quality care are likely to live for long.
Olive eggers can get attacked by predators like possums and hawks if they are out ranging on their own thus cutting short their lifespan. Having someone to herd them or use hawk netting can help keep potential threat out.
Olive egger chickens are hardy birds that tolerate and do well in cold weather. Their thick plumage is likely infested with chicken lice and mites.
These notorious parasites suck blood and damage the growing feathers. Using small amounts of diatomaceous earth powder in their dust bathing sand can help control them.
Their thick feathers will make your girls suffer from heat stress when it is hot. During such times, provided enough shaded areas for them and plenty of drinking water to keep their bodies cool.
Another common threat to their health is internal parasites such as chicken worms. These parasites live, feed and multiply inside the chicken’s body.
Here, they compete for food with your birds and suppress their health. Seek the recommended chicken wormer to administer from a qualified vet.
Raising olive egger chicks
Raising baby chicks can be fun and interesting. They do not require much but without the right knowledge, it can be hard for you to raise them successfully into adult hens.
So, what do they require? Let’s roll!
Just like us, olive egger chicks require a well-balanced diet. These baby chickens require feeds that are rich in protein but not as much as turkey poults and game birds require.
Buy quality chick starter feeds from well-known manufactures or a reputable store near you. This feed should have 22-24% protein content in it.
Remember that the young birds are in their rapid growth stage and need to develop muscles and feathers as quickly as possible.
Put chicken feeds in clean chicken feeders and make sure there are plenty feeding stations so that the juvenile have equal feeding opportunities.
Chicks also need plenty of clean drinking water. Multiple waterers will make sure there is plenty of it at all times.
When it is very cold and temperatures drop to freezing point, heated chicken waterers will make sure the water does not solidify. They also keep the water some degrees warmer.
Young chicks do not regulate their own body temperatures. These baby chooks require supplemental with heat.
They will remain in the chicken brooder where they will get extra warmth until they are about 6-8 weeks old and fully feathered.
Provide enough warmth because cold chicks can chill to death. When cold, they become fuzzy and huddle together under or near the heat source or in corners.
Although warmth is vital, too much heat can bake the tiny chooks to death. When hot more than they can handle, they drink a lot and stay far away from the heat source. They also get noisy, uncomfortable and try to jump over the brooder wall.
Shelter is one of the basic requirements for your olive egger chickens. Chicken runs and coops will provide security from predators and also keep them away from elements.
When it is cold heated chicken coops are a primary source for your chicken’s heat. Inside the coops they will find a good place to lay their olive green eggs and hatch their chicks.
Ensure your chicken coop has enough roost bars because unlike ducks that spend the night on litter and chicken bedding chickens roost.
After the brooding period, your teenage olive eggers are fully feathered and can now be moved from the chick brooder to the coop.
It is likely they might get bullied by other chickens or be an easy target for predators when out ranging. If you have breeds that rank top on the pecking order like Lavender Orpington chickens, it is good you have a separation pen.
Olive eggers are not assertive and are likely to face harassment. This will deny them peace, equal drinking and feeding opportunities.
Take them to the chicken coop at night and place them on the roost bars. In the morning, the dawn will find them together with the others. This way it will be easy for them to adapt and get their place unnoticed.
Olive egger chickens are good for the colored eggs. They also make a good table bird for a small family. Having them adds colored eggs to those white brown and white eggs you are used to.
Get yourself those olive egger chicks for sale from reputable hatcheries like Mcmurray and other reputable tractor stores.
Do you have any olive egger chicken? Share your thoughts on the comment section.
Sharing is caring and caring is kindness!