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All About Easter Egger Chickens

If you’re looking for a perfect cottagecore basket of fresh eggs you can’t go wrong with a flock of Easter Eggers!

Easter egger hen in a green field

Chickens are the gateway drug to country life. And with good reason, they’re fairly easy to keep, they lay eggs and they’re hilarious. One of my favorite varieties of chicken is the Easter Egger.

What is an Easter Egger Chicken?

They’re technically not a breed at all, it’s a catch-all term for chickens with a particular set of characteristics. The main breed they are derived from is the Araucana.

 Araucana chicken against a white back ground with blue eggs, cheek poufs and not tail text overlay

Araucanas are a unique breed known for laying blue eggs, exaggerated cheek poufs, and no tails. That’s right, if your chicken has tail feathers it’s not really an Araucana.

One step away from the Araucana and a little closer to the Easter Egger is the Ameraucana. The Ameraucana is an American breed (bet you saw that coming!).

They were bred in an effort to keep the blue eggs and eliminate a lethal gene common in Araucanas that kills chicks in the shell.

Finally, we get to the Easter Eggers! They are a mix of different breeds that give you chickens laying blue to blue-green to green eggs thanks to that Araucana blue egg gene.

You can breed EE hens and roosters and it’s anyone’s guess what you’ll get. Some of my favorite chickens are barnyard mixes, you can always spot the EE genes with those little poufy cheeks and beards!

As much as I do love my heritage breeds like the extra fancy Appenzellar Spitzhauben or my favorite chickens, the Brahamas, I’m happy with my plain old EE’s.

I love them so much I’m going to give you a few reasons I think you should add them to your flock!

Easter Eggers Lay Beautiful Eggs

Chances are you found out about chickens that lay blue eggs and you wanted them! Who wouldn’t?

blue, green and pale olive eggs in a white ceramic egg holder

I have a carefully selected (impulsively chosen) flock that lays a mix of blue, green, white, tan, and dark brown eggs.

You will have variations in egg color with your EEs. The colors shift from very pale blue to pastel blue to a slight green tinge and even a slightly purple color.

Fun fact, egg shells are either white or blue! The brown color comes from an ‘overspray’ of pigment. That’s why if you scrub brown eggs the color fades.

Olive eggs and green eggs come from chickens that lay a blue shell with a brown overspray. The darker the brown, the deeper the olive or green color.

My olive egger was a Welsummer-Easter Egger cross. A combo I plan on hatching next year with my EE girls and one of my Wellie roos.

Bottom line, EE’s are a great start for collecting your own rainbow of egg colors.

Easter Eggers are Beautiful Birds

Most chickens come in a handful of colors, if you order 12 Light Brahmas, you’ll get 12 amazing large fluffy footed white and grey birds.

three young Easter egger pullets in a green spring field

If you order 12 EEs you’ll probably get 12 very different birds. This is pretty cool for a few reasons. One, your flock just looks cooler if you have a mix of colors and patterns.

It’s also great if you like to name your chickens, I love my Brahma ladies but I can’t tell one from another. Even my 2-year-old can tell the EE’s apart.

four easter egger chicks

The main physical characteristic that sets Easter Eggers apart from other birds is the cheek poufs and beards. They’re even visible on the chicks!

They make EE chicks extra cute and easily distinguishable from the others in the flock. If you have a mixed box of fluff balls check out my post on how to tell different breeds apart as chicks.

They stand out in the flock for the cheek poufs and the beards. As adults, they look like they have very thick necks, almost like the necks are larger than the heads.

It gives the hens a bit of rooster appearance but they are regular feathers, not the umbrella of hackle feathers roosters poof up when they fight.

EEs are Inexpensive & Easy to Find

Easter egger on a roost

They’re basically mutts after all. I bought my EE girls from Cackle Hatchery this year, if you get pullets they’ll run from ~$3-4 each depending on how many you buy.

That puts them on par with the more common heritage breeds like the silver-laced wyandottes and brown leghorns.

They also run specials all the time so you might get an even better deal. I ended up with 5 lovely ladies that are starting to lay now at about 30 weeks.

Most hatcheries will have EEs for sale, some even have bantam Easter Eggers which are adorable and lay tiny blue eggs. I have two elder bantam EEs and they are still laying little robin eggs that my kids adore.

Easter Eggers are Hardy Birds

Don’t let those pretty faces and beautiful patterns fool you! Easter Eggers are hardy birds. They can handle cold winters and also do pretty well in the heat.

They have small combs that make frostbite less likely in the cold. I put lights in my chicken coop and barn in the winter to make up for the 6 hours of sunlight and my EEs lay all winter long that are still reliably laying.  

Part of that probably comes from the hybrid vigor from that whole mixed-breed thing.

They are very inquisitive, they’re not quite as nuts as my Appenzellars but almost. They’re the only other breed of chicken I regularly find in the trees.

folding chicken roost in chicken coop

Even after I added a new set of three low roosts to the coop I only see the Easter Eggers on the top roosts, they’re at least 7 feet off the ground but if they aren’t there they’re in the rafters in the main part of the barn. 

Looking through pictures for this post I noticed I didn’t have a lot of in-focus EE pictures. Part of it is I take a lot of pictures of the moms and I’ve never had a broody EE. 

The other part is they are very fast and all over the place. They aren’t like my silkies and my garden buddy, a Dominique, that follow me around everywhere. 

Easter Eggers are Reliable layers

You won’t get quite as many eggs out of an EE as you will with a commercial laying cross but they do a good job filling your belly. They’re a medium breed, weighing in around 6-7 pounds and they are a dedicated egg breed.

Cream Easter egger hen

Most of my birds are larger and considered a dual purpose, they lay eggs but also have enough ahem.. meat on their bones to be used for the dinner table. EEs don’t put any extra energy into sustaining a large body so they crank out more eggs.

EE’s are good layers, you can expect ~200-280 eggs a year from a hen. It will vary from bird to bird and based on husbandry, including whether or not you light the coop in the winter.

They are some of the best layers I have, I tend to have a lot of green and blue eggs even though I have a lot more chickens that lay brown and white.

They Come in Travel Size!

Ok they aren’t really travel size but you can get bantam Easter Eggers. I had a few but I’m down to two now.

bantam Easter egger hen

I call one my little dove, she’s little with a pretty dove grey & cream coloring. She lays the prettiest little blue eggs! The kids really get a kick out of tiny eggs, even more so when they’re a fun color. 

I haven’t ordered chicks in a few years but 2024 might be time for some new blood and I have my eye on a few bantam EEs.

I do have one barnyard cross that’s a little too big to be a bantam but not quite full-sized. She’s all black with the cheek poufs and hatched out 12 babies last year. 

back half Easter Egger bantam hen

I’m not sure what she is mixed with but she’s the only EE I’ve ever had sit on a nest. Of course, I can’t get a cochin to go broody but my super flighty Appenzellar Spitshauben hen can’t seem to keep herself off a nest. 

Moral of that story, chickens do what they want to. You can read everything there is to know about a particular breed and still end up with a bird that defies all the personality traits you chose it for. 

Now that we have the good stuff out of the way I’ll break your heart a little.

Easter Egger Roosters are Mean

easter egger rooster

I’m basing this 100% on personal experience, if you have had other experiences I’d love to hear them so please share in the comments. Every. Single. Easter Egger Rooster I’ve ever had has been an asshole.

They were mean to the other roosters, mean to the hens, and even picked at me and my kids. I have a no-aggressive rooster policy so they don’t last very long around here.

It’s really unfortunate because they are stunning birds, especially when they’re fully feathered out with their adult saddle and hackle feathers. They’re feathered rainbows of anger.

I hope I’ve inspired you give Easter Eggers another glance next time you’re adding to your flock! Don’t forget to PIN this to your chicken board for later.

Looking for more information? Check out my Chickens page or start here:

white ceramic egg holder filled with 12 fresh farm eggs in blue, green, tan, cream, white & dark brown
large buff Orpington rooster
large royal palm tom turkey on a green lawn with feathers up

Syble Mann

Monday 15th of January 2024

I received my chicks from a hatchery last July so they are now just over 6 months old. 2 Barred Plymouth Rock hens, 2 Rhode Island Reds, 1 Buff Orpington, my second one a predator got, 1 EE hen and an EE rooster that was supposed to be a hen. Freddie is very sweet to me and lets me hold him but is really rough on the hens. The EE hen , Ruby, is the only hen that is so afraid of Freddie she will not allow him to get near her and is always running from him. When I am in the run with them Ruby jumps on my arm to hold her. She is also the only hen not laying. I would love to give Freddie away but so far I have no takers.


Wednesday 20th of December 2023

I do not know why you say the Easter Egger rooster is mean. I have had one for two years now, and he has been the best rooster I have ever had. He does not like to be picked up, however he is NOT mean. He is a very good FATHER. But, having trouble with possums, I had no babies this year. He is only protective over his flock, which he should be, That is what roosters are for.


Thursday 21st of December 2023

I said that because this entire website is based on my experience keeping chickens. I've had dozens of roosters over the years and the only ones that have ever been aggressive with people have been Easter Eggers and bantam Easter eggers.


Wednesday 16th of August 2023

First time roo and EE owner. We love him. So sweet, comes in house to cuddle and only time he is annoyed is when I hold a hen. He does this chicken dance by my feet until I pick him up. Then falls asleep while I scratch him. I think it must be the only time he can relax because I’m his protector. Best experience ever


Sunday 1st of May 2022

I agree EE roosters are obnoxiously mean . Cochins on the other hand are sweethearts. Black copper marans are a**holes also


Tuesday 3rd of May 2022

Our Cochin rooster is the sweetest gentle giant! I've never had a Marans rooster but the hens have a lot of personality so I can see how the guys could be trouble!


Tuesday 19th of April 2022

Great read, but I would have to disagree with the statement about the roosters being mean. I’ve had three of them. The first one was fine until a certain age and then all of a sudden started attacking me any time my back was turned. I got rid of him before I accidentally killed him in self defense. After he was gone I brought one over from a friend’s flock and had no problems with him. My friend then wanted him back and I ended up getting his brother from him and he’s been a great rooster for the few years I’ve had him. Sometimes he’ll even let me get close enough to pet him. He’s an excellent leader and protector of my flock too. His name is Roofus and if you saw him you’d maybe rethink your stance on EE roosters.


Thursday 21st of April 2022

You kinda made my point, out of 3 you had one that was so bad you had to get rid of him. Is every single one going to be awful? Probably not. But in my experience with many years of keeping chickens, I've had more mean easter egger roosters than any other variety. Right now I have one that's really nice, he is at least part EE (born here and he's even more of a mutt than the regular EEs) and I love him. Still not a breed I'd recommend for friendly roosters