Are you looking for a chicken breed that will make every day feel like Easter? If so, you may need to get acquainted with Olive Egger chickens. These chickens are a friendly breed that has gotten more attention in recent years thanks to the heritage movement.
Curious about why Olive Eggers are called Olive Eggers? Or rather, do they really make bright green eggs? Want to get one for your homestead? If so, keep reading.
What is an Olive Egger chicken?
Unlike most official breeds, Olive Eggers are fairly new. There is no standard of perfection for an Olive Egger.
The one thing that Olive Eggers all have in common is their propensity to lay olive-colored eggs.
How do you get an Olive Egger chicken?
Most commonly, they are Marans and Ameraucanas. Of course, you can also breed Welsummers or even Easter Eggers. As long as you have a brown egg layer and a blue egg layer, you may be able to get an Olive Egger offspring.
What do Olive Eggers look like?
Since this is not a breed and is more like a hybrid of several potential genetic pools, there is no real set of standards when it comes to Olive Eggers. They’re still new and “finding their way.”
Olive eggers can come in a wide range of variations. They are typically medium-sized chickens that have stocky builds and pea combs. (Most people agree that their combs and muffs are some of the cutest!) Most hatch with grey or black feathers.
Until they are an official breed, you can’t really say something like “looks like an Olive Egger.”
Are Olive Egger chickens healthy?
It’s hard to put a specific answer to this because the breed itself is not standardized. Most Olive Eggers are not prone to common diseases, deformities, or health issues.
However, their thick feathers can make them magnets for lice and mites. (To be fair, that’s an issue with all chickens.)
In terms of lifespan, you don’t have much to worry about. They live for eight years on average, giving them a fair lifespan compared to most other breeds.
Are Olive Egger chickens good layers?
Considering it’s in the name, you should expect Olive Eggers to lay plenty of olive green eggs. Olive egger hens typically lay between 180 to 200 eggs per year, often of various shades of green and brown.
Some have pastel green eggs, while others can almost look dark green or olive. At times, their egg colors can vary from day to day. Most Olive Eggers will start to lay their first eggs between 4 to 5 months of age.
They are specifically made for novelty eggs. Green eggs look great in an egg basket. Who knew?
How do you feed Olive Eggers?
Olive Eggers, like most other birds, love to free range. They are curious but need at least 10 square feet of outdoor space to free range. They require fresh feed and water. An oyster shell can be added for extra calcium, but it’s not necessary.
For the most part, you can feed them the same way that other chicken breeds are fed. farmers who are looking for a simple-to-care-for bird will enjoy their low-demand diet. As long as you have decent feed and free-ranging time, you’re good to go.
Olive Eggers are hungry little birds, so you may need to have a well-stocked feeder. Since predators may try to eat these small birds, you need to make sure your feeding area and coop are both well-protected.
How do you house Olive Eggers?
You should try to have at least one nesting box per three Olive Egger hens—just like most other chickens.
The more space you give your chickens, the happier they will be. If you crowd them, they may develop anxiety or start bullying one another. Even though they are laid-back birds, they can still start plucking one another. It can get worse.
What are Olive Egger’s personalities like?
Olive Eggers are not a single breed and can vary from bird to bird, depending on the original breeds they were hybridized from. So, it’s important to point out that personalities can vary greatly from bird to bird.
Most Olive Eggers are fairly relaxed, mellow, and friendly birds. They get along with their coop mates pretty well and are difficult to upset.
With that said, the best way to figure out what their personalities may be like is to look at the breeds that were used to create that particular chicken. Calmer breeds tend to indicate a calmer personality.
One thing that tends to stay fairly certain is that this hybrid tends to be very intelligent. They can handle their own and might surprise you with how smart they are.
Are Olive Eggers good pets?
They can be, though they are not always lap chickens that crave human affection. Though the “breed” itself is still being cemented, some farmers view them as backyard pets. You can expect them to be pretty nice birds to add to any flock.
If you are looking for a more cuddly companion, getting a different breed may help. Olive Eggers are not as predictable with their demeanor as other breeds. So, it’s best to temper your expectations with this hybrid.
Are Olive Eggers rare?
Make no mistake about it. While Olive Eggers are fairly new as a “breed,” they are not as rare as you might expect them to be. The concept of a bird that lays green eggs has made them insanely popular among birds.
There are farms that are importing breeds that are linked to Olive Egger productions all over the country. Maybe it’s because of Dr. Seuss’s book, but people are going ham for these green eggs!
With that said, they are not exactly common. This is still a growing breed, which means that it’s not entirely certain how many are out there. If the APA agrees to call it a breed, then there will be stricter guidelines on how they look, act, and lay eggs.
How much do Olive Eggers cost?
Olive Eggers are not a specific breed, so their price can vary greatly depending on the farmers who raise them. Most of the time, you can expect to pay between $3 to $7 per chick, with females being the more pricey of the two.
It may be hard to find a farm near you that has Olive Eggers available for you to enjoy. This is because the demand for these birds greatly outweighs the supply. At times, this can also increase the price you pay for them.
Are Olive Eggers meaty chickens?
Olive Eggers are not really used for meat. It’s not because their meat is bad, per se, but because it doesn’t make sense to do so. This is a bird that is famous for “novelty eggs.” That’s what they are for, and not that much more.
Should you get Olive Eggers for your home?
It’s hard to say no to a chicken that lays olive eggs and remains friendly throughout the day. Olive Eggers are a great choice for people who are new to keeping chickens and want to have a nice backyard flock to enjoy.
Unless you need a super-clingy bird or a bird meant for meat purposes, an Olive Egger is a good choice.
Olive Eggers may not be an official breed, but they are still booming in popularity. This title is given to hybrid birds that lay eggs that have a light green or olivine tone to their shells.
If you’re new to keeping chickens, you can’t get better than an Olive Egger. It’s a cool bird with an even cooler trait: green eggs!