If you're looking for a stunning addition to your outdoor flock, an Olive Egger could be the perfect choice! With their unique feathers and delightful personality, this breed of chicken is sure to make a great companion. Plus, they lay green eggs that are just as gorgeous as they sound.
Whether you're looking to add olive eggs to your egg basket or just want a beautiful companion, an Olive Egger is the perfect choice!
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Calling Olive Eggers a breed would be doing a disservice to recognized poultry breeds. Olive egger chickens are actually mixed breed chickens with no Standard of Perfection (SOP).
That said, they are thoughtfully mixed. Unlike Barnyard Mix (BYM) chicks, which are the result of many different types of chickens randomly breeding, Olive Eggers are a combination of chickens that lay dark brown eggs and breeds that lay blue eggs.
Usually, Olive Eggers are bred using Legbar, Marans, and Ameraucana stock. That said, they can also have Auracana or Whiting True Blue genetics.
The numerous breeds that go into the Olive Eggers result in a ton of genetic variability - meaning you can count on an entire rainbow of feather color and patterns! Expect the unexpected when it comes to your Olive Egger's appearance.
What Makes A Green Egger?
Green egg layers are a really neat phenomenon. We're used to white eggs, brown eggs, and blue eggs, but no combination of those gives a green egg color, right? Wrong!
Chickens have 2 egg color bases - pure white, a lack of pigment, and pure blue. Each egg is white or blue, respectively, throughout. Brown shells are white on the inside with a brown bloom layered over top.
Green eggs are blue eggs with a brown bloom. This is achieved by breeding a blue egg-laying chicken breed to a dark brown egg-laying chicken.
Get ready to be blown away by the vibrant and diverse feathers of your Olive Egger! With a full spectrum of colors and patterns, your feathered friend is sure to surprise you with its unique appearance. Olive Egg chickens help you to embrace the beauty of the rainbow in your own backyard.
While the genetic expression is unpredictable, there are a few features that you can expect from your Olive Egg chickens.
Most commonly, they are bred by crossing an Ameraucana parent, so yours may present with a pea comb. Interestingly enough, the pea comb gene is closely linked to the blue egg gene!
Your OE chicken may even have a beard and muffs - again, owing to Ameraucana genetics. That said, single combs aren't out of the question, this all depends on what parentage went into the chick.
Olive eggers can present with a crest if they are bred using Crested Cream Legbars. They can also have feathered feet and legs if they have a Black Copper Marans parent.
One thing I've noticed with the Olive Eggers is that roosters are easy to identify once they start to feather in, every single time we've had an Olive or Easter Egger chick develop rust-colored feathers on the wings, it's been a male.
We have one mature Olive Egger at the time of this writing, Sage. Sage is a larger bird, though most of it is fluff! She's got a pea comb, muffs and beard, slate-colored legs, and lays the MOST beautiful green egg. It's not olive, it's closer to the same color as my Isbar hens lay, but it's flawless and beautiful!
Egg production for these birds varies. A lot of this depends on the parent stock and what their respective breeds produce, but Sage lays between 4- 5 eggs per week.
Generally, you can expect your Olive Egger to come into lay around 5 months, but Sage made us wait 8 WHOLE MONTHS! This could be because she's got Ameraucana genes and they are notoriously to start laying eggs - like my Lavender Opringtons!
Olive Egger's colored eggs can vary from very light to very dark olive green. They can even lay eggs that are speckled olive, especially if Welsummer's are used to breed them.
As with any breed of chicken, the temperament varies depending on what traits went into your Olive Egger. Usually, they are friendly, docile birds, and as long as their parent stock had a desirable temperament, the chicks usually follow suit.
My Olive Egger, Sage, is a real sweetheart - she's friendly, curious, and always comes for treats but she's definitely cautiously aware. She is a fantastic, easy-going flock mate and doesn't start any drama in the coop.
More Chicken Content To Peck Out!
Olive Eggers are a relatively hardy breed, depending on their presentation. They can handle colder temperatures without difficulty, and they do well in hot weather when given adequate shade and access to cool water.
Sage has wintered just fine here in Northern Alberta through -40f/ -40c, thanks to her fluffy coat and pea comb. Olive Eggers with single combs may need a little more protection from extreme cold.
Where To Buy Olive Egger Chicks
Most large-scale hatcheries can sell you Olive Egger chicks! They are a popular breed and are generally readily available.
How To Breed Olive Egger Chicks
If you don't want to buy chicks from a hatchery and you have a varied flock, you can breed your own! If you've got one hen or rooster from each column in the table below, you can hatch out your very own Olive Egger Chicks.
|DARK BROWN EGGERS
|Black Copper Marans (or other marans)
|Whiting True Blue
We had a broody hen this spring so I took 4 eggs; 1 dark brown egg from our BYM Willow, 2 Isbar eggs, and 1 Whiting True Blue egg, and she hatched them all. Our frizzle Black Copper Marans rooster should hopefully have passed on dark brown egg genes and we will have bred our own Olive Eggers!