This has been an exciting spring for us. Along with all the usual miracles that spring brings, we’ve also added French Pearl Guineas and a pair of Geese to our farm.
The one with the dark beak is a Toulouse and the other is a Pilgrim. I’ll be sharing our experiences here with these new members of the Iron Oak Farm family.
This spring has also added a very interesting egg color to my collection basket. This egg color has been a two year project and spanned two generations of chickens. But I think it’s been well worth the wait!
Olive Eggers (as they’ve been colloquially named) are not really a “breed” of chicken, but rather a cross between a dark egg laying chicken and a green egg laying chicken.
Our deep olive eggs are the result of a French Black Copper Maran hen and an Easter Egger rooster.
Last year I paired these two “breeds” off for mating. When I breed chickens there is a waiting period of about 2 weeks to cleanse the hen’s lines of other breeds of rooster that we keep on our farm. Once she is clean of those breeds, I introduce the rooster whose lines I want. I make sure I witness several mates to ensure that the offspring will be his descendents.
Once I knew she was fertile, I collected the dark shelled French Black Copper Maran eggs and placed them in an incubator.
The adorable chicks hatched 21 days later and with them, the hope that they would someday lay olive eggs.
Fast forward a year.
The chicks that hatched last spring are now laying, and laying beautiful, dark olive eggs!
After posting this on Facebook, I learned from our readers that you can use any breed of dark laying hen, Welsummers and Kuckoo Marans will also work.
One reader told me that she has a Wyandotte cross with an Easter Egger and she gets a light olive egg from those offspring.
I’ve collected an incubators worth of the olive eggs from this second generation. These chicks will be part Olive Egger, part Easter Egger. I’m wondering with the additional gene of the green laying chicken, if the eggs from this third generation will be lighter? greener? Only time will tell. I’ll keep you updated.
Do you raise Olive Eggers? What shade are your eggs and what mix of breeds are your hens? Share by leaving a comment below, or visit the Community Chickens Facebook Page.