Pennsylvania Blue Eggers (hybrid)

We are bringing this hybrid back after several years of focusing on Legbars for high production of blue eggs.

Hybrids have some distinct advantages when it comes to productivity. No chickens on the planet can match the commercial hybrids that produce the white and brown eggs you buy in the grocery store. But how boring are those eggs? I tried several different crosses to make a black sexlink that lays blue eggs, and this current cross is the best I found. The hens look like Black Ameraucanas, with dark legs and those cute muffs and beards we all adore on the Ameraucanas and many Easter Eggers. Their feathers are jet black and shimmer in the sunlight with green and purple iridescence. A truly pretty bird compared to the “normal” red and black sexlinks.

But what really sets these apart from the other blue egg layers we offer is their productivity. Their mothers are California Greys, a breed that Privett Hatchery calls their “best white egg layer that are not primarily white”. And they have proven to be great layers (of those rather boring white eggs). When bred to a black Ameraucana rooster, the resulting chicks are sexlinked (males have a white head spot and barred feathers, females are pure black except for some juvenile white feathers they lose as they grow). The resulting pullets lay as well as their mothers, but pick up the blue egg color from their dad. Really the best of both breeds comes out in this hybrid.

These also seem to pick up a little studied gene from their mothers that removes any trace of brown from the eggs. This is how the white eggs in the store get such a pure white color. It has been a few years since we raised these for egg production, but I recall the eggs being a lighter, but purer blue than the Legbars and Ameraucanas. This may be from the mystery gene, or because the blue egg gene, while dominant, has a “dose effect” and with only 1 copy the eggs don’t get as dark blue. I thought of calling these “Pennsylvania Sky Blue Eggers” but want to get more data about the actual egg colors this year, so as not to oversell that.