The Olive Egger chicken is a well-liked hybrid variety. Their name comes from the olive color of their eggs, which is why this breed is so popular.
Hybrid chickens may not be as reliable as purebreds, but they can still be wonderful pets and layers. Many keepers agree that the extra effort required to obtain Olive Eggers is well worth it.
There may be a learning curve for those who aren’t already unfamiliar with olive egger chickens. There are many distinct chicken breeds, and this particular hen is a hybrid of two or more species.
Combining the traits of the Marans, Legbar, and Ameraucana chickens produce the olive egger chicken. In other eggs, it involves mating two different breeds, specifically a cockerel from the brown egg stock with a hen that lays blue eggs.
Eggs of a fascinating olive color are a common incentive for keeping these hens. The aesthetic and monetary value of the egg cartons is improved by the various levels of color.
Is an Olive Egger the right choice then? Let’s take a look at their outward appearance, character traits, and level of care to help you decide.
Where do Olive Egger chickens come from?
They aren’t always a mix of the two breeds you see here, but Oliver Eggers can be. They can be a combination of any breed that produces blue eggs and any breed that produces brown eggs, by definition.
In most cases, the resulting chickens will lay green eggs.
Examples of common breeding combinations include:
Legbar & Barnevelder
Ameraucana & Maran
Legbar & Welsummer
Araucana & Barnevelder
Whiting True Blue & Welsummer
Legbar & Barnevelder
Due to the wide range of possible parent breeds, the resulting chickens can exhibit wide variations in physical appearance, temperament, and egg production.
If you’re planning on buying hybrid chickens, this article will give you a good idea of what to conclude, but you should be aware that they may not act in the way you anticipate.
How Are Green Eggs Produced By Olive Egger Chickens?
Olive Eggers are the only chickens that consistently lay green eggs, rather than the usual blue and brown. The reason for this is that when they lay eggs, they do so in one color, then cover it with a second color.
If they lay blue eggs, but add a brown pigment on top of it, the eggs will appear green. Because of this, hybrids are significantly more common than purebreds to lay green eggs.
History and Background of the Olive Egger Chicken
Olive egger chickens are fascinating hybrids because they are adaptable and can thrive in a wide range of climates. Due to the rise in popularity and demand for colored eggs, breeding chickens have once again become a desirable hobby.
Due to their rarity and novelty, the eggs laid by these hens have attained a high social status. Two different chicken breeds were fused to create the olive egger chicken.
Thanks to poultry cross-breeding, the industry now has access to a steady stream of novel and exciting new options.
The opium war of 1840–42 is considered the beginning of intentional cross-breeding when Chinese breeds were brought to England.
These birds were eventually hybridized with native English chickens. That’s the origin of that fad you’ve all been talking about, hen fever, or the fancy.
Farmers in Europe spent a lot of time trying to create new chicken breeds but eventually gave up. By selectively breeding chickens for certain types, they were able to test the results and create new varieties.
More and more researchers have begun investigating the effects of hybridization as a result of a recent string of breakthroughs.
A more robust end result is guaranteed whenever new genetic material is introduced through crossing species. In most of the combinations, the hybrid chicks, and soon-to-be chickens are stronger and more adaptable than their parents.
While this highlights the power of hybridization and the development of olive egger chickens, it is not universally true. This may be the reason why the production cycle of trial and error never stops.
Among the many novel chicken bloodlines, the olive egger has to be one of the most intriguing. Due to their vibrant shades and overall freshness, their eggs are highly sought after in the marketplace.
Since 1842, when breeders first crossed blue egg layers with brown egg layers to create Olive Eggers, the process of creating new varieties of chickens has been continuing.
It was common practice at the time because farmers wanted desirable features in their flocks by crossing different breeds of chickens.
A sort of times known as “hen fever” refers to the time when farmers experimented with different hybrids. Some hybrids were more successful than others, and their numbers grew over time as a result.
The Oliver Egger chicken is an example of a cross that proved to be more vital and more adaptable than its parent breeds.
Due to their hybrid status, however, the American Poultry Association does not recognize them as a legitimate breed. That’s why they don’t appear in any breed registries.
The Olive Egger’s ability to consistently produce green eggs is its defining characteristic.
Appearance Throughout the Lifecycle
Though they all share the Olive Egger’s beauty, no two birds have the same pattern of markings. Here is a rough outline of their appearance as they develop from an egg to an adult.
Olive Egger Chicken Egg Color
Eggs laid by olive egger chickens can range in color. These hues can be anything from dark chocolate brown to olive green. Olive egger chicken eggs are a deep olive color because of the brown egg layer.
Eggs with a darker brown shell are more vibrantly colored. To get an F1 generation, however, you need to use a chicken that lays eggs that are on the lighter end of the brown spectrum.
The eggs laid by the current generation tend to have a lighter shell color, closer to khaki.
The typical coloring of olive green of an Olive Egger hen’s egg. Nonetheless, they can also show up in a variety of other green colors. There is a small chance that a few of these medium-to-large eggs will end out being blue or brown.
Olive Egger Chicks
A typical Olive Egger chick has darker feathers than other chicks. The majority of their feathers are dark brown and black, rather than the typical yellow fuzz. To be sure, the chicks’ color can be affected by their parents’ color.
From the moment they arise from their eggs, males and females look and act very differently from one another. Male chicks have a white dot on their heads that females don’t have.
In their third stage of development, known as a pullet, baby chicks begin to start on characteristics of their future adult selves. Pullets come in a rainbow of colors and resemble small versions of adult Olive Egger chickens, without the extra fluff.
Appearance of Maturity of Olive Egger Chickens
The adult form of this hybrid will resemble its parents very similarly to a chick. Black, brown, and gray feathers are common colors for these birds. Additionally, they may acquire muffs and other peculiarities from their parent breeds.
Even as young birds, you can tell the difference between hens and roosters. But as your chicks get older, you’ll also see that the females outpace the males in feather development. The males will eventually mature to a larger size than the females.
Physical characteristics can be found in a wide mix in both sexes of both males and females. Look for purebreds rather than hybrids if you want your birds to have a specific appearance.
Size of an Olive Egger Chicken
This flock of chickens is about the norm in terms of size. Chickens typically weigh between 6.5 and 7 pounds, with the average being 6.5. Next, roosters typically weigh 7.5 pounds but can go as high as 8 pounds.
Olive Egger Chicken Breed Temperament and Personality
The olive egger variety of chicken tends to be the most sociable. In contrast to other types of chickens, these are docile and gentle. In most cases, you need not worry about being harmed by these chickens.
Chickens of the Welsummer mix are more likely to develop into smart chickens. In contrast to other chickens, this chicken has a strong drive to produce eggs. And it’s perfect for the owner, too!
Although roosters have a reputation for being aggressive, olive egger roosters are actually quite docile. This, however, does not mean that they are unable to defend their flock if necessary. A flock protected by an olive egg rooster is a safe flock.
All olive egger chickens cannot be categorized as having the same personality. As a result of being a combination of different breeds, their personalities also range widely.
The way they interact with others, as well as their own personalities, can change depending on the specifics of the mix.
You can learn a lot about a chicken’s personality by observing its parents. If you know the breeds of the parents, you can guess how the offspring will act.
Due to the less rigid nature of the variations, nothing is certain to happen. To put it simply, if you breed two breeds that are known to have a good personality and a friendly nature, you can expect the offspring to share these traits.
Keeping olive egger chickens is a breeze. Incorporating olive eggers into your existing flock is also a good idea because they require little maintenance.
They are resistant to many different conditions. They are versatile and adaptable, working in many different environments.
Olive Eggers are generally well-behaved and friendly. Mixed-breed chickens, on the other combination, can have personalities that are less predictable than those of purebred breeds.
That said, you might love that one of your chickens thrives in social situations while another prefers to be left alone.
The temperament of the parents should be taken into account when predicting the personality of the chick. They are more likely to raise social, friendly chicks if both parents exhibit these traits.
This data can be easily obtained if you breed your own chickens. In any case, before bringing chicks home from a breeder, it’s important to ask a lot of questions.
Broodiness of Olive Egger Chickens
The broody of these hybrids is a trait that, like their temperament, is largely determined by their genes. Many Olive Egger chickens become broody because their ancestry typically includes broody hens.
While a broody hen’s incubation advantages are valuable, she may become hostile if you attempt to remove her eggs. Take some time to read up on broody hen management before trusting these mutts with your care.
Are Olive Eggers Noisy?
All the usual chicken sounds are produced by these birds, though they aren’t particularly loud. Some coop is normal among a flock of chickens, but the volume of each bird’s chitchat varies widely.
If you and your neighbors are close, a low-noise breed would be preferable. When it comes to hybrids, it’s impossible to say for sure if they’ll cause any noise problems.
How Do They Get Along with Other Birds?
Olive Egger chickens are typically tame, so they can be housed with other birds. To avoid any bullying, however, it’s best to house your hens with others of a similar size and temperament.
It’s likely that they’ll get along best with breeds of the same parent breed.
Important Needs / Care Requirements of Olive Egger Chickens
While the needs of these hybrids are similar to those of regular chickens, special attention must be paid to ensure that they thrive. Here are some essential requirements for caring for Olive Eggers chickens if you decide to bring them home.
Feeding Olive Egger Chickens
The vast majority of Olive Eggers share a love for delicious food. They aren’t picky eaters, so you can serve them anything.
They need a high-protein chick feed early on to fuel their rapid growth. After about 16 weeks, you can switch them over to adult hens laying feed.
Adding calcium to your flock’s diet is a surefire way to guarantee healthy egg production. The most common source of calcium supplement for hens is oyster shells, which should be given to the birds on a separate occasion from their regular feed.
Treats are a great way to mix your birds’ diet and give them satisfaction. Fruits, vegetables, and other fresh produce make wonderful treats for chickens.
Be sure to provide clean water for your flock whenever you feed them. To avoid dehydration in your birds, you should refill the water dish at least once a day and more frequently if necessary.
Housing Your Olive Egger Chickens
These birds are fairly standard in space, so they don’t require a large enclosure. The recommended amount of space in the coop is 4 square feet per bird, but more can be provided if necessary.
Outside of the coop, each bird needs about 10 square feet of space in a run.
Olive Egger chickens need a lot of outdoor space because of their inquisitive nature and predisposition for roaming and foraging. They thrive when allowed to roam freely outside of a pen, so feel free to do so if you’re so predisposed.
Chickens that are allowed to roam freely can forage for food and help keep your yard free of great pests like insects and weeds. Aside from being a great way to keep them occupied, this will help reduce the likelihood of bullying among themselves.
Chickens will always go back to their coop at night if they have access to food and shelter in their run.
There should be multiple nesting boxes in your chicken run. Oliver Eggers prefer nesting boxes that are the standard size of 12 inches by 12 inches by 12 inches.
Because of the wide variety in appearance among hybrid birds, the nesting box and coop space may need to be revised as you get to know the birds better.
It’s been my experience that Olive Eggers thrive in a wide variety of temperatures. They are birds that can survive the cold and may even lay eggs during the winter.
However, even the healthiest birds require shelter from the bitter cold and scorching heat. Make sure your chickens have access to cool, shaded areas, clean water, and adequate airflow this summer.
Make sure their coop is warm and, if necessary, invest in a coop heater for the cold winter months. To make dehydration, verify that they have access to non-frozen water. In the winter, they won’t require as much water as they would in the summer.
Common Health Issues of Olive Egger Chickens
There is no evidence to suggest that these chickens have a higher risk of developing any particular health problems than other breeds or hybrids.
However, many common diseases are still a threat, so it’s better to vaccinate your birds and know where the closest vet is located.
Lice and mites affect all chickens and are a common problem. It may be difficult to notice these pests, but the longer they remain in your chicken house, the more damage they will cause.
One of the best ways to keep the coop pest-free is to keep it clean and change out the bedding regularly.
Take your chickens to the vet if you notice anything out of the ordinary with their behavior or health. Before anything goes wrong, it’s best to find out which vets are willing to treat birds.
Routine checkups are another option for maintaining the health of your chickens, but they are unnecessary if the chickens appear to be doing fine.
At the beginning of their life on Earth, chickens start a lot of threats. They are vulnerable to diseases, can be eaten by predators, and can be harmed by pests that may catch in the same environment.
Like humans, chickens can catch infections and be exposed to susceptible diseases.
It’s important to have an underlying understanding of chicken health because it can be challenging to spot more subtle problems.
In this way, you can protect your flock from the spread of disease. Infected chickens are a common problem, and the following diseases are among the most prevalent.
Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome (FLHS)
Factors related to toxicology, nutrition, or hormones play a significant role in the development of this disease. Your chickens’ health will be severely compromised as this disease attacks their liver.
A pale comb is the most obvious sign of this illness in your chicken. This can also show up as the person gaining weight, becoming sluggish, and acting less enthusiastic than usual. One symptom of FLHS is a delay in egg-laying cycles.
Home remedies may help, but a trip to the vet can help you determine exactly what’s wrong with your chicken and how to treat it. We’ve compiled a list of potential remedies below.
- Put biotin-rich foods into their food to speed up their metabolism.
- Reduce the amount of fatty foods you feed your chicken.
Chickens frequently fall victim to diseases like diarrhea. As much as its prevalence may cause you to relax your guard, this illness is extremely dangerous. Observe any abnormalities in your chicken’s feces, and you may have a problem.
Due to the urine, the default color should be a mix of brown and white. Diarrhea is the most likely cause of your chicken’s strange feces, which are now yellow, foamy, and sometimes bloody.
Providing them with water to rehydrate is a relatively easy step to take. When home treatment options are exhausted, however, it’s time to call the vet.
Egg Production of Olive Egger Chicken Hens
To get fertile eggs, a rooster must come into contact with hens. When the rooster is introduced to the hens, the process of reproduction begins automatically.
Your hens will soon begin laying eggs that will develop into chicks, so you should get ready to care for young chicks.
If you decide you no longer want fertile eggs, you can easily separate the rooster from the hens. When kept without roosters, hens can lay eggs suitable for human consumption.
An olive egger hen can produce anywhere from 140 to 200 eggs annually. This, once more, is contingent on the breeds of its parents.
While darker brown egg layers do yield more vibrant green and olive hues when blended, their genes also reduce the chicken’s overall productivity. These chickens are expected to lay an egg every two days, for a total of three eggs per week.
The chickens of the Olive Egger breed start laying eggs at a relatively early age. Production typically begins between the ages of 5 and 6 months, with hens laying an average of 4 to 5 eggs per week.
The variety of colors and patterns found in their eggs is a fun result of combining different breeds.
Frequently Asked Questions
Make sure you’re all set up before heading out to buy some Olive Eggers. Here are some questions that first-time chicken keepers often have.
What is the Difference Between an Olive Egger and an Easter Egger?
The Olive Egger and Easter Egger are two examples of special hybrids bred to lay colored eggs. While Easter Eggers typically lay eggs of a variety of colors, Olive Eggers is a subspecies of Easter Egger that only lays green eggs.
Can you always expect a green egg from an olive egger hen?
Contrary to popular belief, some blue or brown eggs have been laid by Olive Eggers. Green, however, is by far the most common color.
There may be variation in egg color because neither of the parent breeds is typically used for producing Olive Eggers.
When Do Olive Eggers Start Laying Eggs?
As early as five months of age, most Oliver Eggers start laying eggs. For a while, their eggs will be smaller than usual, but the color will remain green.
Is an Olive Egger Chicken Right for You?
For as long as anyone can remember, humans and chickens have shared the planet.
It is possible to produce hybrid chickens using any two of these breeds. These hybrid fowl eventually go their separate types and lay laying hybrid eggs.
Generally speaking, chickens that lay eggs with a more visually appealing shell color are no different than olive egg chickens.
Depending on their breed, olive egger chickens can have a wide range of sizes. Similar characteristics in each offspring are not required to indicate genetic continuity between parents. This could be one of the fascinating aspects of hybridization.
Eggs with olive and green shades are in higher demand, coloring the egg cartons, and cross-breeding can create anticipation and excitement. Indeed, these chickens add a splash of color to the chicken coop.
Chickens of the olive egger variety are no different from any other flock. They need your attention, and you, as the owner, must remain vigilant to ensure the safety of your neighborhood.
However, despite their unique personalities, they are all in need of attention.
If you’re interested in keeping chickens and like green eggs, Olive Eggers may be a good choice. Yet, these chickens might not be the best option if you want a breed that is consistently reliable.
Thanks to their hybrid status, Olive Eggers display a wide variety of hybrids and physical forms. So, think about that before deciding if you want to work with them.