Are you looking into raising Easter Egger chickens and harvesting their beautiful colorful eggs? That’s a great idea! Many people who own a farm decide on this step, but it’s oftentimes difficult for them to make a difference between roosters and hens. Easter is coming and there’s no better time than now to get Easter Egger chicken and harvest vibrant eggs just in time for the Easter and coloring season.
This way, you’re guaranteed to have a combination of vivid and pastel colors that will amaze your neighbors, friends, and family. Many studies already researched the egg quality differences among Easter Egger breeds, which may impress your friends further.
But, how to tell the difference between the Easter Egger Rooster vs hen? Experienced farmers can tell the difference from far away, but can you? Usually, people who have never had Easter Egger chicken can’t tell the difference so easily until they grow up, after all, they share so many similarities that can’t tell them apart.
The biggest problem with raising Easter Egger chickens is being unable to tell whether they’re a hen or a rooster. Many farmers make this mistake, and you won’t be an exception if you’re new to farmers. Luckily, we wrote this article to help you avoid this common and frequent mistake.
For example, nearly all Easter Egger hens share similarities with roosters. One of them is that they both have a pretty large neck area, making it longer compared to other breeds of chicken. They also have larger poufs and beards which can make them mistaken for an Easter Egger rooster.
Additionally, they have a similar pattern of feathers, which makes it most difficult to make a difference. Luckily, in this article, we’re going to break down both similarities and differences in this Easter Egger rooster vs hen comparison.
It may be easier to spot the difference once you’re dealing with an adult Easter Egger, which is exactly why we’re going to show you the difference between the two from the earliest age to adult. Sit tight and continue reading this article to learn everything you will need to know about Easter Eggers regardless of whether you’re going to raise them or not.
What Are Easter Egger Chicken?
Surprisingly Easter Egger chicken doesn’t refer to some specific breed of chicken that is different from another commonly found chicken breed. However, they are a sub-breed or a crossbreed between chickens that can lay colorful eggs, which is why they are often called Easter Egger chickens.
They make the whole joy of Easter more apparent, thanks to the colorful eggs that look even better when dipped into the dye – but you don’t have to as they look perfectly beautiful and can make amazing pastel decorations for the Easter breakfast and lunch table.
Easter Egger chickens will likely lay blue or green colorful eggs, which is why they are most likely the crossbreed between breeds like Ameraucana or Araucana chickens.
Some of the eggs can also be teal colors, and sometimes you may find some other color mixes, but that’s just a result of genetic mixtures that different breed chickens go through when laying Easter Eggers.
Considering that Ameraucana and Araucana chickens are often found to lay colorful eggs, they are also referred to as Easter Egger chickens, although you won’t always find them being labeled because it can make many farmers and those curious about Easter Eggers confused in the process.
Now for the context of Araucana and Ameraucana chicken, the former was initially seen in 1914, thanks to Spanish aviculturist Salvador Castello. He visited Chille in 1914 and when he spotted the chicken he named it “Gallina Araucana.”
The Ameraucana chicken has developed in the USA during the 1970s thanks to the Araucana chicken that came from Chille. Easter Egger chickens are considered the crossbreed of the two, but it isn’t recognized by APA thanks to their varieties which aren’t considered consistently a standard.
Still, they’ll produce colorful eggs which are common for both Ameracuana, Araucana, and Easter Egger chicken.
It’s also worth mentioning that Easter Egger chickens have a different kind of personality compared to other chicken breeds, but that will be discussed further in the article. That’s why they are an interesting addition to the regular one-breed flocks.
Editor’s notes: Even though Easter Egger chickens are known for laying green, blue, and teal eggs, it’s worth mentioning that depending on the crossbreed, other color varieties can be found such as pink, sage, yellow, and other colors. It’s also worth mentioning that they can produce up to 4 eggs per week.
Easter Egger Rooster vs Hen: Similarities
Even though this article is dedicated mostly to the difference between Easter Egger roosters and hens to avoid buying roosters instead of hens by accident, it’s best to first start from similarities so that you can have a better picture of what differences to focus on when trying to differentiate between them.
Sometimes, the differences are quite easy to spot, while sometimes you need a keen eye for the details as well as a sharp eye for differences – and sometimes we can best spot the differences by spotting the similarities first.
- Appearance: One of the most similar facts about Easter Egger roosters and hens is that they have similar physical appearances, which makes it the hardest to differentiate between them. For one. Both hens and roosters have unique feather patterns and colors that are similar among them. Their feathers feature a mix of blue, brown, green, red, and others. Additionally, both of them have a pea comb and feathered legs. Both have thicker legs. Their necks are longer and bigger, while both are distinguished by their visible beard.
- Social Habits: Easter Eggers get along in mixed flocks, but it’s still easy to see that they are different compared to the rest of it. If we don’t include roosting, both hens and roosters have similar communication patterns, using similar vocal capabilities and body language to communicate with the rest of the flock, which can make it difficult to make a difference.
- Diet: Both hens and roosters will eat similar food, which needs to be highly balanced. They will both consume a mix of grains and protein in addition to vegetables. They get sick from the same diseases, that can occur throughout their lives.
Easter Egger Rooster vs. Hen: Key Differences
Earlier we discussed the similarities between Easter Egger chicken which share physical similarities with Ameraucana and Araucana, which is important when you’re trying to tell a difference between the hen and rooster. Keep in mind that Easter Egger chicken won’t always be a crossbreed of Ameraucana and Araucana, sometimes it’s one of the two and a randomly selected chicken breed which can make identifying the male and female quite difficult.
That’s why, just like we checked the similarities above, we’re going to take a look at the distinct differences in their characteristics and use them to pinpoint which chicken is an Easter Egger rooster and which one is a hen. Read on!
Size is the first type of difference you should be looking for if you’re trying to tell an Easter Egger rooster from a hen. Even from the earliest age, the differences in size can be seen if you look into the details. Easter Egger chickens are considered to be medium-sized chickens compared to other breeds.
However, if you’re trying to spot the differences in sizes between the two, you should see that roosters will appear a tad larger compared to hens. This difference can be seen as early as 10 weeks old, and as they meet the end of their maturity at 16 to 17 weeks, their differences in size will decrease.
Weighing them is also a good idea because once they reach adulthood, roosters will weigh around 5 pounds while hens will weigh a bit less, usually about 4 pounds on average. Additionally, a rooster will grow up to be from 18 to 20 inches tall, while hens will have a height of 15 to 17 inches.
Editor’s notes: It’s worth mentioning that some Easter Egger roosters will be quite small, but that depends on possible genes they picked from other breeds like a bantam. That being said, ranging from different batches, some Easter Egger roosters will be smaller compared to hens, so you should be extra careful when choosing.
Wattles & Combs
The problem with Easter Egger chickens is that both roosters and hens have quite prominent wattles and combs, and until they are completely grown, it could be harder to make a difference. However, the basic rule of thumb is that those of roosters will always be significantly longer and larger.
The prominent wattles will be easy to spot on both hen and rooster, but it takes a bit longer staring to determine whether it’s the rooster or a hen. Nevertheless, if you take a look at an adult Easter Egger chicken, you will easily notice that a rooster’s wattles are extremely long compared to those of a hen.
On the other hand, their combs stand out in the batch. That being said, if you notice that some chicken has an extremely prominent comb compared to other chicken in the flock, chances are that it’s the Easter Egger rooster.
Editor’s notes: This is one of the easiest ways to tell whether some chicken is an Easter Egger rooster or hen. Additionally, it works on other breeds such as Silkie roosters, and Wyandotte roosters.
We mentioned earlier that Easter Egger roosters and hens are quite similar in appearance, which can mean it will be hard to recognize the rooster from the hens and vice versa. However, if you take a close look at their colors as well as plumage, you may be able to spot some distinct differences.
For example, Easter Egger hens will have pale yellow beaks ranging to dark brown. Their legs will also be yellow. As mentioned earlier, they have a vibrant combination of colors like black, blue, teal, golden brown, and other colors.
However, if you want to spot distinct differences, you should have to take a look at the hackle feathers which are located on EE chicken’s neck. All roosters will have different colors there compared to the rest of their body, while hens usually feature the same range of colors across their whole body.
Editor’s notes: Keep in mind that this is not the best way to check for differences between these two. Easter Egger hens could feature only one color on their back, but roosters may not always have the same color distortion on their hackle feathers. Always check for color differences in combination with other traits.
Behavior & Temper
Both Easter Egger roosters and hens have similar behavior patterns which are why it can be difficult to tell them apart. Moreover, the majority of these chickens are friendly to both other chickens in the flock and humans.
They have unique behavior patterns, but some farmers report that they’re more reserved compared to other breeds inside the same flock. This trait also makes them gentler and more peaceful, which is why farmers who have children often buy them, so that they wouldn’t risk having them attacked or hurt.
Although chickens are friendly, as they grow up, you will notice that roosters, although still a bit shy, can show changes in temperament, becoming more aggressive and territorial.
Even though all roosters become territorial as they come to the right age, it’s worth mentioning that this change can distinctly be seen in Easter Egger roosters.
When Easter Egger roosters become 15 weeks old, they’ll likely start crowing, but don’t worry if they don’t, they could as well start a bit later, but everything is normal even if it doesn’t start by 20 weeks old. Easter Egger hens will also start laying their colorful eggs by 20 to 25 weeks old.
Editor’s notes: These behavioral patterns of crowing and laying eggs help farmers determine the Easter Egger rooster vs hen differences, which is good for people who don’t buy chickens, but wait for them to grow up instead.
Another trait that can allow you to see the difference between EE roosters and hens is the development of leg spurs. They are not commonly seen on hens, but they are likely to develop on roosters.
Leg spurs refer to little bumpy nubs inside the legs of chickens. In roosters, these bumps are more likely to become thick, sharp, and pointy. That also results in thicker legs, whereas hens have thinner legs.
Editor’s notes: Leg spurs are developing later in the age of Easter Egger roosters, around 5 to 8 months old. Still, it’s a good indicator in case you can’t spot the difference.
How to Spot the Easter Egger Rooster vs Hen Differences Based on Their Age?
Unfortunately, in breeds like Easter Egger chickens, it can be hard to spot the differences in sex until they get older and get the distinct differences we talked about earlier. For some breeds like Polish chicken, you can see the differences from the earliest age, but Easter Egger chickens are different.
Below we’ll discuss their differences as they age, it ranges from chicken to chicken, but this comparison will definitely help you sharpen your eyes for future encounters with Easter Egger chickens. If you bred Easter Egger chickens or got baby chicks you’ll be able to spot more differences as they grow more mature.
- 0-4 weeks old: Here is nearly impossible to tell a difference unless you’re a chick’s expert. There are no combs or wattles, and no size differences. Unless you can hire an expert who’ll precisely tell you the difference, there’s nothing you can do but wait.
- 6-10 weeks old: Now, if you have a keen eye for details, you should be able to spot the tiny differences as the chicks grow. As hens will still lack in their growth, you will notice small differences in sizes between a male and females. There are pea-sized combs on their head, as well as tiny wattles. On the other hand, females won’t show any of those appearance traits. Keep in mind that this depends on which chicken species it was bred with. Some of these signs may show up earlier or later.
- 12-16 weeks old: The differences will become way more obvious now. Wattles and combs in males will be much bigger compared to those in Easter Egger hens. Roosters may also begin crowing and will start to get their controlling and territorial traits. Your hen will probably start showing their combs and wattles just now, or not even now depending on what crossbreed it is. This is the best time to pinpoint the easter egger rooster vs hen difference.
Also Read: Chicken Vs. Rooster Vs. Hen: How to Tell Them Apart and What Makes Each One Unique
Frequently Asked Questions
If reading our Easter Egger rooster vs hen guide didn’t help you spot the difference, we compiled a FAQ section that will help you answer additional questions you may have and clear out any confusion.
Can Easter Egger Roosters be Friendly?
They can, but it depends on their environment. If there are enough hens per individual rooster if there are not too many roosters in the flock, and of course if they have enough space to run, play and roam. That space will help them nourish their natural curiosity, which will also make them friendly in the process. They won’t be aggressive towards humans and will be docile both in presence of adults and children.
How Old are Easter Egger Hens When They Start Laying?
This is a common question asked to determine the difference, but you will likely know the difference from about 12 to 16 weeks old. On the other hand, Easter Egger hens will start laying eggs on between 20 and 25 week age, which is slightly later than other chickens. Sometimes, it will take longer, but don’t let that worry you.