Olive Egger Chickens: Eggs, Color, Size, Lifespan, Pictures, and More

Olive Egger Chickens are a unique and fascinating breed that has recently gained popularity among backyard chicken enthusiasts. 

If you’re looking for an exciting addition to your flock or are simply curious about this breed, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need. 

From their origins and history to their history, unique features, temperament, eggs, size, lifespan, and care requirements, you’ll learn everything there is to know about Olive Egger Chickens. 

So, let’s dive right in and discover what makes this breed so unique!

Origins and History of Olive Egger Chickens

The origin of Olive Egger Chickens results from crossbreeding between two different breeds: a blue egg-laying breed, such as an Araucana or Ameraucana, and a dark brown egg-laying breed, such as a Marans or Welsummer

This crossbreeding results in offspring that lay beautiful olive-colored eggs, hence the name Olive Eggers.

The history of this breed is relatively recent, as they are not a recognized breed by the American Poultry Association (APA) or any other major poultry organization. 

The origins of the Easter Egger are somewhat unclear, but it is believed that they were first developed in the United States in the early 20th century.

This means there is a great deal of variation in appearance, size, and temperament among Olive Egger Chickens, as they are not bred to conform to a specific standard.

Unique Features of Olive Egger Chickens

Unique Features of Olive Egger Chickens
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One of the most distinctive features of Olive Egger Chickens is, of course, their egg color. The olive-colored eggs are highly sought after by hobbyists and professional egg producers, as they are beautiful but also nutritious and delicious. 

The exact shade of Olive Egger eggs can vary depending on the specific crossbreeding, with some eggs being more greenish while others have a more brownish hue.

Another unique feature of Olive Egger is their diverse appearance. Since they are a hybrid breed, there is no specific standard for their appearance, and as a result, they can come in a wide variety of colors, patterns, and feather types.

This means your Olive Egger flock can be incredibly diverse and visually interesting, making them a great addition to any backyard coop.

Finally, Olive Egger can also possess some unique features of their parent breeds, such as the tufted ears, beards, and muffs characteristic of Ameraucanas or the feathered legs and feet of Marans. This adds even more variety and visual interest to your Olive Egger flock.

Olive Egger Chicken Lifespan

The lifespan of Olive Egger Chickens is generally similar to that of other chicken breeds, with an average lifespan of 5–8 years. 

However, some individuals can live longer, up to 10 years or more, with proper care and management.

A healthy and safe environment, proper nutrition, and regular health check-ups are essential to ensure your Olive Egger Chickens’ long and happy life.

Olive Egger Chicken Temperament and Behavior

The temperament and behavior of Olive Egger Chickens can vary widely, as they are not bred for specific personality traits.

However, many owners report they are mostly friendly, curious, and sociable birds, making them enjoyable around the backyard or farm. 

Some individuals may be more assertive or skittish, but this is true of any chicken breed. As with any flock, observing your Olive Egger Chickens and learning their personalities and behaviors is essential.

This will help you understand their needs and preferences and ensure they are comfortable and happy in their environment.

Olive Egger Chicken Color Varieties

As mentioned earlier, Olive Egger Chickens are a hybrid breed and do not have a specific breed standard. This means they can come in various colors and patterns, both recognized and non-recognized by poultry organizations.

Some of the most common color varieties include black, blue, splash, and shades of red or brown. They can also come in various patterns, such as barred, laced, or mottled.

It’s important to note that while these variations can be visually exciting and appealing, they do not impact the quality or characteristics of the eggs laid by the hens. 

The olive color of the eggs is determined by the specific crossbreeding, not the color or pattern of the bird itself.

Types of Olive Egger Chickens: Chart and Their Eggs

An olive egger pullet foraging
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There are several types of Olive Egger chickens, each with its own distinct characteristics and egg-laying capabilities. To help you better understand each type, we have provided a chart and a brief explanation of their eggs.

Type 1: Black Copper Marans x Ameraucana

This crossbreed is created by mating a Black Copper Marans rooster with an Ameraucana hen. The result is a beautiful bird that lays eggs with a deep olive color. These eggs are typically large in size and have a rich, creamy yolk.

Type 2: Blue Copper Marans x Ameraucana

Similar to Type 1, this crossbreed is produced by mating a Blue Copper Marans rooster with an Ameraucana hen. The offspring of this pairing will lay eggs with a slightly lighter shade of olive, but still boast a generous size and creamy yolk.

Type 3: Cream Legbar x Marans

This unique crossbreed is the result of mating a Cream Legbar rooster with a Marans hen. The resulting Olive Egger will lay eggs with a pale olive hue, but the egg size and yolk quality remain impressive.

Type 4: Welsummer x Ameraucana

A Welsummer rooster and an Ameraucana hen are used to create this type of Olive Egger. The eggs laid by this crossbreed are a beautiful medium olive color and maintain the large size and delicious yolk common to Olive Eggers.

Type 5: Barnevelder x Ameraucana

The combination of a Barnevelder rooster and an Ameraucana hen produces this type of Olive Egger. The eggs from this crossbreed have a stunning light olive color and retain the sought-after size and yolk quality.

F1 and F2 Olive Egger Chickens

To better understand Olive Egger breeding, it’s important to know the difference between F1 and F2 Olive Eggers.

The F1 (or first-generation) Olive Eggers are the direct offspring of two purebred parents, while F2 (or second-generation) Olive Eggers are the offspring of two F1 Olive Eggers.

F1 Olive Egger Chickens

F1 Olive Eggers are created by mating a dark egg-laying breed (such as Marans, Barnevelder, or Welsummer) with a blue egg-laying breed (such as Ameraucana, Araucana, or Cream Legbar).

The resulting offspring will inherit the dark eggshell pigment gene from the dark egg-laying parent and the blue eggshell gene from the blue egg-laying parent. This combination produces the beautiful olive-colored eggs that Olive Eggers are known for.

F2 Olive Egger Chickens

F2 Olive Eggers are created by breeding two F1 Olive Eggers together. While the second generation may still produce olive-colored eggs, the shade of olive can be more unpredictable due to the increased genetic diversity.

Some F2 Olive Eggers may lay eggs with a deeper olive color, while others may lay lighter shades. The size and yolk quality of the eggs may also vary, but generally remain larger and richer than regular eggs.

Olive Egger Appearance

An Olive Egger Head Picture
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The appearance of Olive Egger Chickens can vary significantly due to their hybrid nature. However, some general characteristics are common among most individuals. 

Olive Egger typically have a medium to large body size and a sturdy and well-proportioned frame. Depending on the parent breeds, they have yellow skin and legs, which are clean or feathered.

The wattles, comb, and earlobes of Olive Egger Chickens can also vary, with some individuals having more significant or more pronounced features, while others are more subtle. Depending on the parent breeds, the comb is usually a single, pea, or rose comb.

Olive Egger Egg Production and Broodiness

Olive Egger hens typically begin laying eggs between 5-7 months of age, although this can vary depending on diet, environment, and overall health.  The Olive Egger hens lay around 150-200 eggs per year.

The eggs are the signature olive color, with the exact shade depending on the specific crossbreeding. The size of the eggs is generally medium to large, with an average weight of around 50-60 grams.

In terms of broodiness, Olive Egger hens can vary. Some individuals may be more inclined to go broody and sit on their eggs, while others may not display this behavior at all. 

If you’re interested in hatching your Olive Egger chicks, it’s essential to carefully observe your hens and identify those that are more likely to hatch and raise offspring successfully.

Olive Egger Size & Weight

The size and weight of Olive Egger Chickens can vary depending on the specific crossbreeding, but mostly, they are medium to large birds. 

Roosters weigh 7-8 lbs, while hens typically weigh 6-7 lbs. Chicks, of course, will be smaller and lighter, increasing their weight as they grow and mature.

Olive Egger Baby Chicks

Olive Egger baby chicks are incredibly cute and endearing, with fluffy down and curious personalities. 

They can come in a variety of colors and patterns, depending on the parent breeds, making them a visually exciting addition to any backyard flock. 

As with baby chicks, it’s essential to provide proper care and management to ensure their health and well-being, including a warm and dry brooder, age-appropriate nutrition, and plenty of space to explore and grow.

Olive Egger Hen vs. Rooster: Differences and Similarities

Olive Eggers, hens, and roosters can have some differences and similarities in their appearance, size, and behavior. 

Roosters are generally more giant and muscular than hens, with long tail feathers and more pronounced wattles and combs. They also have the characteristic male behavior of crowing and protecting their flock.

On the other hand, Hens are smaller and more slender than roosters, with a more subtle comb and wattle. They are also responsible for laying the beautiful olive-colored eggs this breed is known for.

In terms of behavior, both hens and roosters can be friendly and sociable, although roosters may be more assertive and protective of their flock. However, this can vary greatly depending on the individual bird’s personality and upbringing.

Caring for Olive Egger Chickens: Tips and Guidelines

3 Weeks Old Olive Egger Pullets
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Caring for Olive Egger Chickens is relatively straightforward, but there are some essential tips and guidelines to keep in mind to ensure their health and happiness.

1. Provide a safe and secure environment: Ensure your coop and run are predator-proof, well-ventilated, and free from drafts. Provide plenty of space for your birds to move around and perch, and keep the area clean and dry to prevent the spread of disease.

2. Feed a balanced and nutritious diet: Provide your Olive Egger with a high-quality feed appropriate for their age and life stage. You can also supplement your diet with treats such as fruits, vegetables, and mealworms, but make sure not to overdo it, as this can lead to obesity and other health issues.

3. Provide fresh water: Make sure your birds have access to clean and fresh water at all times, and regularly clean and refill their waterers to prevent bacteria buildup.

4. Monitor their health: Regularly check your birds for signs of illness or injury, including changes in behavior, appetite, or fecal output. If you notice any issues, consult a veterinarian or poultry specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment.

5. Provide enrichment: Olive Egger Chickens are curious and active birds, so they have plenty of opportunities to explore and engage in natural behaviors such as scratching, pecking, and dust bathing. You can also provide them with toys and other forms of enrichment to keep them mentally stimulated and happy.

Olive Egger Chickens for Sale: Where to Find Them

If you want to add Olive Egger Chickens to your flock, you can find them for sale in several places. Many hatcheries and breeders specialize in this breed, and you can also find them for sale at poultry shows and auctions. 

Online marketplaces such as Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace can also be a good resource, although you carefully do well research about any seller before purchasing.

Olive Egger Common Health Issues

Olive Egger can be susceptible to specific health issues, like all chicken breeds. Some of the most common health concerns include:

1. Parasites: Mites, lice, and other parasites can cause skin irritation, feather loss, and other health issues if left untreated. Regularly inspect your birds for signs of infestation and treat them as necessary.

2. Respiratory infections: Poor ventilation, overcrowding, and other environmental factors can lead to respiratory infections such as mycoplasma and infectious bronchitis. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, and wheezing, and treatment typically involves antibiotics and supportive care.

3. Egg-laying issues: Olive Egger hens can experience issues such as egg binding, where an egg becomes stuck in the oviduct and cannot be laid. This can be a life-threatening condition that requires immediate veterinary attention.

9. Nutritional deficiencies: A lack of proper nutrition can lead to poor egg production, weak bones, and other health problems. Ensure a balanced and nutritious diet that meets your birds’ needs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Olive Egger Chickens

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Olive Egger Chickens:

How many eggs do Olive Egger lay?

Olive Egger hens typically lay around 150-200 eggs annually, although this can vary depending on age, health, and environment. They are reliable layers and a popular choice for backyard chicken keepers looking for colorful eggs.

When do Olive Egger start laying eggs?

Olive Egger hens typically begin laying eggs between 5–7 months of age. However, this can vary depending on diet, environment, and genetics. Proper nutrition and comfortable living space are essential to ensure healthy egg production.

Are Olive Egger hens broody?

Some Olive Egger hens may be more prone to going broody and sitting on their eggs, while others may not display this behavior at all. It varies from bird to bird. If a broody Olive Egger is desired, it is crucial to provide a suitable nesting area and regular egg collection to prevent her from accumulating too many eggs.

What color are Olive Egger chickens?

Olive Egger Chickens can come in various colors and patterns, from black and blue to red and brown.

What size eggs do Olive Egger lay?

Olive Egger hens typically lay medium to large-sized eggs, with an average weight of around 50-60 grams.

How long do Olive Egger chickens live?

Olive Egger Chickens can live for an average of 5-8 years, although some individuals may live longer with proper care and management.

How often do Olive Egger lay eggs?

Olive Egger hens typically lay around 200–250 eggs yearly, or around 4-5 eggs per week during peak production.

How big do Olive Egger chickens get?

Olive Egger Chickens can vary in size depending on the specific crossbreeding, but generally, they are medium to large birds. Roosters weigh 7-8 pounds, while hens typically weigh 6-7.

Are Olive Egger friendly?

Olive Egger Chickens can be friendly and sociable, although this can vary depending on the individual bird’s personality and upbringing.

Are Olive Egger chickens cold-hardy?

Olive Egger Chickens are mostly hardy birds that can handle cold temperatures but may need additional protection during extreme weather conditions.

Conclusion: Are Olive Egger Good for Your Backyard Coop?

In conclusion, Olive Egger Chickens are a fascinating and unique breed that can make a great addition to any backyard coop. 

Their beautiful olive-colored eggs, diverse appearance, and curious personalities make them popular among hobbyists and professional egg producers.

As with any breed, it’s essential to carefully consider their care requirements, temperament, and health issues before adding them to your flock. 

But with proper care and management, Olive Egger Chickens can provide years of enjoyment and delicious eggs for you and your family.

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