Araucanas lay it on the line with their coloured eggs

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Interesting breed .. Jose Doo is keen to promote the araucana breed. She helped to found the New Zealand Araucana Club and set up a small display at the North Canterbury Poultry and Pigeon Club's recent annual show. PHOTOS: DAVID HILL

By DAVID HILL

If you’ve read the Dr Seuss story Green Eggs and Ham, the eggs may well have been laid by araucana chickens.

Jose Doo, who lives at Eyrewell, near Oxford, breeds araucana fowl, which lay eggs with green and blue-coloured shells, instead of the usual white and light brown colour.

She is so passionate about the breed that she helped found the New Zealand Araucana Club a year ago. She is now the club’s vice-president.

The club hosted a display at the North Canterbury Poultry and Pigeon Club’s annual show at the Rangiora Showgrounds last month.

“They are quite funky little birds. They have quite an outgoing personality and come in a wide range of colours. They are quite a cool bird to have.”

Jose says she started out breeding wyandotte fowl four years ago and then, six months later, acquired some araucana fowl as her partner was intrigued by the blue and green eggs. “It was a good excuse to get some more chooks,” she says.

Jose has since added Polish bantams to her flock.

Green eggs, no ham . . . Araucana fowl eggs with a green hue were on display at the North Canterbury Poultry and Pigeon Club’s recent annual show.

The araucana breed originated from South America and is mostly known for its egg shells, with sky blue considered the ideal colour. Olive green is also common.

“They look really pretty in your egg bowl, but it’s just the shell that’s different. Inside, it’s absolutely normal,” she says.

“Apparently, there’s some people who think there is a mild taste difference and I think there’s supposed to be a slight difference in the amount of cholesterol, but I haven’t noticed any difference.”

Jose says there is an araucana-cross breed known as the “easter egger” which is bred to produce blue coloured eggs, but this is not a recognised breed.

Araucanas are also known for their crest and muffling, sometimes known as a beard.

“There’s a bit of discrepancy for what is the correct araucana, so that’s why we started up the club to maintain the breed and keep it correct.

“If you don’t maintain the breed’s features you lose them, and we are really limited in New Zealand because you can’t bring in new genetics.”