We’ve been checking the nest boxes for weeks, and were finally rewarded with an olive green gem…
From left to right – Cuckoo Marans egg, pullet egg from our little Black Copper Marans/Barred Rock cross, pullet-sized olive egg with dark brown speckles, and large green egg from Easter-egger hen.
Since we only have two pullets in the pen where the olive egg was laid, and we’ve already caught the little black pullet laying the tan egg, we know it’s the pretty blue gal that laid it. We’ll be using trap nests soon, to confirm which hen lays which egg. Without a lot of space, and not wanting to have too many roosters, it’s crucial to identify the parentage of every egg we hatch. This pullet is most likely a cross of Blue Copper Marans and Ameraucana or Oliver from one of the hatching eggs we bought last fall. Her comb is an odd shape due to an injury when young, but would normally be a pea comb. She doesn’t show the facial or leg feathering of the Ameraucana, Easter-egger or Oliver breeds that make up half her parentage, but we like her conformation and will probably cross her with both of our roosters this year to see what her babies look like.
So far only two other pullets from our October hatch are laying, and those are brown eggs. One concern is that the three nearly identical red/blue pullets don’t have a copy of the blue-egg gene needed for laying olive eggs. If that is the case, that leaves us with the blue pullet (oliver), the straight-combed black pullet (brown egg), and pea-combed feather-face black pullet (unknown).
But half the fun is in the trial and error, and the ‘errors’ are just as tasty as the olive eggs.