True Ameraucanas

Ameraucanas are beautiful, fluff-faced chickens known for laying blue-shelled eggs

[This page is a work in progress]

You cannot say that any chicken is "purebred."

Tracking chick parentage is too logistically difficult to be practical.
  • It can be very hard to know which egg came from which mating, to keep track of an individual egg in an incubator or under a hen (especially a hen brooding "adopted" eggs), to tell chicks apart, etc. Also, chickens can each have so many babies & a fairly high percent may die as chicks, so it could be overwhelming trying to keep records.

There are no "breed registries" for chickens.
  • There is no way to "prove" a bird's ancestry. Unlike for dogs or horses, there are no organizations that store officially certified pedigrees for chickens.

Fanciers of specific types of chickens often breed "outside" birds into main lines.
  • Frequently, if an exhibition-quality breeder finds a bird of a different breed that they think will improve characteristics in their main breed line, that person will cross in the "outside" bird, and then carefully choose how to breed the offspring. Until genetics sufficiently re-stabilize a few generations after the cross, only some of the offspring will qualify as being of the main breed.

A chicken's individual characteristics -- not its ancestors -- determine its breed.

Official classification of a chicken as a certain breed is ONLY determined by its individual characteristics--not its ancestors.
  • The American Poultry Association (APA) and American Bantam Association (ABA) are the official breed-determining organizations in the U.S. They maintain "Standard of Perfection" books that list the required characteristics for each breed. If an individual bird fits a breed description, it qualifies as that breed, whether its parents did or not.

Breed requirements include specific coloring.
  • Each recognized breed description includes one or more "varieties" of that breed. The "variety" subcategories include genetically consistent color patterns.
  • Even if a particular bird's other characteristics match a breed description, if its coloring (feathers, skin, beak, eyes, feet and legs) do not match any one of the "Standard" listed varieties, the chicken does not qualify as a member of that breed.
    • Exception: At some poultry shows, a bird may be considered an "All Other Varieties" member of a breed, if it has an intergenerationally consistent color pattern that several breeders are working to get recognized for a new variety.

Appropriate genetic crossing is needed for reliable breed production.
  • Even if a rooster and a hen both meet Standard requirements, if they are not genetically compatible for crossing, they will produce "wildcard" chicks. (ie. It won't be predictable for their chicks to fit the category of a particular breed.)
    • If the parents are from two different color varieties of a breed, they are particularly likely to have disqualified chicks.
      • Exception: Some color crossings harmonize genetically to always produce predictable color results. Crosses of Black, Splash & Blue (NOT White) chickens will result in chicks fitting into one of the three colors. Crosses of Wheaten, Splash Wheaten and Blue Wheaten (NOT plain Blue) work similarly.
    • An example of a crossing likely to result in more qualified chicks would be a "bantam" (miniature-size) chicken crossed with a small "large fowl" chicken (sometimes confusingly called a "standard chicken") of the same breed.
  • Chicks from parents that are genetically are likely to produce offspring that meets "Standard of Perfection" requirements are correctly called "Standard-bred chicks", rather than "purebred chicks."

General breed classification varies between people.
  • Outside of official standards, different people have different ideas of how certain breeds look. They will class a bird as a member of a particular breed if its or its parents' characteristics match their impression of that breed.
  • This works comfortably as long as people only claim birds to be "true" or "show-quality" chickens of a particular breed if they meet the Standards requirements. Otherwise, buyers become defrauded when birds are disqualified at official poultry shows and later chicks are turned down by informed potential buyers.
    • Possible alternate descriptions that could be used for non-Standards birds could be "quality", "traditional", "well-bred" or "classic-type".