Oklahoma, United States
Posted Feb 23, 2014
Chickens, in general are fun. And chickens that lay blue eggs can be quite a novelty. Despite their attractive eggs, though, I had a love/hate affair with my Araucana hens.
In general, they were great backyard chickens, with some necessary traits, such as being heat tolerant. They were not, however, as docile as promised. The Araucanas are not necessarily wild, but they are prone to being hysterical at times, and always seemed nervous.
As far as their egg laying capacity they were reasonably prolific. They were also not broody. I preferred broody hens, but those who want hens that lay eggs consistently will appreciate that the Araucana would rather lay egg than set eggs.
My hens had two bad habits as far as egg laying was concerned though: they would lay eggs anywhere they were standing (even in a tree) and they would peck at their eggs. So, even though the laid eggs daily, many were damaged or well-hidden. They did much better in a coop than free range, because they were forced to lay their eggs in next boxes or in corners.
Besides their quirkiness regarding egg laying, the Araucanas had many good qualities. They were exceptionally hardy, socialized well with other breeds, and were excellent foragers. I did have to keep them separated from the Rhode Island Reds, however, because the Araucanas don't have much in the way of tails, it seemed to tempt the Reds to peck at their bare bottoms too much.