Did you know that owning chickens has grown in popularity over the past couple of years? With the pandemic of 2020, many people took up new hobbies, including raising and caring for livestock.
Have you ever considered having chickens? Olive egger chickens are one of the best kinds of chickens that you can invest in. Here is a brief guide to the olive egger chicken.
History of the Olive Egger
Olive eggers are a unique type of hybrid chicken. They have been around for at least the last two centuries, when Chinese chickens were cross-bred with English chickens in the mid-nineteenth century.
One of the benefits of cross-breeding is that the olive eggers took their strongest and most adaptable features from the respective breeds.
What Do Olive Eggers Look Like?
Olive egger chickens do not have a specific look. Rather, they are bred for the color of their eggs. When blue egg layers and dark brown egg layers are cross-bred, they create the famous olive eggs that the breed was named for.
In terms of size, olive eggers are about average when compared to standard chickens. In general, hens weigh around six to seven pounds, while roosters weigh slightly more. You can expect your olive egger chicken to be under 10 pounds.
Although there is no standard look for olive eggers, these kinds of chickens have some commonalities when it comes to physical features. For instance, many olive eggers have feathered legs, beards, or muffs.
Olive eggers can come in all different types of colors. However, it seems the most common color schemes for these birds are gray and black. However, you do will not know if you have a true olive egger until you see the color of their eggs.
Types of Eggs
Of course, the olive egger chicken would not get its famous name without producing unique eggs. The olive egg comes from a cross between blue egg layers and dark brown egg layers.
In general, you should expect around three to four eggs per week from olive eggers, similar to other kinds of chickens.
Interestingly, the darker the eggs, the fewer eggs the chicken will produce. For instance, a lighter egg layer may produce around 200 eggs per year or three to four per week. However, the chickens that lay darker eggs may only lay two per week.
The wide variety of colors that you can get from these chicken breeds is what makes them truly special. The size, color, and the number of eggs can be a mix depending on the genes of the chicken.
How to Care for Olive Egger Chickens
In general, you can apply many of the same principles for raising olive eggers that you would to many other kinds of chickens. However, you should still take note of specific tips for helping your olive egger chickens thrive.
Make sure that your chickens have plenty of room to run around and peck during the day. You can either have them be completely free-range or give them a designated area with a lot of space to stretch their legs.
Chickens also require places to sleep at night. Build them comfortable nesting boxes. If needed, a coop may be a good idea to keep them safe from common predators and help the chickens stay warm during the winter months.
It is essential to keep your chicken coop clean. Try to incorporate cleanings into your chore list. Maintenance helps so that it never gets too disgusting. Your chickens will appreciate a clean environment to eat and nest.
Common Health Issues
Like any other pet or livestock, chickens are prone to certain health problems that you need to watch out for. It is a good idea to have a veterinarian on hand that specializes in livestock.
One of the most common conditions that can ail all kinds of chickens is called fatty liver hemorrhagic syndrome, or FLHS. Similar to fatty liver disease in humans, it occurs when it damages the chicken’s liver. It can be fatal if not treated.
Thankfully, there are changes you can make to avoid FLHS for your olive egger chickens. For instance, adding in biotin so they have more nutrients and giving them fewer fatty foods can help immensely.
Another common issue that occurs with chickens is diarrhea. Although you may not think it is serious, it can be a huge red flag for dehydration, which can lead to death. Keep an eye on your chickens’ poop for indications that they may be having diarrhea.
Make sure that your olive egger chickens are properly hydrated with lots of sources of fresh, clean water available to them. You should provide multiple choices so they are never left without water.
Personality and Character Traits
Just like humans, chickens have individual personalities and temperaments. Olive eggers can have many different types of personalities as a result of breeding and mutations.
It is best to follow the rules of genetics to get a good outcome when it comes to your olive egger chickens. For example, if both of the parents have great personalities, you are far more likely to end up with a well-mannered chicken.
Olive egger chickens are very resilient in all different types of weather. It is best to merge them in with other chickens to create a flock. They are particularly resistant to cold, meaning that they may be a good choice if you live somewhere where temperatures lower in the winter.
Learn All About Olive Egger Chickens
Whether you are new to caring for chickens or you want to expand your flock, you cannot go wrong with olive egger chickens. With this guide, you can give them the best care and produce fabulous eggs.
Want to learn more about all things related to food and livestock? Check out our site for more tips and tricks on how to raise the best types of farm animals.