Why We Chose The Azure Blue Chicken For Eggs

The Azure Blue chicken is a new breed that lays nearly 300 large, thick-shelled eggs annually and is also one of the only known chicken breeds that lay BLUE color eggs. This year we are adding them to our flock of layers. Read on for everything you need to know about the Azure Blue chicken breed and whether it’s the right choice for you. I’ll update this page as my experience with these chickens grows.

an azure blue baby chick sits on a white windowsill next to some wheat sheaves. Outside it is gloomy and raining.
An adorable day-old Azure Blue Chick poses for me on my windowsill.

Azure Blue Quick Facts

  • Primary use: Egg laying
  • Size (Roosters): 5 lbs
  • Size (Hens): 4 lbs
  • Egg production (Annual): 295
  • Egg size: Large
  • Egg colour: Blue
  • Origin: USA

Top Reasons To Choose The Azure Blue For Your Flock

  • The Azure Blue will lay 295 eggs annually or 6 per week and they will continue to lay for a long time
  • The eggs are LARGE
  • The eggs have a THICK shell
  • They are blue!
  • The females only get up to 4 lbs which means they require less feed, which is fantastic — especially in the winter months when feeding chickens becomes more expensive
  • The Azure Blue will start to lay eggs early, around 18 weeks
  • They are known to be excellent on pasture-based chicken systems and will forage for their food
  • They will continue to lay throughout the colder months, especially in their first year
  • If raised from chicks, they are known to be friendly and curious chickens
  • They are known to be great with children
  • Great choice for suburban backyard flocks due to their size
  • Equally as fantastic for larger homesteads and acreages

(See my end-of-2022 UPDATE at the end.)

two azure blue hens with a black orpington rooster on green grass.

We are determined to produce enough fresh pastured eggs this season to last us throughout the winter.

Alongside my (currently running and posting weekly updates) Red Ranger Meat Chicken Experiment where I’m meticulously recording feed consumption, weight, etc. — I’m also wondering if I can produce and preserve enough FRESH pastured eggs at the peak of the season and their full nutritious capacity to last my family throughout the winter?

We don’t introduce artificial lights into our coop to force egg laying through the winter, but that means we are stuck buying eggs.

What to do?

So I started researching the best egg-laying chicken breeds and which would be the most efficient to add to our flock.

I came across the Azure Blue chicken when writing my article on the 10 known blue egg layers and was very intrigued. So the night before I picked up my box of 40 Red Ranger day-old chicks, I called the hatchery and asked if they could add 6 Azure Blue chicks into my order.

Luckily they had enough stock hatch and I got my wish. Even better — they were sexed. So assuming they survive to start laying, I have 6 confirmed females.

As for cons? They are very strictly an egg-laying breed. You could absolutely eat them (and should) but they will be best used for soup and not roasting as there is very little meat or fat on them.

History & Origins

The genetic makeup of these birds consists of Welsummers, Cream Legbars, White Legbars.

They are not an old heritage breed and are relatively new in North America, although they are still a rare breed that many people have not heard of yet.

Azure Blues were developed strictly to be a high egg-producing chicken breed that was also small in size thus needing less feed while still retaining the ability to forage and thrive on pasture as required.

(Similar to the newly developed Whiting True Blue.)

There also seem to be two varieties with similar but different names — the Azur Blue and Azure Blue are what the primary hatcheries providing them seem to call them but I can’t quite find the explanation why.

I’m guessing it has something to do with weird genetic rights and patents. If you do know the reason, please enlighten me in the comments.

Four of my Azures next to my Orpington rooster. They follow him around everywhere.

Appearance

The Azure Blue is small, mostly a silvery-white color with the occasional black spotting, and has a large red comb (from the Legbar genetics).

The females will reach 4 lbs but no more.

The legs are yellow and the bird has an upright tail with long tail feathers and a pert demeanour.

Personality & Temperament

According to people who buy them as day-old (or very young) chicks, the Azure Blue has a friendly and inquisitive, curious personality and great temperaments.

I have also read accounts from people buying them as ready-to-lay pullets that they are extremely shy and flighty. So if personality and friendliness are important to you, I would definitely stick to chicks instead of pullets.

They are known to be very friendly and docile birds towards children and a great starter chicken to learn with as they are small and easy to handle.

A basket full of hay and 6 baby azure blue chicks next to 3 blue eggs
I just had to take a photo of them next to actual Azure Blue eggs!

Blue Eggs

One of the biggest advantages is the large pretty blue eggs the Azure lays. And she will lay 295 annually until the natural decline that happens with all production egg layers as they age.

You can expect the first year to be 100% capacity (assuming all nutrition requirements are being met and the bird is not ill) and the second year to be nearly that.

By the second year, production breeds like this start to fall off gradually, and after the third year, there is a more dramatic decline.

a chart indicating the annual egg decline production of hens

This is the point at which the chickens are either slaughtered for soup (or coq au vin which is one of my favorite recipes and can be made with older hens too) and replaced with fresh stock, or allowed to age and go on but more as pets.

They will continue to lay, just very sporadically.

White eggs and brown egg layers are still the standard but colored gorgeous eggs are very popular now — with good reason.

Obviously chicken egg color does not affect capacity or nutrition in any way, but there is something about a rainbow color of eggs in your basket that is just a lovely sight to behold.

The popularity of blue egg layers, Easter Eggers, and Olive Eggers has surged drastically and I can understand why — colorful eggs are fun.

Alongside the 6 Azure Blue chicks — I had also picked up 6 Olive Eggers the week before — special ones that should grow up to lay a rare dark moss green egg.

(I couldn’t help myself.)

See Also

How Many Eggs Does A Chicken Lay A Day?

10 Chicken Breeds That Lay Blue Eggs (With Pictures!)

three azure blue hens next to a big black orpington rooster on a green pasture.

Cold Hardy

Yes! The Azure Blue chicken is a cold-hardy breed that does well in cold climates and harsh winters. The larger combs may pose some concern for frostbite but if your chicken coop is properly winterized, the risk is drastically mitigated.

My Orpingtons have large combs and wattles but only one rooster got frost bite this past winter and that is only because he spent the night outdoors accidentally.

(Don’t worry he is fine.)

The biggest thing that causes frostbite in chickens is high humidity in your coop. Your coop needs to be draft-free while also being ventilated (up top above the roosts) to allow proper air circulation and for humidity to escape.

Pair that with the Deep Litter System for coop management and you have an easy and efficient winter coop system.

See Also:

How Cold Is Too Cold For Chickens? Get Your Flock Ready For Winter

10 Steps To Winterize Your Chicken Coop

Feeding Free-Ranged Pastured Chickens During Winter

Free Range

Yes, the Azure Blue does great as a free-range bird on pasture.

They will forage for bugs and plants with the best of them. I have an article on how to keep pastured chickens safe as well as one on with tips to feed pastured chickens during winter.

See Also:

How To Free-Range Chickens {4 Methods}

two azure blue chicks on a windowsill looking outside at a rainy day. One is perched on some sheaves of wheat.

Where To Buy Chicks

Convinced and ready to buy some adorable day-old Azure Blue chicks?

(Contact me if you want to be added to this list of hatcheries and breeders.)

(No, fertile eggs for hatching are not available as far as I know.)

Here’s who sells them:

Frey’s Hatchcery (Canada)

MB Country Living (Canada)

Exploits Meadow Farms (Canada)

Alchemist Farm & Garden (USA)

Hendrix Genetics Azur Blue (USA)

Raising Baby Chicks

Raising baby chicks isn’t difficult. They require a brooder (literally a box) with a heat source (preferably a heat plate over a bulb), water (lots of it) and feed.

I have a more thorough article on brooding and raising baby chicks and you can also check out my article on when chicks can go outside permanently.

Final Thoughts

So there you have it, everything there is to know about the Azure Blue, including where to buy chicks.

While still relatively new and unknown, my prediction is that these birds will become a very popular breed. And with hard times coming in terms of the food supply and feed costs, their small stature and large eggs will make them an efficient choice too for the frugal homesteader.

The main thing to take away is that these are very much egg-layers — excellent ones, and not meat birds, although they will still make a great soup chicken at the end if you wish.

And alongside true Ameraucanas, Araucana chickens and other various breeds that lay eggs in a variety of colors (Chocolate brown! Blue! Green! Pink eggs?!) these will become popular just for that fact alone.

End-Of-2022 Update on My Azure Blues

So it’s not technically the end of 2022, but we are approaching the end of the prime egg laying season so in a way it is.

(I’m yet to decide if I will use artificial lights to keep my chickens laying through winter.)

I lost a number of Azures to a devastating predator attack alongside numerous Red Rangers and other birds (long story, not the point here).

I have four remaining and I’m glad for it.

They are excellent and proficient layers. The eggs are a pretty pale blue. They have a strong and thick shell that makes them especially perfect for preservation methods like water glassed eggs.

The chickens are small, energetic, friendly, spend the entire day foraging, and lay abundantly on little supplemental feed.

I love their tails, but they look small and plain next to my gorgeous and fluffy English Orpingtons and Buff Orpingtons.

They started laying at 18 weeks and lay nearly every day. The eggs were small (this is normal) but got bigger gradually.

One surprise — not every Azure Blue will lay a blue egg! Including mine. I have a white egg layer and according to the hatchery there is a 1 in 100 chance you will end up with one.

Not a big deal, but I had no idea, and I did pay a premium specifically because I wanted blue egg layers.

I’m tracking their laying to see exactly how many eggs I will get. Will it really be 295? Or less? We shall see.

In any case, I highly recommend these birds and will keep them around with my Orpingtons and others. I’m going to try breeding my dark olive egger rooster to the Azures to see what color eggs the chicks will grow up to lay.

a flock of chickens on green pasture.

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7 Comments

  1. Wish to buy ameraucana chicks . Please! We have already 20 chickens and 4 turkeys. Now ready go 5-6 ameraucanas. We live in eastern San Diego.

    1. Have you tried your local backyard chicken group on Favorite? I’ve gotten the best referrals on mine!

  2. Hope this helps.
    There’s 2 different breeds using that same name.
    1. Azur are made by Hendrix Genetic Company.
    They are Silvery White like your picture.
    It is a secret as how they are created and known for 295 super Blue eggs per year.
    Look like Leghorn but lay super Blue.
    2. Azure is a name Alchemist Farm in California breeds that can lay Blue or green eggs, look like Chipmunks at hatch like Easter Eggers without beards and Muffs. 😊🐣

  3. Hi! I’m about to get all Azure Blue for our new batch of RTL hens. I’m wondering if you have any new comments now that you’ve had them for some time? We are in town and so I’m wondering if they are extra noisy?

    1. Highly recommend them — as quiet as my Orpingtons and Olive Egger mutts. Great foragers, easy on the feed bill, great layers.

  4. Pingback: Raising Red Ranger Chickens For Meat {Detailed Cost & Care Breakdown} - The Peasant's Daughter