Chicken Egg Color By Breed

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Dont Judge A Book By Its Coveror An Egg By Its Color

Breeding Chickens for Egg Color

I cant tell you how often Ive heard people say they prefer brown eggs because they taste better.

I dont argue, but I could. You see, aside from the fact that their shells are different colors, all eggs are virtually the same.

Differences in taste and yolk color and slight differences in nutrition are more a function of a hens diet and how you raised it, not the color of the shell.

This said, colored eggs are pleasing to the eye, a work of art often brought to you by your local backyard flock.

A dozen multi-colored eggs will sell faster than a dozen white ones in the vast amount of cases.

Egg Color By Chicken Breed

All chicken eggs start out as white.

Next time you crack open a brown egg, take a look inside the shell it will be white. This is because any color on an egg is deposited only on the outside of the shell.

As the egg travels through the hens reproductive tract the color is added to the shell.

The color is deposited onto the egg shell in the form of a pigment. The two main pigments we know of are protoporphyrin IX and oocyanin . You may have chickens that lay green, pink, or even purple eggs, but all of these colors are some mix of protoporphyrin IX and oocyanin on top of a white egg.

Blue eggs, for example, only have oocyanin deposited on them, while brown eggs only have protoporphyrin IX.

The shade of these colors will vary depending on the number of pigment layers.

A tinted egg will only have a few thin layers of color, whereas more layers of a single pigment will darken the color.

Lots of chickens naturally produce protoporphyrin IX, but this is not the case for blue eggs.

Blue eggs were introduced through the spread of an infectious retrovirus that permanently altered some breeds DNA. Not to worry though blue eggs are completely safe to eat.

This retrovirus simply changed the egg pigmentation.

You may have heard of the Araucana and the Ameraucana before both of these breeds were affected by this retrovirus and now have the oocyanin pigment naturally.

Chicken Egg Colors Chart: Blue Purple Green And More

Chickens are amazing creatures with the ability to lay nutritious eggs of all different colors.

In the past chickens could only lay white eggs, but these days you can find chickens that produce a rainbow of egg colors.

From light blue, to pink, green, and even purple!

Do you want to add a chicken to your flock that can lay a chocolate or a pretty purple egg?

Below we have put together chicken egg colors charts to help you find your perfect breed.

Keep on reading to learn more about which breeds lay colorful eggs

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Chicken Breed Egg Colors Its In The Genes

Genetics are the determining factor on what color the hens eggs will be. Chicken breed egg colors are genetically predetermined. White Leghorns lay white eggs. New Hampshire hens lay brown eggs. The ever popular Ameraucanas lay blue eggs. In all egg colors, except for the blue eggs, the color is applied late in the egg process. As the egg passes through the oviduct late in the process, the brown pigments are applied. This whole process takes approximately 25 to 26 hours.

Are you looking for a green egg to round out the egg carton colors? The Olive Egger chickens are a cross between a brown egg layer and a blue egg layercreating different colored and shapes of the breed. The hens from this cross have the blue egg color applied to the egg shell early in the egg shell formation. As happens with the blue egg layers, the blue pigment, oocyanin, is applied early in the egg shell formation, and permeates the shell. True blue egg shells are blue inside and out. In the Olive Egger breeds, brown pigment is deposited onto the blue color, later in the egg shell process.

A quick trick to determine chicken breed egg colors is to check the ear lobe color. The ear lobes indicate egg shell color in most breeds.

Can I Buy Faverolles Chicks Where Are Faverolles Chicks For Sale

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  • Purely Poultry, out of Fremont, WI, offers a supply of female, male, and non-sexed Salmon Faverolles.
  • Hoovers Hatchery, in Rudd, IA, day-old males, females, and unsexed Salmon Faverolles are available at various times of the year.
  • There are also periodic supplies of Salmon Faverolles at My Pet Chicken in Monroe, CT.
  • Seasonally, from February to July, you can find Salmon Faverolles at Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon, MO. You can read our review of Cackle here.
  • Meyer Hatchery in Folk, Ohio, also has seasonal supplies of Faverolles.

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How Large Do Faverolles Chickens Get

Faverolles were first bred for their meat, so a large breast and dense mass are a must for these birds. They do not stand as tall as some chicken breeds, nor are they ground huggers. Male Faverolles can stand in a proud manner, giving them a rather regal look especially with their thick beards. The American Poultry Association Standard suggests the following weights: roosters are about 8 lbs, and hens are about 6 lbs.

There are also Bantam varieties. Bantam roosters weigh about 3 pounds and hens weigh between 2 and 2.5 pounds.

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Why Do Chicken Eggs Come In All Sorts Of Different Colors

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Chickens come in a diverse amount of colors and so do their eggs. The breed of a hen determines the kind of eggs it produces. Each breed contains a specific pigment or a mix of two, which affects the color of their eggs. The chickens earlobes also indicate the colors that its eggs would have. More often than not, those with lighter earlobes tend to have lighter feathers. Consequently, they are likely to have white eggs. On the other hand, those that have darker feathers are more likely to have darker eggs. Aside from the breed of the hen, some other factors affect the color of an egg. One example is its age the older the hen becomes, the lighter the color of the egg it produces. Though the shade may change, its original color persists.

Are Brown Eggs Healthier Than White Eggs

Chicken Breeds That Lay Colored Eggs | A Look Inside our Egg Basket

Often, people who prefer brown eggs do so because they believe brown eggs are healthier and more natural than white eggs.

However, the truth is that all eggs are nutritionally very similar, regardless of their size, grade, or color (

8 ).

However, scientists have compared eggs with brown shells to those with white shells to see whether theres any difference. Several studies have found that shell color does not significantly affect egg quality or composition .

This means that the color of an eggs shell doesnt have much to do with how healthy it is. The only real difference is the pigment in the shell.

However, other factors can affect the nutritional content of an egg.

For example, the hens environment can have a major effect. Eggs from hens that are allowed to roam in the sunshine contain 34 times the amount of vitamin D youd find in eggs from conventionally raised hens .

The type of feed a hen eats can also affect the nutrient content of her eggs.

Hens fed a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids produce eggs that contain much higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than normal. The same effect has been found with vitamin D when chickens eat vitamin-D-enriched feed .


There is no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs. However, a hens diet and environment can affect an eggs nutrition.

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Chicken Colors: A Complete List

There are plenty of reasons to choose one chicken breed over another, and while egg-laying yield may be the most important to some, design and color are more important to others. Many factors determine the exact color point of a chicken, but there are only two color pigments that exist in chicken genetics black and red. All colors and variants are made up of a combination of these pigments, whether they are diluted, enhanced, or otherwise masked.

Typically, desired colors are chosen by breeders, who may introduce other colors and markings to create the exact look of chicken that they desire. Below are colors and common colorpoints of chicken that you will find.

How To Breed For Egg Color: Heavy Blooms

The easiest way to begin is to purchase Heavy Bloom hatching eggs from a breeder. This will save you years upon years of breeding work and is worth the hefty price tag. As you hatch, you must photograph each chick with the egg he or she hatched from, individually leg band them and keep excellent records. As the pullets come into lay, youll have a good idea of what genes each cockerel brother is carrying and can begin crossing the hatchmates. It requires a fully dedicated breeding pen and patience to produce the next generation of heavy bloom layers who slowly inch closer to the tones you want.

The rare lavender-gray shades require using Marans lines that have a rich maroon-purple shade to the eggs, as opposed to the more common reddish russet undertones. Again, finding these Marans lines is difficult and typically requires purchasing expensive shipped hatching eggs. You must be passionate about heavy blooms and willing to breed for years to have a chance at achieving the color you are hoping for.

The reason you may only see a picture of one egg in a jaw-dropping color is because the keeper has retrieved an egg from a hen that was over-fed dairy products or oyster shell a couple days before and the heavy bloom plus the calcium deposit has created the shocking color. These eggs can be blown out and kept as a novelty. A true heavy bloom hen will lay eggs that almost all have a bloom and a half dozen of her hatching eggs will look fairly consistent.

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Some Speculation About Speckled Eggs

As it turns out, the speckles on speckled eggs are just extra calcium deposits. One reason for the speckled-egg spectacle is that speckles are formed when the egg-shaping calcification process is disturbed. Another possible reason is a defect in the shell gland. Then again, it could result from excess calcium in the hens system. Sound a little scrambled? Dont worry about it just keep your sunny side up and know theres probably more than one explanation for this speck-tacular occurrence.

Oh, and although technically considered abnormal, speckled shells have been shown to sometimes be stronger than the regular kind.

What Factors Affect Egg Color

Chicken Egg Colors by Breed

Egg color is primarily affected by the chickens genetics.

However, there are many other factors leading to significant variation within breeds beyond this.

Some of the primary factors include the following:

Life stage

Eggs laid earlier in life will be darker and gradually become lighter over time.

More specifically, the tapered end of the egg will often have less pigment than the rounded end as the hen gets older.

This is a result of natural eggshell pigment intensity reduction.


Eggs laid at the beginning of the laying season will be darker than those towards the end of the laying season.


Another breed famous for its unusually blue-colored eggs is the Creme Legbar.

These chickens are a British chicken breed almost a hundred years old, but it is still relatively rare in the United States.

Its only been in the country for a few years, so backyard chicken owners are still discovering all of the perks that this breed offers.

Cream Legbars are friendly, easily handled, have good layers, and are excellent foragers.

Another unusual and valuable trait, chickens of this breed are vigilant and wary of predators.

Creme Legbars can take care of themselves in a free-range setting than many other backyard breeds.

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Why Breed For Various Egg Colors

As mentioned before, some people breed for egg color to improve breed standards. Two great examples are Araucanas and Marans . Most hobby farmers breed for egg color because its just plain fun. I have a flock of fourteen laying hens and each lays a unique colored egg. I love it because it adds diversity to my egg basket, appeals to my egg buyers, and I know who laid what when there is a problem. When my sea foam green eggs start showing up with thin and brittle shells I know to keep a closer eye on Greycie to see how shes eating and if there are any health concerns.

Have you tried your hand at breeding for egg color? What fun colors have you created?

What Are The Different Colours Of Chickens Eggs

  • Green: A cross between a brown egg layer and a blue egg layer will lay a green egg.
  • Olive: Olive eggs are a cross between dark brown and blue.
  • Brown: The standard store bought mid brown egg laid by red sex links.
  • Dark brown: Birds like Marans have been specially selected to have a deep chestnut brown colour.
  • White: White is the basic colour of all egg shells and is merely lacking in pigments.
  • Blue: The shells of blue eggs are coloured with the pigment oocyanin, which permeated the shell.
  • Cream : Cream egg are light brown.
  • Tinted or Ivory:Tinted or Ivory eggs have a very thin layer of pigment over the egg shell.
  • Pink: The pink colour on eggs shells is caused by the bloom or cuticle which is a natural coating that covers the egg and seals the pores.
  • Purple: Purple eggs are similar to pink but have a darker shade of brown under the bloom. Purple eggs are not breed specific and are only produced by a dark egg layer with a heavy bloom.
  • Grey or charcoal:Grey eggs have a charcoal colour of various shades.
  • Speckled: Speckled eggs are produced by any hen that lays an egg with colour. If the egg rotates too slowly in the oviduct it comes out speckled.

Below: Here is a grey egg amongst a selection of other colours. It’s not a trick of the light or

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What Is This Gonna Cost Me

As you would guess, duck eggs are more expensive than chicken eggs but going back to the size factor that kind of makes sense, doesnt it? If youre getting half a dozen duck eggs for the same price as a dozen chicken eggs but the quantity of the produce is the same, it kind of all equals out in the end.

So if youre looking to try something new, look out for duck eggs the next time you go shopping. And if youd rather stick to the normal chicken eggs, those will work too in this recipe! Just increase your vegetables in the base or use a smaller size muffin tin.

Black Star Chicken Temperament

12 Chicken Breeds and Their Beautiful Colored Eggs

These lovely birds are known to be docile and hard little workers. They very rarely cause injury to their owner and prefer to live in the house rather than outdoors.

Black Star chickens are adaptable to many environments such as cold climates, hot climates, and even humid weather. Thats why this chicken breed is popular worldwide.

They are friendly and easy to handle, but they can be aggressive with each other if they dont grow up in a big group of chickens. In a very rare case, the roosters of this breed become aggressive.

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Problems Responsible For Egg Colors

Sometimes hen lays an unusual egg color that may be affected by different factors. Here are some of them:

Stress If a chicken is stressed, it may lay an egg of a different color.

Disease If a chicken is sick, it may lay an egg of a different color.

Age As a chicken gets older, it may lay an egg of a different color.

Nutrition If a chicken is not getting the proper nutrition, it may lay an egg of a different color.

How Do Chickens Lay Colored Eggs

It takes 26 hours for a hen to produce an egg. Twenty of those hours are required to form the shell. Because shells are primarily calcium, at the beginning of egg formation, ALL eggshells start as white.

As the shell forms inside the hen, pigments called porphyrins are secreted from cells within the hens uterus to add color to the shell.

Blue egg layers add pigment early in the shell formation process, which is why these shells are blue all the way through.

For an olive egger, a combination of blue and brown pigments produces an outer green shell but a blue inside shell color.

Brown egg pigment is added later in the egg formation process, hence the outer brown and inner white eggshell. Lastly, hens that lay white eggs do not produce any pigments during shell formation.

  • White eggs will be white all the way through
  • Brown eggshells will be white on the inside
  • Blue eggshells are blue all the way through
  • Green eggshells will be blue on the inside and green on the outside

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