Why Are Chicken Eggs Different Colors
Chicken eggs from various chicken breeds emerge in different shades because of pigments which are deposited as the eggs move through the hen’s oviduct. The pigment depositions are determined by the chicken’s genetics, with some breeds producing rich dark brown eggs, for example, while others lay snow white eggs. The eggs inside are essentially identical there are no major flavor differences between chicken eggs from different birds, as the flavor is determined by the chicken’s diet.
There are three main colors for chicken eggs. Most eggs in the store come in white or shades of brown. It is also possible to find blue to green chicken eggs, which come from the Aracuana, a breed of chicken developed in Chile. Araucanas have also been crossed with other breeds to produce the Americauna, sometimes called the Easter egg chicken in a reference to its multicolored eggs.
In many cases, a chicken with white ear lobes will produce white eggs, while chickens with red ear lobes lay brown eggs, although this is not always true. Size is not a determining factor, with white eggs coming from tiny Bantams just as they do from large Leghorns. The color of the chicken is also irrelevant chickens actually come in a wide range of shapes, colors, and sizes which run the gamut from strange-looking Frizzled Cochins to sleek black and white Lakenvelders.
Chicken Breeds Selection For A Rainbow Egg Basket
There are a lot of things to consider when choosing breeds for your flock, but most prospective and current chicken owners have one thing on the brain: EGGS. Sure, egg production is a major factor, but its no surprise that egg color has eclipsed many other considerations as people choose their breeds. Similar to how a coach chooses a lineup, backyard chicken enthusiasts are now strategically outlining their flock to ensure a diverse egg basket filled with as many colors from the eggshell rainbow as possible.
To make your job a little easier, we have outlined the key color categories and a few of the most popular breeds that deliver them!
WHITE: Some people might shy away from white egg layers, having been exposed to white eggs their entire lives and seeking something more exciting however, dont let this happen to you! Sure, a dozen white eggs might be boring. When you have a dozen different-colored eggs, though? That white egg will pop and add an important element to your egg basket.
Leghorn Widely used in production operations, its time to give Leghorns some love. They are great producers of large white eggs, come in a few different color variations and deserve the same spoiled lifestyle as more common backyard breeds. They dont tolerate the cold very well, though, so take that into consideration.
Rhode Island Red One of the top egg producers, with beautiful plumage.
Plymouth Rock Great producers that come in a wide array of colors and patterns.
A Guide To Chicken Egg Colors
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Why do chickens lay different colored eggs? Learn the simple reason for different colors in the egg basket.
One of the things that I often see with people who are accustomed to grocery store eggs, is a look of shock. Shock when they open my egg carton to discover a variety of colors.
Most people who buy their eggs at a typical grocery have no idea that eggs come in colors besides white or tan. But chicken eggs can be white, cream, deep espresso, blue, freckled, or even green!
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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?
Is The Nutritional Value Of A Coloured Egg Different From White
No. Whatever the colour, the nutritional value of an egg is determined by what the hen is fed and whether she is caged or free to roam. Egg shell strength is determined by the amount of calcium available to her.
Colour has noting to do with it.
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Different Types Of Eggs With Images
Did you know that there are different types of eggs? If you simply limit yourself to chicken eggs, you might be missing a whole lot of opportunities to try out new tastes of eggs and their benefits.
Thats why, in this post, let us go through some of the most common eggs for your consumption and later on, briefly talk about how to cook them.
As a bonus for you, you will also see images of these eggs so you can get a better understanding of how they look.
So, if youre ready, lets get into it!
What Determines The Color
According to Michigan State University Extension, the hens breed indicates what color eggs she produces. Thats how we determine what color eggs chickens lay. An interesting tip is to look at the chicken’s ear lobes typically, those with white earlobes produce white eggs. The exception to this is hybrid chickens or those from mixed parent stock, as well as Silkies. Silkies have blue earlobes but sadly lay white eggs.
Hen with White Earlobe
Hen with Red Earlobe
Egg color genetics dont come from one parent. Genes from both parents influence shell color.Within a breed, egg color is predominantly the same. Again, the egg-ception is in hybrid species. Individual hens in a hybrid breed flock can lay different colored eggs based upon their heritage.
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How To Cook Eggs
There are different ways of cooking eggs. Its important to note the size of the egg youre trying to cook. It is better to boil small eggs rather than use a frying pan. You should also need to consider if you are just cooking egg whites, egg yolks, or an egg mixture of both.
Here are some of the types of eggs youll find depending on how they are cooked:
- Soft boiled eggs
Raise These Chicken Breeds For A Colorful Egg Basket
Imagine the excitement of peering into your nesting boxes and finding a rainbow of different colored eggs every day. There are more than 60 breeds of chickens recognized by the American Poultry Association and hundreds of other chicken breeds that have been developed worldwide many of whom lay gorgeous eggs in a rainbow of hues ranging from white to cream, green, pink, blue and even chocolate brown.
While the color of the eggshell doesnt determine egg nutrient value or taste in the least, if you want to put some color in your egg basket, consider some of the following breeds that lay prettily hued eggs. Increasingly, these fairly rare breeds are becoming more widely available from hatcheries such as Chickens for Backyards and Meyer Hatchery, while others can still only be found from specialty breeders online.Blue Eggs
Ever since Martha Stewart shared photos a couple of years ago in her magazine of her egg baskets bursting to the brim with beautiful blue eggs laid by her own flock, azure eggs have been coveted by backyard chicken keepers everywhere also wanting beautiful, sky blue eggs in their baskets. Ameraucanas, Araucanas, and Cream Legbars all lay blue eggs.
Dark Brown Eggs
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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
Which Chickens Lay Which Colour Eggs
The colour of the egg is the result of pigments being deposited during or after shell formation inside the oviduct of the chicken.
Egg colour is genetic and can vary between hens of the same breed and even from the same hen over the course of a laying season.
All egg shells are made from calcium carbonate and are either white or blue with all other colours being produced by various shades of pigments laid down on the surface of the egg as it is being made.
The brown pigment that is laid down on the surface of the egg is called protoporphyrin IX, which is an iron compound similar to the haemoglobin in your blood.
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Egg Laying And Meat Production
Araucanas are chickens that lay colored eggs, specifically blue-colored eggs. The color is not just a coating it pervades the entire shell.
The color of the blue varies. Some are grayish in color, light turquoise blue in tone, and violet-blue in tone, while others are green eggs with a blue tint.
Araucana hens lay a lot of eggs. A single hen may lay 200 gorgeous blue eggs every year on average!
The Araucana breed has less meat because it can barely grow to roughly 5 pounds. Consider purchasing a Wyandotte or a Plymouth Rock instead if you plan to raise a chicken for your meat.
- Egg Size: Medium to Large
- Egg Color: Blue
The Ameraucana is of Araucana origin. They are produced as a cross between the breeds with Araucana as one paired with another breed.
The Ameraucana also lays blue-colored similar to the Araucana. The chicks have a cluster of small feathers or hairs, tight muffs, and a weird beard.
This feathery bird has a pea-like comb and can lay 200 blue-colored or greenish eggs every year.
The medium-sized blue eggs of the Ameraucana breed are well-known. However, while this hybrid chicken breed can produce colored eggs, its huge size and low broodiness level may or may not be suited for your garden.
Eggs By Breed In The Image Above:
Easter Eggers lay Colored Eggs
Easter Eggers are technically a mixed breed, having some Araucana genes somewhere in their parentage. They are only bred for egg color, not appearance, so Easter egger chicks can be all different colors. White, gray, brown, black, speckled or not, every feather color exists among the breed and all the chicks look different, too.
How to Tell if Your Easter Egger Hen will Lay a Colored Egg
The blue egg gene is linked to the same gene that gives chickens a pea comb. If your pullet has a pea comb and the classic gray-green colored legs, there is a higher chance of her laying a blue, green or olive egg.
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Different Breeds Of Chickens Lay Different Colored Eggs
You can purchase pure breed chickens that will lay colored eggs. You can also achieve this by crossbreeding. The chart shows a few breeds that are good for the different color eggs.
There are obviously many more breeds but this is a good list to get started with. You can also cross breed chickens if you are looking to hatch your own. Cross breeding is very simple, especially if you know what color egg each chicken lays. You can read more about cross breeding here
Note on purchasing chickens. If you are adamant on getting the exact breed and color, I highly recommend going through a hatchery versus buying them from a source that doesnt come with a guarantee. I learned this the hard way myself.
Fun Facts About Chickens Eggs
The color of a chickens earlobes can predict the color of their eggs.
- Chickens typically lay one egg a day.
- A chickens egg is about 50 to 70g.
- A chickens egg takes about 21 days to hatch.
- The average chicken lays about 250 eggs a year.
- A chickens egg has about 70 calories in it.
- Eggs are a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
- Eggs contain all the nutrients needed to turn a chick into a chicken.
- Chickens have been laying eggs for about 140 million years.
- The first chicken has domesticated in China about 5,000 years ago.
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Chicken Egg Color Chart By Breed
Have you ever pondered all the possibilities of chicken egg colors? Many people assume that the only two eggshell colors out there are white and brown, but they are mistaken. Chicken egg colors are heavily influenced by blue and brown pigments, and many breeds have the potential to create some gorgeously colored eggs. Lets take a look at how different egg colors are possible then learn which breeds are best known for each one.
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.
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What Do Colored Chicken Eggs Taste Like
Lets answer this question with another question what do regularly colored eggs taste like?
Eggs with unusual colors dont taste any different than those that are normally colored.
The eggs test depends on the health of men particularly on her diet and not on the eggshell color.
So, unfortunately, a chocolate-brown egg is not going to taste like chocolate.
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.
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Chickens That Lay Green Eggs
Theres only one breed of chicken that will lay green eggs naturally, without the use of crossbreeding to achieve the effect. This is the Isbar chicken, which produces a light green egg.
Other than this exception, eggs that come in varying shades of green are possible when two parent chickens are bred with this color goal in mind. Read on to learn all about how these shades of green are possible when the correct breeding practices are put into effect.
Chickens that lay green eggs include: Isbar and Olive Eggers .
The Best Breeds For Blue Eggs
Blue eggs are produced by a number of breeds, though some breeds have health issues and may be difficult to find.
- Araucanas are originally from South America and have tufted ears. Unfortunately, the rumpless/tufted gene causes many chicks to perish before they can exit their shells, so the breed is generally cross-bred to create the “Easter Egger” chicken. These birds are generally not available from hatcheries due to breeding difficulties, but they are guaranteed to lay blue eggs. If this breed is desired, find a local breeder to obtain chicks.
- Easter Egger chickens are the most common blue-egg laying breed. These hens are widely available, but beware: some Easter Eggers will produce brown, pink, or even white eggs. To guarantee blue eggs, Ameraucanas or Crested Legbars are a surer bet.
- Ameraucanas were derived from Auracanas, but are easier to breed and do not have the problems associated with the tufted/rumpless gene. Unlike Easter Eggers, Ameraucanas are guaranteed to lay blue eggs.
- Crested Cream Legbars are a British breed and lay reliable sky-blue eggs. These birds are recommended, as they are auto-sexing and do not have the tufted/rumpless gene that causes death to so many Araucanas. These chickens were created by breeding Auracanas with Legbars, and produce a good quantity of eggs each year.
Easter Egger hens are not guaranteed to lay blue eggs. Look into Ameraucana or Crested Legbar breeds to ensure the color you want!
Zul32, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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