How To Use The Chicken Egg Color Chart
- First, to use the chicken egg color chart, identify the colors of eggs that you typically see at the store.
- Then, match those colors to the chicken breeds that lay those eggs.
- Finally, select the chicken breed that you want to learn more about.
A chart is provided below to understand the different colors of chicken eggs better. This chart shows the breeds of chickens that typically produce
Chicken Breeds And Their Egg Colors
If youre thinking a chicken coop heater will help your hens lay more colored eggs, were sorry to say this isnt exactly true but youre still a good owner for wanting to buy one. The truth is that all eggs start out as white and get colored through a process happening inside the hen before being laid.
The Earlobe And Eggshell Theory
While talking about chicken egg colors, the earlobe theory cant be glossed over. The color of a chicken and their eggs is based purely on genetics. This is why breeders tend to be picky when selecting which chickens they want to use for solidifying a breeds standard. They dont want their chickens who lay brown eggs all the time to suddenly start laying blue ones in a few generations.
Some breeders will use the color of a hens earlobes to determine what the eggshell color will be. It is not completely accurate, but there is some sense to it. Many hens that have white earlobes lay white-shelled eggs. Meanwhile, hens with red earlobes tend to lay brown eggs.
Now, there are some exceptions to the theory. If you are familiar with Redcap, Crevecoeur, and Dorking breeds, you may know that they lay white eggs despite having red earlobes. Ameraucanas and Araucanas both have red earlobes yet lay blue eggs. The Penedesenca and Empordanesca produce extremely dark brown eggs, but their earlobes are white.
We also cannot ignore the bluish earlobes of Silkies and Sebrights and the purple earlobes of Sumatras, either.
That said, if you are looking for a general method of figuring out which common breed is going to lay which color egg without doing a lot of research, the earlobe theory may help. If not, the nifty chart below will certainly help.
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Dont Judge A Book By Its Coveror An Egg By Its 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.
They Are Very Friendly
Black Star Chickens are one of the friendliest breeds of birds and get along well with people and other pets. They can be easily handled, trained and kept near your premises.
They are very playful, and you will not just get eggs from them, but also a lot of entertainment that makes looking after them easy.
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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 To Breed For Blue Eggs
Hens who lay blue eggs are carrying at least one dominant blue egg gene and no tint overlay genes. The most vibrant blue layers are usually carrying two blue egg genes. We are going to focus on breeding homozygous blue egg layers who will lay blindingly blue eggs for you! The easiest way to do this is to purchase Whiting True Blue or Crested Cream Legbar chicks from a hatchery or true Ameraucana chicks from a breeder. Youll need one male and a couple of hens. This male, with his two blue egg genes, can also be mated to your existing flock to produce Easter Egger chicks who will lay shades of green or powder blue.
If you are wanting the maximum number of colored eggs, a homozygous blue gene roo is the way to go. Mating him to purebreds of his same breed will produce blue egg laying purebreds. Mating him to cream, peach and standard brown layers will produce 100% green egg laying Easter Egger offspring. Breeding him to Olive Egger hens will produce spearmint and pistachio laying backcross olive eggers who all lay a shade of green. Mating him to white egg laying hens will produce 100% powder blue laying Easter Eggers. Crossing him to dark chocolate laying Marans or heavily speckled Welsummers will produce F1 Olive Eggers who lay 100% olive eggs. He is very useful for creating a diversified and colorful egg carton!
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Things To Remember About Egg Colors
Chicken Egg Colors
This is the shade everyone imagines when owning backyard chickens. While white eggs may appear pristine and picturesque, there is no actual difference in nutrients from one color to another. Think of the shell as your chickens way of decorating! Interestingly, white eggs are typically white all the way through, while other colors may exhibit slight variance in layers.
Believe it or not, a chickens earlobe may actually be a good indicator of egg color. A good rule of thumb is to take a look at the hue and guess the type of egg. Chickens with white earlobes tend to produce white or very light teal eggs, while chickens with brown earlobes usually produce brown eggs.
Popular breeds that produce white eggs include Ancona, White Leghorn, Campine, and Blue Andalusian.
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Chicken Egg Colors Chart
Chickens can lay white, brown, blue, green, and even pink eggs. The eggshell color is controlled by genetics and varies per breed. A chicken egg colors chart provides an overview of the egg color per breed.
You can consult the charts on this page or download the chicken egg colors charts as free printables.
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An Egg In Every Hue: The Secret To Getting Various Egg Colors
Egg colors are determined by the breeds of the chickens. Learn how to breed chickens for specific egg colors to add pizzazz to your basket.
Last week we brought you The Anatomy of Egg Color and it was a huge hit. Now were back for more. Remember how we talked about the core color of every egg being white or blue? That knowledge is going to help us play artists and create awesome colors. To breed chickens for a specific color egg , you need to do your homework on the various breeds. Im going to give you a few common breeds to work with, but the information you will need is only a Google search away.
Chicken Egg Colors 101
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.
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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.
Blue Vs Blue Who Lays The Bluest Egg
I have blue Easter Eggers, Prairie Bluebells and Whiting True Blues in my flock. Here is a picture of their eggs taken November 2020 in cool afternoon shade on a sunny fall day. I used Photoshop to add the labels to each egg but did not change the egg colors.
There is a Variety of Egg Shade Ranges
My first three Easter Eggers all came from the same hatchery and were born on the same day. One laid a gorgeous, pale blue sea glass colored egg. One laid a green egg. The last laid a peachy colored light brown egg with brown speckles. All three had green-gray legs but my gray feathered Easter Egger that lays the peach eggs has a larger comb that looks like a pea/rose comb cross.
A Rainbow of Green Shades
Green eggs are beautiful, especially when you have a rainbow of earthy, herbal shades in one carton. Crossing vibrant blue layer roosters, such as Whiting True Blue, with cream laying Americanas can produce brighter green eggs, such as our Bright Layers. Hens that lay eggs with a heavy bloom can produce grayish eggs or lavender eggs .
Rarest of all are olive eggs with a heavy bloom, which are fully gray in real life the dark green underneath masked completely by the whitish overlaid bloom.
Olive eggers are produced by breeding a blue egg layer with a dark brown egg layer. Each hen will lay a different shade of green or olive. The deepest olive eggs are bred using French Copper Marans who hatch from the darkest chocolate eggs possible.
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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.
Top 5 Best Egg Layers That Lay Green Eggs
If you’re looking for an excellent egg layer as an addition to your flock, why not choose one that lays beautiful green-colored eggs? The varieties of green depend on chicken to chicken, and will bring your morning basket of eggs some lovely colors.
Let’s find out which chicken breeds are excellent egg layers and will bring you stunning green-colored eggs.
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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?
Chickens That Lay Natural Coloured Brown Eggs
These are the light brown coloured eggs we all see every day in the supermarket shelves. They are all classed as “brown”, but as this selection from my Red Star chickens shows, even eggs from one type of chicken can vary dramatically in colour.
In this case they range from a very light cream to a darker brown.
Red Stars, also known as Red Sex Links, Cinammon Queens and Golden Comets, are the common brown chicken. They have been bred over many generations to be reliable layers and are the most consistent egg producers ever.
Mine lay one egg a day, no matter what the weather or the season, and tend not to stop even when moulting. As well as that, they’re excellent foragers, friendly, funny, entertaining, and always curious.
A great place to start if you want plenty of nutritious eggs and you’re satisfied with the “plain” brown colour.
These eggs may be plain but personally, I think they are beautiful.
The Cackle hatchery sells Cinnamon Queen chickens all year round.
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How To Breed For Speckled Sea Foam Eggs
Speckled Sea Foam are one of the rarest colored eggs, right after shades of lavender-gray heavy bloom. Speckled Sea Foam layers are carrying at least one dominant blue egg gene and a very light tint overlay with speckling. Breeding this type of hen is generally more luck than skill. A speckled olive egger hen, who already lays a light green egg with brown speckling, is bred to a homozygous blue rooster. A small percent of the female offspring could lay a blueish looking egg with khaki colored speckles. In order for speckling to appear, the egg must turn slowly in the hens shell gland. Since this trait seems to be most strongly inherited from the father, only a few pullets will retain it from her mother. Speckling may not appear on every egg laid.
Chicken Breeds And Egg Color
Breeds and Egg Color
An egg collecting basket full of different colored eggs is achievable by picking the right breeds. There are lots of breeds to choose many that are perfect for backyard chicken keeping and especially for families with kids. Below is a list of commonly found chicken breeds organized by egg color.
While technically not a true breed, Easter Eggers are a popular choice as green egg layers. Australorps are excellent brown egg layers. In fact, an Australorp holds the record for egg laying364 eggs in 365 days!
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How To Backcross Olive Eggers To Darken The Eggs
Once your F1 Olive Egger hens are laying, you can backcross them to a dark layer roo so the resulting offspring lay even richer earth toned brownish-olive eggs. Backcrossing darkens the eggs, but it does NOT make them more green. It tends to produce more muddy brown tones with muted hints of green. It is incorrect to label these chicks as F2 because they are actually a Back Cross 1, abbreviated BC1.
How Are Chicken Egg Colors Formed
In order to understand how chicken egg colors are formed, its helpful to have a quick primer on how eggs are made and how they travel through a hens reproductive system. Once you have a basic understanding of the process, a whole world of color possibilities opens up!
To begin with, it takes approximately 24 to 26 hours for an egg to go from the ovary to being laid. All hens have one ovary and one oviduct. The yolk is formed in the hens ovary when ovulation occurs. At this early stage, the yolk is called an oocyte. Once the oocyte is formed, it is released into the oviduct, where it will develop into a complete egg with a shell.
As the egg moves through the oviduct, which is a tubular part of a hens anatomy and is over two feet long, it develops all of the necessary characteristics needed to form an egg in a shell. If the egg ends up being fertilized by a rooster, the fertilization will occur while the egg is moving through the oviduct. The actual egg shell, including its color, is formed towards the end of the eggs journey through the oviduct.
Egg shells are primarily made of calcium carbonate, a mineral that is naturally white. You may have noticed that brown eggs, for example, are brown on the outside and white on the inside. Youll see this difference in color with hens that lay brown-pigmented eggs. The brown pigment coating is added to the egg in the last 90 minutes of its journey through the hens oviduct.
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