Do you know how chickens have the ability to color their eggs?
Have you ever wondered which chickens lay what color eggs?
If either of these questions has ever crossed your mind, then you are in the right place. I’ve actually been looking to add a little color to the eggs in my hen house lately.
So I’ve been researching to figure out which chickens would be the best fit. Here is what I’ve found:
The Process of Eggs Getting Colored
The process of an egg being formed takes around 26 hours from start to finish. The actual eggshell being formed takes 20 hours.
Then the egg being colored takes the remaining 5 or so hours. The egg will go through a dye process where a pigment is sprayed on the egg inside the hen.
Remember, all eggs start as white eggs. It is the internal dyeing process that causes the eggs to change colors.
Now, there are other things that can impact the coloring of the eggs. If your hen is spending too much time in the sun without adequate shade or cold water, then it can actually bleach her eggs. If you begin noticing lighter colored eggs than normal, then you’ll want to check on these two factors.
If your hen’s eggs are being bleached more so than usual, and she has plenty of shade and cold water, then it is time to check for mites and parasites because they can have the same effect on the egg’s coloring.
But there are certain chicken breeds that have both the blue and brown pigment. This results in that breed being able to produce eggs that are ever color of the rainbow.
However, you should know that a hen will produce the same colored egg her whole life.
So if you are looking for a rainbow of eggs, then you’ll have to have multiple hens with the blue and brown pigment that each produce a different colored egg.
The final thing to note about the egg coloring process is that almost all eggs are only colored on the outside. When you crack open the shell, you will still see white on the inside.
But blue eggs are the exception. When they are colored, they turn blue both inside and out.
Chickens that Lay Blue Eggs
These are very special chickens. They lay only blue eggs and look kind of funny because they have no tail feathers.
Otherwise, this is known as ‘rumpless.’
So this is how you can know someone has a true Araucana. Lots of people try to sell birds as Araucanas, but not all of them are so. Those two factors will help you distinguish the real breed from others.
Ameraucanas obviously have Araucana in them. Because of this, they are able to produce blue eggs.
However, they can produce other colored eggs as well.
So you’ll have to see which color egg the hen will actually produce since she has the ability to produce multiple different colors.
3. Easter Eggers
These are kind of like a mutt version of Araucanas and Ameraucanas. They have many different breeds mixed into one bird.
But they have some of the Araucanas and Ameraucanas in there because they are able to produce a variety of different colored eggs.
Actually, this particular breed will produce egg colors such as blue, green, brown, sage, olive, cream, and rose.
Plus, they have great temperaments, are heat and cold hearty, lay well in the winter, and very smart too. They’d make a great pet or addition to any hen house.
4. Cream Legbar
This is another chicken breed that will lay blue eggs. It is a cross between the Araucanas, Barred Plymouth Rocks, and Golden Leghorns.
Beyond their beautifully colored eggs, a lot of people love these birds because they are very active without being skittish or flighty.
But they are also tremendous foragers. This is great news for their owners because the more they forage, the less food you have to pay for out of pocket.
Cream Egg Layers
Some people prefer cream colored eggs. If so, then you’ll be interested in the following breeds:
This particular chicken breed is one that is very different to look at. They have feathered feet and five toes which obviously makes them stand out.
So if you are looking for a unique chicken breed that will give you beautifully cream colored eggs, then you may be interested in this particular breed.
Their breed name is rather funny at first glance, but they are actually a very special breed. This is one of the oldest breeds of chickens.
Actually, it is believed that they were one of the first to be domesticated way back during the Roman Empire.
But they are known for having very sweet personalities. Though they look a little different with short legs and five toes.
Green Egg Layers
Have you ever wanted a green egg that wasn’t rotten? Well, then you’ll be interested in this one chicken breed that specifically lays green eggs:
1. Olive Eggers
These chickens are a cross breed, similar to Easter Eggers. They all have varied patterns to them, but they produce eggs that are anywhere from olive colored to a camo green.
So needless to say, they would be a neat addition to any backyard flock.
Brown Egg Layers
Brown egg layers are some of the most common. There is a variety of breeds that produce them:
1. Rhode Island Red
Rhode Island Reds are amazing layers. Most of them lay anywhere from 1-2 eggs per day depending on the time of year.
But they have a difficult temperament as some can be quite moody.
2. Plymouth Rock
Plymouth Rock is another common bird. They are good layers and have a better temperament than most Rhode Island Reds.
Dominiques are some of my favorite birds. They are very docile birds, lay regularly, and are a beautiful color pattern filled with grays, blacks, and whites.
Obviously, they would be a great choice to add to any backyard chicken flock. But especially someone who is just starting out.
4. Jersey Giant
These are large birds with a pretty good temperament, in my experience. They are good layers and also serve as a dual purpose bird.
Because of their size, they are a good choice for a meat bird as well.
Other breeds that lay brown eggs are:
- Golden Comets
- New Hampshire Red
White Egg Layers
If you are accustomed to white eggs because of grocery stores, then you can still have that though you are raising your own. Here are the breeds that produce white eggs:
I love Silkie chickens because of how they look. They have feathered legs, big feathered heads, and look like a ‘fancy’ chicken.
But on top of that, they lay white eggs which a lot of people like.
Polish chickens are other really unique chickens as well. They have these big puffed up feathered heads. To say they look ‘fancy’ or prepared for cold weather would probably fit them quite well.
But either way, they produce beautiful white eggs and would definitely draw a lot of attention to your flock.
This is a chicken that originated in Belgium. They have a beautiful orange color running through them and do produce white eggs.
However, they are not great layers. On average, they produce around 150 eggs per year. That is basically an egg every 2-3 days.
Leghorns are great layers. They produce white eggs which a lot of people really want in their backyard flock.
But Leghorn chickens are rather flighty. So if you are just starting out with raising chickens, keep this in mind.
Light Tan Layers
If you like brown eggs but maybe would prefer an egg a little lighter, then you’ll want to check out these chicken breeds for sure:
- Buff Orpington
Though their color schemes are different, they do produce around the same amount of eggs per year. They average around 150-200 eggs per year and both produce medium sized eggs.
So basically you’ll need to choose whether you’d prefer to have a chicken with darker feathers (Wyandotte) or one with lighter colors (Buff Orpington.)
Pink Egg Layers
Pink eggs are something that you don’t see a lot of, and they look really cool. So if you’d like to have that color in your flock, then you’ll need to check out these breeds:
1. Barred Rock
Barred Rock chickens look very similar to Dominiques. They are utilized as both a meat bird and one that lays.
However, they are not strong layers since they average about 280 eggs per year. But the upside to that is that they can produce pink eggs.
2. Light Sussex
This is another beautiful breed of chicken. They basically resemble exactly what you think of when someone says the word ‘chicken.’
But they are great chickens to have around as they are a more docile breed and are also very alert to their surroundings.
However, they only produce on average about 250 eggs per year.
This bird would not be one I would recommend to any backyard chicken keeper. They originated from India and Pakistan.
Also, they are known for their aggressive behavior and do not produce many eggs. On average, it is said, that they only produce around 40 eggs per year.
So basically people keep them around more as a yard ornament and less for production or pet.
Have you ever seen eggs that were a really deep, dark brown? If so, then you’ve probably encountered an egg from one of the breeds mentioned below.
However, you need to know that chicken eggs are rated on a scale from 1 to 9. 1 is white while 9 is a dark, rich brown.
Most of the following chicken breeds average around a 4 or greater. That is the trademark to know that you have the actual breed.
These chickens lay really rich colored eggs. They are a brown and almost red color at times.
However, this breed is a very alert breed which makes them a little more skittish. So they may not make the best pets in the average backyard flock.
This would be a great choice for most backyard flocks. This breed lays dark, chocolate eggs that are speckled as well.
But they also have very sweet temperaments, are smart, hearty in both heat and cold, and are great foragers too.
Marans are a more common breed and are pretty well known for their dark, chocolate colored eggs.
However, you should really look at the color of the egg to be sure that you have a true Maran. They are another breed that people try to pass off and are not true Marans.
Remember, that their eggs must be a 4 or greater to be a true Maran.
Well, you now know how chicken’s color their eggs. You also have a plethora of breeds to choose from based on the colors of eggs.
Hopefully, this will be helpful to you as you build a variety of egg colors in your flock.
But I’d like to know which breeds you chose to build up colorful eggs in your flock? Does having different colored eggs really matter to you? Why or why not?
We love hearing from you so leave us your thoughts in the comment space provided.
This article first appeared on morningchores.com Original Article