When you purchase a dozen eggs from the grocery store, all of the eggs are typically the same color. You might get a dozen white eggs or a dozen brown in your carton. But when you take a look at the eggs that are laid by your personal chickens, you will notice that they are not all the same color. Some are white or brown, while others are blue, green, or even pink.
Chickens for Backyards has highlighted the most common eggs colors along with brief explanations as to why they might come out that way.
All eggs are actually white when they’re first produced inside of chickens. White egg shells are made up of calcium carbonate as well as calcium phosphate, magnesium carbonate, and more. Those white eggs can be tinted prior a chicken laying them due to genetics, but there are many chickens that don’t have genes that call for tinting to take place. Leghorn Chickens, Hamburg Chickens, and Icelandic Chickens are a few of the ones that primarily lay white eggs.
There are many chickens, like Cuckoo Maran chickens, Welsummer chickens, and White Plymouth Rock Chickens, that typically lay brown eggs. They lay brown eggs because their genes call for it. Their bodies create brown pigment called protoporphyrin using hemoglobin or blood to tint their eggs brown. Some eggs produced by brown egg layers are very light while others are very dark. It depends on everything from the size of the eggs to the genetics of the individual chickens.
Since most people are so used to seeing white or brown eggs, it can seem strange to see a chicken lay blue eggs. But it does happen, and it happens due to a dominant gene that calls for certain chickens to produce eggs with blue shells. Ameraucana chickens, Araucana chickens, and Cream Legbar chickens have a gene that causes them to create eggs with oocyanin in their shells. Oocyanin is a byproduct of the bile inside of chickens and allows for the chickens to add a blue pigmentation to their shells. Some shells are a very light blue while others are darker in nature.
Green or Olive Eggs
Green or olive eggs from chickens are the result of the brown pigment from brown eggs mixing with the oocyanin from blue eggs. When a light brown coating goes over a blue egg shell, it will lead to a green egg shell, and when a dark brown coating goes over a blue egg shell, it will result in an olive one. There are some farmers who are now breeding chickens to lay eggs that are green or olive to set them apart. Isbar chickens, Easter Egger chickens, and Olive eggers chickens are known for churning out green or olive eggs.
As you can see, chicken eggs come in a range of different colors as is. And with chicken breeders experimenting with cross-breeding chickens more and more these days, there are likely going to be new colors to come.
At Chickens for Backyards, we offer 78 beautiful breeds of chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and guineas with seasonal shipping and guaranteed delivery options. Contact us today to start building your coop.