Most hens produce brown, white, and hues in between when it comes to egg color. Though the creamy whites and rich, dark browns of these might be lovely in their own right, did you know that some chicken breeds can produce multicolored eggs?
While brilliant red or purple eggs won’t be readily available at the supermarket anytime soon, some birds produce stunning blue, green, and olive eggs. It’s interesting to note that, contrary to what one might think, all of these hues are genetically determined.
This implies that you may anticipate egg color with ease by selecting a specific breed of chicken, and you’ll generally be assured the egg color of your choice. While each chicken only produces eggs of the same hue, several hybrid breeds are known to produce a variety of colored eggs within a flock, providing for a fascinating morning of egg gathering.
The easiest approach to choose the color of eggs you desire is to select a breed of chicken that is known to produce those colors. This article examines 18 varieties of chicken that are reputed to produce blue, green, olive, and chocolate-colored eggs. Let’s get going!
Why do hens lay different coloured eggs?
All eggs start off with white shells. A pigment is used to provide color at various phases of the egg-forming process. The color will either penetrate all the way through the shell or only be on the surface, depending on where the pigment is put.
For instance, the blue pigment is introduced straight at the start, resulting in completely blue shells. Brown is put at the very end, making it simple to remove.
The interior of a green egg is first blue, and when brown is finally put on top of the blue, the egg becomes green.
Eggs with white shells just don’t add any color at all.
Does a hen’s earlobe color indicate the type of eggs she will lay?
Occasionally, but it’s not a reliable predictor. Genetics has a connection to egg color. Similarly, earlobe color. But a hen won’t always lay brown eggs just because her earlobes are red.
The breed of chicken is the strongest predictor of egg color.
Is a colored egg’s nutritional worth different from a white egg?
No. Regardless of color, the nutritional content of an egg depends on what the hen is given and whether or not she is allowed to walk freely or is imprisoned. Her access to calcium will decide how strong her egg shells are.
It has nothing to do with color.
What Gives The Green Eggs Their Color?
When you were a youngster and read Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham,” did it make you wonder if such eggs actually existed? They are quite entertaining to have in your everyday egg collection and do indeed exist.
But how are eggs’ shell colors created?
“White is the initial color of all egg shells. As the eggs pass through the hen’s oviduct, pigments are added to those that are placed in colors other than white. The passage via the oviduct of the chicken lasts around 26 hours. It takes about 20 hours to construct the shell. (source)
The 18 Chicken Breeds That Lay Colored Eggs
With the exception of the Isbar, all of these breeds are hybrids. That simply indicates that they are a hybrid of two distinct kinds of chicken rather than a purebred.
Due to the increased demand for green eggs, several breeders and hatcheries are creating their own “breed” by often mating the same two species to produce a more uniform progeny.
While the actual features of hybrids can vary, as with all hybrids, when a breeder or hatchery works with the same lines, the end product is far more predictable.
The Pendesenca chicken, which was developed in Catalonia, Spain, produces enormous, chocolate-brown eggs that are most bright early in the season but gradually dwindle as the season goes on.
They are lively birds which occasionally exhibit some skittishness, making them less than ideal as pets. Despite this, they thrive in hot areas as well and are incredibly durable and cold-resistant.
Isbar, also known as Silverudd Blue
Chickens named Isbar, which sound like “ice bar,” are from Sweden. Isbar chickens are a little difficult to locate and are regarded as a rare breed since they are still a relatively young breed and are not yet prevalent in America.
Isbar chickens typically lay between 150 and 200 stunning green eggs every year in a variety of hues. Even some of them have brown specks.
This breed of chickens weighs between 5 and 7 pounds and comes in blue, black, and splash colors. Isbars are great for homesteads with kids or a growing family that wants to teach the kids responsibility by having them take care of the hens since they have a pleasant demeanor.
An Ameraucana is a hybrid breed created by crossing an Araucana with a number of other breeds in an effort to produce an animal with distinctive feather patterns and improved health.
The breed has a characteristic tail feather tuft, a pea comb, and even beards, and it is far more prevalent than the Araucana! Similar to the Araucana, these hens produce blue eggs (and occasionally green ones) on average at a rate of 200 per year.
The Favorelle (which produces brown eggs) and the Ameraucana were crossed to create the relatively new breed of chicken known as the Favacuana (which makes blue eggs)
The favaucana chicken, which produces between 220-250 stunning sage-green eggs annually, has a personality that is an excellent blend of the breeds it is descended from. They thrive in the cold, are amazing foragers, and lay well all year long, even the winter.
The Araucana area in Chile, where the breed is supposed to have originated, bears the name of the tail-less Araucana chicken, sometimes referred to as the “rumpless.” They may produce 200 stunning, vivid blue eggs each year.
Araucana is most likely the ancestor of the majority of chicken breeds that produce blue eggs. They are excellent birds for small farms since they are dependable and have a calm demeanor.
The Olive Eggers are another another hybrid chicken breed, as you may have noticed a trend here. Olive Eggers are created by combining a brown egg layer like Marans or Welsumer with a blue egg layer like the Cream Legbar, Ameraucana, or Araucana.
The outcome is a chicken that produces stunning olive eggs. Sadly, olive eggers only lay between 150 and 180 eggs each year, which is a very low production rate. However, if you want a variety of green eggs in your collection, you must have one in your flock.
The Light Sussex is a sturdy, gentle, and simple-to-care-for breed of British dual-purpose chickens that is noted for its foraging prowess.
They are great meat birds and are also productive layer chickens, laying an average of 250 pale pink eggs each year. Due to their amiable demeanor and simplicity of care, they are the perfect poultry for beginning chicken keepers.
Arkansas Blue Chicken
The University of Arkansas created the experimental breed known as the Arkansas Blue. The hybrid breed, which lays blue eggs and is a mix between an Araucana and a White Leghorn, is not yet offered for sale to the general public. They lack tufts, muffs, or beards but do have yellow legs and a pea comb.
Cream Legbar Chicken
The Ice Cream, a hybrid between the Isbar and the Cream Legbars, is a relatively new breed of chicken, much like the Favaucanas. This breed’s eggs often have a bluish-green hue, however individual chickens might vary in color. The blue eggs of the Cream Legbars and the green eggs of the Isbar are the sources of this egg hue.
Given that this breed is very young, it could be more challenging to locate at the hatcheries.
The ice cream bar hen, a medium-sized bird, produces 180–200 blue-green eggs annually.
Another crucial factor is that the bird is still a new breed, thus its disposition has not yet developed. Even though the breed was created by crossing two rather calm breeds, this trait isn’t usually passed on to the offspring. Therefore, if you have kids, keep an eye out to make sure they’re being nice with them.
The Asil was created primarily for cockfighting in Pakistan and India. The breed came to the United States in the middle of the 1800s, and because to their lovely looks, they quickly gained popularity.
However, the breed’s tendency toward aggression makes them challenging to nurture. Expect to see a few of their pink to cream-colored eggs as they only produce 40 to 50 of them annually.
Another hybrid chicken, here we are. Actually, this may be seen of as a kind of Easter Egger.
Green Queens are quite resilient and lay between 4 and 6 eggs each week. They may also have beards, muffs, and feathery legs. They are available in bantam and standard/large bird sizes. These are available at Meyer Hatchery.
The Barnevelder chicken is a well-liked breed valued for its rich, chocolate-brown eggs and named after the Barneveld region of Holland where the breed was established. The breed’s very gorgeous birds with black-and-white laced feathering were created some 200 years ago by mating local Dutch breeds with Cochins and Brahmas.
Up to 200 enormous eggs can be produced annually by maran chickens, who are noted for producing large, deep-brown, chocolate, and even reddish-brown eggs.
Most people agree that these eggs are among the most delicious and unusual foods in the entire globe. Younger hens produce darker eggs than older hens, and they are frequently spherical, have thick shells, and can vary in color.
A breed of chicken that originated in Chile and is highly well-liked is called the Ameraucana.
With an annual egg output of around 250, Easter eggers make excellent layers. Now, during the winter, the manufacturing does slow down considerably and occasionally even stops.
Ameraucanas are strong, stocky hens that can withstand the cold. In contrast to the usual yellow color that people are used to seeing, the legs of the Ameraucana typically have a gray or green hue.
Ameraucana chickens are available in bantam and standard sizes. The average size bird weighs between 4.5 and 6.5 pounds, with males often weighing more. The chickens are around 18 inches tall.
The Ameraucana chicken is the ideal choice for families with children because of its easygoing temperament and propensity to be simple to handle.
Barred Rock Chickens
The Barred Rock is a breed of backyard chicken that is widely used as a popular meat bird and laying hen. They produce light-pink eggs and are prolific producers, producing around 300 eggs a year, or about four eggs each week. They are stunning, serene, and gentle birds that have long been a favorite garden poultry.
These are another another hybrid bird that was created recently with the intention of producing large numbers of green eggs. Lisa Steele of Fresh Eggs Daily designed these.
These gorgeous chickens have splashy blue or other colors, and their heads frequently feature quirky crests. They lay between three and five eggs each week.
The Welsummer is a relatively recent breed of chicken that was created in the Netherlands less than 100 years ago. They are most known for serving as the Kellogg’s cereal rooster.
They are skilled foragers and lay magnificent, rich chocolate-brown eggs up to 200 times each year. The breed is not very well known in the United States, but because of its hardiness, superior foraging abilities, and lovely eggs, it makes a great backyard breed.
Another hybrid green egg layer in a lengthy series. It is a bantam chicken, The Sage Gem.
Their name comes from the sage green color of their eggs. However, like with most hybrids, they can range in hue from that sage green to an earthy, brown tone. They typically lay 4 to 6 eggs each week, which is an excellent rate for a layer.
They can have feathered legs, crests, beards, and muffs, and they are a cute little chicken.
The Dorking is regarded as one of the most savory and delicious chicken breeds, and it is also one of the oldest varieties of chicken known to man.
Due to the popular faster-growing varieties that are currently accessible, the breed is sadly endangered and rare, but for backyard breeders, they are perfect since they produce high-quality meat and a large number of creamy-white eggs.
The Yokohama is a genuinely unusual breed of Japanese chicken that is largely kept for display and ornamentation. Instead of being recognized for their egg-laying skills, they are prized for their distinctive, exquisite, and lengthy tail feathers. Even so, the breed produces about 100 eggs annually, each of which has a stunning creamy white or colored hue.
What Makes Green Eggs?
You could have a vague concept of how green chicken eggs might develop if you’ve read about how hens produce blue eggs. All eggs are white at first.
The addition of pigment to the egg’s shell as it travels through the chicken’s oviduct is what ultimately causes the variations in egg color. The final color of the egg is determined by when and what sort of pigment is introduced. (source)
Most birds that produce green eggs have a blue egg foundation that, towards the conclusion of the egg development process, is tinted brown. (source) As a result, the chicken eggs become green!