chickens that lay colored eggs

Beyond White & Brown: The Colorful World of Chicken Eggs

Discover the beauty of chicken eggs in a rainbow of colors.

When it comes to raising chickens, some people are looking for more than just a source of protein. Instead, they are interested in breeds that lay colorful eggs. While most chicken eggs come in shades of white or brown, several breeds produce eggs in a variety of colors, from pale blue to deep mahogany.

The genetics of the breed determines the color of a chicken's eggshell. Different breeds of chickens have different genes that dictate the color of the eggshell. The pigment responsible for the eggshell color is called biliverdin, and it is deposited on the eggshell during the formation of the egg in the hen's oviduct. The concentration and distribution of biliverdin in the eggshell determine its final color.

Let’s explore some of the most popular chicken breeds that lay colorful eggs.

Ameraucana: The Ameraucana is known for producing eggs in shades of blue, and sometimes green. The colorful eggs are always a unique and eye-catching addition to any egg basket.

Easter Egger: Similar to Ameraucanas, Easter Eggers are known for colorful eggs. They can lay eggs in shades of blue, green, pink, or even light brown.

Araucana: The Araucana lays eggs that are typically a pale blue but sometimes green. The breed is often confused with Ameraucanas or Easter Eggers.

Cream Legbar: This alert breed with a big personality produces medium-sized eggs in shades of pastel blue or green.

Favaucana: A cross between a Faverolle and an Ameraucana, the Favaucana lays eggs in shades of green, blue, and sometimes even pink. It is valued for its hardiness and friendly personalities.

Isbar: The Isbar is known for its striking blue-green or green eggs. It is a relatively new breed, originating in Sweden in the 20th century, and is becoming increasingly popular in the United States.

Olive Egger: As the name suggests, this breed produces eggs that are olive green. The Olive Egger is a cross between two breeds — usually, an Ameraucana and a Marans — and is becoming increasingly popular for the unusual color of its eggs.

Russian Orloff: This breed produces eggs with a unique shade of pink or peach. Although a rare breed, the Russian Orloff’s beautiful eggs make it a popular choice for backyard flocks.

Sussex: If the previous mention of pink or peach got your attention, the Sussex produces creamy white eggs with a slightly pink or peach tint. The Sussex is a popular breed for backyard flocks because it is friendly and easy to care for.

Australorp: While Australorps are better known for their meat and ability to lay large brown eggs, some individuals will also lay eggs in a pale blue or green color.

Empordanesa A breed that excels in hot climates, the Empordanesa lays uncommonly dark eggs, ranging from dark chocolate brown to warm terra cotta to grey.

Marans: These chickens lay eggs that are a deep, rich brown color. The shade of brown can vary depending on the bird, from a rich chocolate brown to a deep mahogany color, but it is always an eye-catcher in any egg basket.

Welsummer: The calm and popular Welsummer produces another exceptional brown variation. Its eggs are deep terra-cotta color with dark speckles. They are often called “chocolate eggs” and are prized by those looking for a unique and rustic look.

Barnevelder: For another brown variation, this active and low-maintenance chicken lays rich, dark brown eggs with a subtle speckling. The resilient breed can thrive in a variety of climates.

In addition to their colorful eggs, many of these breeds are also known for their friendly personalities and hardy nature, making them a great choice for backyard flocks. So, whether you're looking to add some visual interest to your egg basket or just want to try something new, these colorful egg-laying breeds will surely delight.

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