Eggs of a Different Color

Photo by Newlyweds Blog
People sometimes make the common mistake of thinking that white chickens lay white eggs and brown chickens lay brown eggs. In actuality, most egg shells are formed white with a layer of color pigment (usually some shade of brown) added in the late stage of egg production.
The following picture shows that the inside of a brown egg shell is white.


The shells of Araucana and Ameraucana chickens, however,  are pale blue on both the outside and inside.  There are hybrid varieties of chickens that have been crossed with one of these breeds and carry the blue egg gene. Their eggs can be pale blue or pale green, or sometimes even cream or pink colored.  They are  called Easter Eggers, but they are not a standard breed.  When an Araucana or Ameraucana is crossed with a dark brown egg layer (such as a Marans or Welsummer, for example), the brown pigment layer on the blue shell produces an olive green colored egg. These mixed breeds are called Olive Eggers.

Eggs are generally of the same essence on the inside. The color of the egg shell does not effect the appearance, the taste, or the nutritional value of the egg itself.  Those qualities are effected by the diet, health and environment of the chicken.  Hens that have access to the outdoors and are able to forage for their food lay eggs that have enhanced flavor and nutritional value.  According to the USDA, compared to commercially raised chickens, the eggs of free-range chickens have:

1/3 less cholesterol
1/4 less saturated fat
2/3 more vitamin A
2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
3 times more vitamin E
7 times more beta carotene

The variety of colors of chickens' eggs is surprising and beautiful.  If you have a flock of these various producers, you sure don't need to dye Easter eggs!

For more information on chicken breeds and egg colors, My Pet Chicken has a thorough listing in chart form.

For more articles on keeping chickens, visit our Chickens Page.

Visit Maple Grove on Facebook or Pinterest.

9 comments:

  1. Those are some gorgeous eggs! My Black Copper Marans just started laying - love that chocolate color. (Hopped by from Backyard Farming Connection.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for coming by Joan. I love all those beautiful color eggs too! It's just amazing!

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Rebecca!

      Delete
  3. Beautiful!!! Please consider sharing your post with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday! http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-funky-junky-windchime-at-eco-kids.html

    ReplyDelete
  4. Gorgeous photo! Would love to have you share this on Wildcrafting Wednesday at:
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/01/wildcrafting-wednesday-7.html

    and The HomeAcre Hop tonight at:
    http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/01/the-homeacre-hop-5.html

    Hope to see you there!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks so much for sharing this on The HomeAcre Hop!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Gorgeous photo! I love this shot and info.

    ReplyDelete