Chickens That Lay Colored Eggs: Facts On Different Breeds Of Chicken

Nidhi Sahai
Feb 29, 2024 By Nidhi Sahai
Originally Published on Oct 26, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Vikhaash Sundararaj
Brown chicken with eggs
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 12.4 Min

There are multiple breeds of chickens found in the world which lay a range of colorful eggs, including the backyard chicken breeds.

Every chicken breed is one of the unique breeds with specific genes affecting the color of eggshells. Chicken breeds that lay colored eggs are Easter Egger hens, Welsummer, Rhode Island Red, Maran, Barred Rock, and Ameraucanas.

The color of chicken eggs does not matter. A good chicken diet with plenty of nutrients should be given to the hen to lay colored eggs. Collecting colored eggs which are farm fresh like chocolate brown to pretty blue to olive to green are the most favorable for backyard chicken owners who keep all the variety of chicken breeds that lay colored eggs and other variety of colors. Hens need rich sources of calcium in their diet to lay strong and colored eggs.

The color of the eggshell is unique to each hen which depends on the genetics of hens and breed, however, eggshell does not change the nutrients of the egg inside as the eggshell color is simply a decoration. Some popular breeds that lay colored eggs are Easter Egger hens, Welsummer, Rhode Island Red, Maran, Barred Rock, and Ameraucanas. One can tell the color of the shell while looking simply at the earlobe of hens like a white hen will typically lay white or off-white eggs, hens with red earlobes will mostly lay brown eggs; it depends upon the chicken breeds which are crossed for the purpose of colored eggs. When a rooster and hen mate, genes from both of themcontributeto the color of the eggshell laid. Egg colors like, deep pink and dark green are also available due to the crossing of breeds by chicken owners to produce colored eggs.

Olive Eggers and Easter Egger are among the most favorable crosses. Olive Eggers lay olive color eggs because of the cross-breeding between the brown egg layers and blue egg layers. While the Easter Egger lays green, blue, or pink eggs. Andulisian breed lays one of the largest white chicken eggs and are the most popular in America.

Do you like chicken and often wonder about their life cycle? Now here you can get more insight into our chicken facts and chicken egg development articles.

What kind of chickens lay colorful eggs?

Many chicken breeds lay colorful eggs like Easter Egger hens, Welsummer, Rhode Island Red, Maran, Barred Rock, and Ameraucanas, but all eggs taste the same. Welsummer chickens are great foragers and produce brown eggs as the eggs have a rich terra cotta brown with dark speckles. This forms because of the pigmentation of the egg which is so rich that you can wipe it off with your fingers, however, the Welsummer hens are known to be broody. Welsummer chickens are great foragers and produce brown eggs. The demand for their eggs is very much in the market.

The Ameraucanas breed which lays blue eggs was crossed between chickens laying blue eggs, they do not pose any problems inbreeding as the Araucanas. Importantly, they have beards and muffs and are sweet and hardy in nature, even their legs or 'slate' are blue. Araucanas breed of chickens also lay blue eggs. These colorful hens are high-class egg layers. This breed lays blue eggs because of the insertion of the retrovirus in the genome of chicken causing the activation of that gene that is involved in the blue eggs production. The same method when applied to other Araucanas produced the color green. The Dongxiang and Lushi chickens in China also produce blue eggs.

The Rhode Island Red, a chicken breed, known as a great winter egg layer, lays the most eggs which are large eggs. The hens are docile in nature. If a closer look at the inner layer at the thin inner layer of the eggshell, reveals the formation of calcium which occurs when an egg is produced. The Rhode Island Red hen's egg is classic white on the inside and very beautiful brown outside. Rhode Island Reds also lay eggs in winters. But note that chickens need a good calcium diet to produce these eggs.

Marans is another very good species of chicken that lay eggs in dark brown or chocolate brown color. All Maran's birds lay a dark brown egg, and for this reason, the Black Copper Marans is sought after, its egg color being especially 'chocolate brown'. Another specialty of Black Copper Marans is that the fewer eggs they lay, the darker the color. Like all other eggs, a Marans egg starts out white, and during the laying process, because of the deposition of a brown pigment on the surface of the eggs, a rich chocolate brown color comes. This variety plays the darkest of dark brown eggs. The fewer eggs these black copper hens lay will lay, the darker the egg color can be seen. Maran's eggs taste the same as any other hen's egg and it is the same in texture and color from inside as any other egg and the nutrient value and other proteins remain the same. The color of the egg can be wiped off to reveal the real egg which is a normal colored egg. Marans eggs are considered the most expensive chicken eggs in the world. Marans eggs became renowned because James Bond was supposed to only eat speckled eggs from Marans chickens in the film 'From Russia With Love.'

The Easter Egger or Olive egger is a much-loved hybrid chicken. The Easter Egger hens lay from blue-green to green and sometimes even pink eggs. Each Easter egger or Olive egger chickens can lay only one color in her lifetime of laying eggs, which means if the first egg laid is green, then from then on she will only lay the green color eggs during her laying period. They are extremely popular. These breeds are very different and some have muffs and beards while others don't. Easter egger is a special kind of chicken that is humble, beautiful, can be cuddled, and gives you all kinds of colorful eggs. This breed is healthy, robust, and very rarely suffer from anything more serious than parasites in their early years. Easter eggers have the ability to tolerate a wide variety of climates from desert to snow too. Easter Eggers have the ability to lay a variety of egg colors, which can be from green to blue and also can be pink sometimes.

What chicken lays the bluest eggs?

Araucana eggs are the bluest eggs ever known, which are caused by the Oocyanin gene. This breed has evolved in Chile, and all other blue egg-laying breeds are descendants from Araucanas. There are many chicken breeds that can lay blu eggs, but among the best are the Cream legbars, Easter eggers, Ameraucanas, and Araucanas. Breeds that are mixed from these blue chickens will also lay the blue eggs. If you have a white laying chicken like Brown leghorn, no additional pigment is needed for the egg but if you have a blue egg laying chicken, the blue colored pigment needs to be added further.

Araucanas were imported from Chile, South America, and later crosses between the Colloncas and the Quetros, which are blue egg-laying species from North Chile. Araucanas have a dominant blue egg gene and hence if bred with some other species, the eggs produced will be blue.

The Ameraucanas origins are recent and straightforward. This chicken breed is related to the Araucana. Ameraucanas are the crossbreeds developed in the 1970s by breeders who liked the blue eggs of the bird Araucana and also wanted a plump body and closer head feathering. This is a dual-purpose breed that can be used for both meat and eggs. Ameraucanas have muffs, a tail, and beards, not tufts, unlike Araucana.

Easter Eggers also lay blue, rose, brown, and green eggs, and is a hybrid bird. You cannot analyze the color of the egg beforehand. It is not that the Easter Egger will lay different eggs each time, it's just that the color of the egg will be the same all of its life once it lays that colored egg. Easter Eggers is a fun species. Cream Legbars are the new and rare addition to the chickens that lay blue eggs. They are seen in the United States of America. These birds have one comb and many crest feathers. The crest feathers look like a beret. These birds are very friendly and love to eat a range of forage. Cream Legbar is another chicken breed that lays 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. They are also great foragers, this is great news for their owners because the more they forage, the less food they have to pay for food. Cream legbars are fond of insects, worms, chicken pellets, and produce 200 blue eggs each year

If you have blue eggs, the first thing people will ask is if they taste different from 'normal' eggs. The short answer is no. But it is critical to understand why. All eggs are created in the same way, but the nutrition a hen consumes on a daily basis determines the taste of her egg and the color of the yolk. There are many questions and confusions on the taste and quality in comparison of the backyard eggs and store eggs If you will the backyard chickens a good quality layer feed and give them the freedom to forage for insects, grasses, and other things, they are able to find, the eggs which they lay will be fresh and good in taste. Araucanas are friendly birds and fly easily, so accommodations should be made to keep them safe.

Blue eggs in a nest

What are chickens called that lay colored eggs?

Welsummer, Maran and Easter Egger, Rhode Island Red, Araucana, and Ameraucanas hens are among those who lay colored eggs. The color of the shell doesn't matter much, all hens need to have a balanced diet that has 0.14 oz (4 g) of calcium in it at least to format protective and strong shell. If your chicken has light blue eggs from a number of colorful eggs, the breed of chickens is the Araucana species. The Araucana species is a self-assured bird and has a very mild temperament. Ameraucanas are less rarer than Araucanas with somewhat similar genetics but are very easygoing birds. Ameraucanas are also known as double birds as they are good egg layers and meat providers. An Easter Egger is friendly, smart, cold, and heat-hardy, they lay well in the winter many colorful eggs that range from light blue, green eggs, rose or brown to sage, olive, or cream. Their eggs also tend to be quite large, they’re not huge birds, but they’re just an all-around wonderful bird, and of course, everyone loves the egg colors.

Marans are a French breed and lay a range of deep brown eggs to dark chocolate brown eggs. Marans are calm, easy-going birds of medium size. Black Copper Marans are friendly chickens with feathered feet and lay really dark chocolate brown eggs. Welsummers breed is a great forager that lays large chocolate-brown eggs with darker speckles and does well in heat and cold. Welsummers are friendly, intelligent layers among the sweetest tempered birds.

Why do chickens lay colored eggs?

The color of an egg depends upon the breed of chicken. As the pigment Oocyanin permeates the eggshell, resulting in the interior and exterior of the egg being the same light blue color. Chickens producing brown or tinted eggs have a pigment called protoporphyrin accumulated on the covering of their eggshells. Leghorn chickens lay white eggs while Easter Eggers lay a brown chicken egg and Ameraucana produces blue eggs.

The Olive Egger chicken, which is famous for laying olive-colored eggs, is a cross of chicken breeds of brown egg-laying hens and roosters that lay blue eggs. The Rhode Island Red, a chicken breed, known as a great winter egg layer, lays brown eggs which are large eggs. The hens are docile in nature. Marans eggs taste the same as any other hen's egg and it is the same in texture and color from inside as any other egg and the nutrient value and other proteins remain the same.

The eggs of every chicken breed are white at the start, but the colorful eggs that we see are the result of the pigment accumulation on the surface of these eggs at the end of the process when eggs travel in the oviduct of the hens. This journey is about two hours long and the formation of the shell takes around 20 hours. The Oocyanin pigment is present in the eggs of the Ameraucana birds. This pigment permeates the eggshell of this bird and because of this, both the exterior and the interior of the chicken egg become light blue. The pigment protoporphyrin is present in the eggs of the brown color eggs-laying chickens. But this pigment is unable to permeate to the inside of the egg and hence, the eggs are white from inside.

At the very start, all the eggshells will develop as white color when they will be inside a hen, as the eggshells are made up of calcium. If you see your hens laying colorful eggs, you should check the inside of these shells, the inside will same for all the colorful eggs. Brown eggs are just brown from the outside, green eggs are just green from the outside; both these kinds of colorful eggs will be white from the inside like the white egg. Just the blue egg will be blue from both inside and outside. Olive Eggers and Easter Egger are among the most favorable crosses. Olive Eggers lay olive color eggs because of the cross-breeding between the brown egg layers and roosters that lay blue eggs. Araucana eggs are the bluest eggs ever known. A chicken breed lays eggs according to the hot and cold environment.

Every day at least 0.1 oz (4 g) of calcium is necessary for hens in order to form a good eggshell. If there will be a lack of calcium in the body of the hen, then the eggshell formed will be very soft. In order to fulfill the lack of calcium in the diet, sometimes hens use the calcium from the bones of their body, which in turn causes the deficiency in the bones and might lead to some diseases as well. The Leghorn species lays approximately 200-300 eggs every year .

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for chickens that lay colored eggs: facts on different breed of chicken, then why not take a look at can chickens eat pears, explore how to add this healthy fruit treat or can chickens eat green beans, yes, learn here's why it is a must have?

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Written by Nidhi Sahai

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

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Nidhi SahaiBachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication

Dedicated and experienced, Nidhi is a professional content writer with a strong reputation for delivering high-quality work. She has contributed her expertise to esteemed organizations, including Network 18 Media and Investment Ltd. Driven by her insatiable curiosity and love for journalism and mass communication, Nidhi pursued a Bachelor of Arts degree from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, graduating with distinction in 2021. During her college years, she discovered her passion for Video Journalism, showcasing her skills as a videographer for her institution. Nidhi's commitment to making a positive impact extends beyond her professional pursuits. Actively engaging in volunteer work, she has contributed to various events and initiatives throughout her academic career.

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