One egg Two egg, green egg blue egg….You know about the white eggs and of course brown eggs…but then there’s all those other shades and tints of brown…and then there’s those pretty blue and green eggs. Well we all know chocolate milk comes from brown cows, and brown eggs come from brown or black chickens…but those blue and green ones…hmmm. Ok, I kidded around on that last statement😉 But just how do blue and green eggs get their color?
I’m glad you asked! All chicken eggs start out with white shells, which are primarily made of calcium carbonate. It doesn’t matter what breed the chicken is, all eggs start out white. There are specific breeds which do lay white eggs only, some familiar ones are the Leghorns ya always see a lot of and which are the primary in the commercial egg industry. White eggs were the more popular and then brown ones started showing up along with the perception that they were healthier and fresher, which neither one of those are true, along with that of green eggs being lower cholesterol, again not true.
There are breeds that do lay brown eggs, some of these are Brahmas, Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, to name a few. These chickens possess brown pigment genes which actually does apply a brown “dye’ to the eggshell…all natural and done by the hen herself🙂. Since egg production and laying is a 26 hour process, this color is applied fairly late in the process, like around 4-6 hours. The inside of the eggshell will remain white since the brown “dye” doesn’t penetrate the shell.
A little different twist on this is with blue eggs. Breeds such as Ameraucanas. Their eggs go through the same process with the exception that the blue color is created by oocyanin, which is applied early in the laying process. This blue pigment does penetrate the shell so this is blue inside and out.
Green egg layers like Easter Eggers, Olive Eggers and even the new Green Queens are a cross of brown and blue egg laying chickens. These chickens possess both the brown and blue genes. Interestingly, these eggs are green on the outside (by mixing the blue and brown) and blue on the inside.
There are varying shades of browns and greens and this is mostly dictated by the laying breed. For instance, Marans will lay a super dark chocolate egg sometimes even a copper color, while Faverolles or Light Sussex can lay really light brown, almost a slight pink or cream color egg.
I find it fun to have a colorful egg basket. My logo is actually designed by laying some of my colorful eggs (at that time, I’ve added different since) on a rustic charger and adding a few other little details. Currently our chickens are made up of varying browns, blues and greens and my spring chicks on order will add even more interesting colors to the mix with hues of sage, olive and aqua and I also added a white egg layer, well just because. I find all these facts and egg colors so interesting and it never gets old to look in the nesting box and find the treasures my girls have left behind🥰. Each night as I close their coop doors I say “goodnight ladies and thank you for your eggs” and of course I always add “goodnight Ricky” to our sometimes a bit of a 💩 rooster, after all he really does an amazing job of protecting all of his ladies!
Thanks for reading my blog, I invite your comments and I personally will read and answer each one. Pass these on to others who may enjoy them and follow me on Instagram. Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you’re up to:) …Cindy