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Why Are Chicken Eggs Different Colors?


Chicken eggs come in different colors, depending on the breed of the bird. That’s because as the eggs travel through the oviduct, they are exposed to different pigment deposits. The nature of the deposits vary according to the species. Note, however, that the color of the shell has nothing to do with the flavor of the egg. It is impossible to distinguish the breed of the chicken simply by eating the egg. For all intents and purposes, the eggs themselves are identical even if the shells don’t look alike.


Chicken eggs come in three different colors. The most common ones are white and brown (some breeds have darker shades of brown, while others are a light, almost cappuccino like cream). One breed of chicken called Aracuana, which is native to the country of Chile, lays gorgeous blue or green eggs. Enterprising breeders have also cross-bred different types of chickens to create “easter egg” chicken, which lays eggs of varied shades.


Experts believe that chicken eggs were once all brown. The white eggs were created by cross-breeding chickens until they lay very light colored eggs. These breeds include Andalusians and Dorkkings, as well as Leghorns and Faverolles. Brown eggs have increased in popularity recently and are produced by Rhode Island Reds, Jersey Giants, Orpingtons and Delawares.


Farmers have noticed that chickens who have white colored ear lobes tend to produce white eggs, while those with red ear lobes tend to produce brown eggs. However there are cases when this “rule” is broken.

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