Do you ever wonder why different chicken breeds lay different colored eggs or why egg yolks vary in color?
Chicken eggs vary in color depending on the breed of chicken, and colors you might see in your nests include white, cream, brown, pink, blue, and green. Although there is a preference in our society for white, and maybe brown eggs, the color of the eggshell does not relate in any way to the quality of the egg inside or its nutritional value.
One method of determining what color eggs your chickens will lay is actually to look at their earlobes. If your chickens have white ear lobes, they will lay white eggs. If they have red ear lobes, they will lay brown eggs. But what about blue or green or pink eggs? Here’s an eggshell chart that includes some of the most common chicken breeds:
Ameracauna: blue to blue-green, medium to large
Ancona: white to cream, small to large
Australorp: brown, medium to large
White Leghorn: white, extra large
Naked Neck Turken: light brown, medium to large
New Hampshire: light, medium or dark brown, large
Orpington: brown, large to extra large
Plymouth Rock: light to medium brown, large to extra large
Rhode Island: medium brown, large to extra large
Silkie Bantam: light pink, small
Wyandotte: light, medium, or dark brown, large to extra large
While the eggshell color has everything to do with your chickens’ breed, the color of the yolk has everything to do with what your chickens eat. If you raise your own chickens or have bought free range chicken eggs, you probably know that the yolks from free range or backyard chicken eggs are much darker than standard supermarket eggs. This is because chickens that are allowed to free range eat a wider variety of plants and grubs. As a result, the egg yolks are not only darker, but healthier, too. Eggs from free range chickens have less cholesterol, more omega-3 fatty acids, and more vitamin A and E than eggs with paler yolks. Want darker egg yolks? Feed your chickens less cornmeal, wheat, and barley, and start letting them forage for grass and grubs!
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