chicken keeping · Homesteading

Eggs… Which came First??

Not sure and we could go around and around on that one.

I posted an article about my hens and how they laid a green egg, and a friend commented with a question about the variety of colors of eggs.

God’s creation is amazing in its variety of colors and sizes when it comes to eggs.  I have seen, in my own flock, everything from my green eggs from the Americaunas to the white and shades of brown eggs the rest of the girls lay.  In pictures, I have seen olive, blue and chocolate colored eggs.img_0119

Why is that?

Well, apparently, all eggs start out white.  It isn’t until they are in the oviduct for the last 4-6 hours that they turn to the color they will be.  And that totally depends on genetics.  According to this article from Monett Farms,

 More so than feather color, it is actually the color of the earlobes — sounds silly, but most chickens have earlobes — that will indicate shell color. Chickens with white earlobes generally lay white eggs, while chicken with red earlobes lay brown eggs.

And then this

There are some indications that there may also be a correlation between the origin of the species and the egg shell color. Mostly speaking, chickens of Asian descent lay brown eggs, Mediterranean chickens lay white eggs and South American chickens lay blue/green eggs.

According to an article from Fresh Eggs Daily, the pigments that a hen carries in her genetics is what determines the colors of the eggs.  Feel free to click the link to see her awesome pictures of the variety of colors of chicken eggs there are.  I had no idea that there were actually PINK eggs!!!

Brown eggs result from porphyrins (basically dye/pigment) being deposited on the eggshell during the final stage of the laying process. The porphyrins are derived from hemoglobins in the chickens’ blood and are breed specific. If you happen to be there as an egg is being laid, it will be wet and you can actually scrape some of the brown color off with your finger.

Different breeds have different amounts or shades of the pigment which accounts for Buff Orpingtons laying pale brown eggs, while Marans lay dark chocolate brown eggs. While the egg color is determined by breed and genetics within the breed, there are a few things you can do to ensure the darkest egg color.

The hens that lay blue eggs actually use a different chemical which is apparently released earlier in the process which causes the white egg to turn completely blue.  When you crack open a brown egg, the inside of the shell is still white.  But when you crack open a blue egg, it is blue inside and out.

Different breeds lay different colors of eggs.  Some of the reason I have so many different kinds of hens is that I love the different colors of eggs.  It never ceases to amaze me though, the way the hens’ bodies work to create such a beautiful work of art!

Thank you Lord for such an example of your creativity!!  Beautiful!




4 thoughts on “Eggs… Which came First??

  1. Very interesting, Vicki! Who knew? Tell me this, and pardon my ignorance. Do you go out each day to look for eggs? How soon do you refrigerate them? Is there a process for cleaning them before refrigerating them other than just washing them? 😀 I’m just a curious gal.


    1. I guess I could write a whole post just about those questions! At our house, I do go out everyday, sometimes twice a day to gather eggs. I do have to wash our eggs. Once they are washed they do need to be refrigerated. If you do not wash them, you can get away without refrigerating them.


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