Almost everyone usually buys eggs at the supermarket with their eyes closed and not really paying attention to the eggs. The color of the egg is a good indication of the quality of the egg. Small variations in color of eggs can go so far as to inform you about the descent and genes of the chicken that laid the egg but only if you know where and how to look.
A lot of people are aware of the two basic colors of eggs, white and brown, but not many people are aware of the existence of blue, green or rose colored eggs. Yes, you heard right! BLUE, GREEN and ROSE colored eggs. Chickens of specific lineage lay these eggs. We hope this article informs you of the basics of what to look for in chickens as you are filling your coop.
Basically, there are two body types of chickens, Type-A birds and type-B birds. Type-A birds usually use their entire food intake for producing eggs, because of this they lay eggs in larger quantities then type-B birds.
They have lean bodies and shy attitudes, which makes it easy to identify them. Type-B birds on the other hand have a calm and collected personality. Type-B birds divert some of their food intake towards increasing their body-weight hence they don’t do so well in the quantity department.
Now that you know about the absolute basic types of chicken, it is now time to choose what colors you want your eggs to be. You can determine the color of your egg by choosing the right hen.
The formation of the egg takes approximately 26 hours. Let’s break this down into 2 parts. The first twenty hours are for the formation of the eggs themselves. In the last 5 to 6 hours, the color is added. All eggs, when formed, are white.
The eggs are sprayed with a pigment, giving them their color. There are many factors that can affect the color of the egg such as availability of shade and cold water or the presence of insects such as mites. Only specific chickens can lay the blue and brown eggs.
Types of Chicken That Lay Colorful Eggs
One of the species of chicken that lays blue eggs is the Araucanas. Their heads do not have the usual rumps or “red tails” that most chickend have, which makes it easy to identify them.
They often have tufts of feathers that hang by the side of their heads. Araucanas fall in the category of body type-B birds, so don’t be surprised if they don’t lay as many eggs as the other chickens you might have.
A true Araucana will always be without a rump. Not having tufts of feathers is no big deal but always be sure to check for the absence of a rump when buying an Araucana.
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Ameraucanas, not to be mistaken for Araucanas, have tails on their heads. They are a bit more common than the Araucanas and are usually different by not only being with a rump. They can also be identified by their blue or “slate” colored legs.
But like the Araucanas they also lay blue eggs and also have a type-B body. This is why they won’t run at the mere sight of you. The Ameraucanas have a medium size. This breed does not live well in warmer weather.
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An Easter egger chicken does not a have specific breeding standard rather it is a mix of different breeds. Many hatcheries mistakenly label their Easter egger chickens as Araucanas or true Ameraucanas.
These chickens are known for being friendly, smart and hardy. They obtain this reputation since they have a type-B body. They usually lay eggs in the winter with the colors of the eggs being either blue, green, rose, brown, sage, olive or cream.
Their eggs are larger than the average eggs you see and the average rate at which they lay eggs is 4 eggs per week.
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Another species of blue egg layers is the Cream Legbar. They have quite the interesting and long lineage. They were developed by cross breeding Barred Plymouth Rocks, Golden Leghorns and Araucanas.
The Araucanas aspect gives the cream Legbar a type-A body along with temperaments that come with it. The Cream Legbar is quite the popular choice according to many people since they are not too afraid of their surroundings.
Another big reason for their popularity is that they are quite active. These birds are excellent foragers. So even if you forget to feed them once in a while, you can rest assured that they will be alright. The cream Legbar has its origins in Great Britain.
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Marans lay some of the darkest colored brown eggs in the world. They are French breed that have a very calm attitude and a medium stature with a type-B body.Click To Tweet
But their small size can be deceptive since they can weigh about 7 to 8 pounds. Their feathered feet and the intensity of the brown color on their eggs makes them easy to identify. Let’s assume that on a scale of 0 to 9 with 0 being white and 9 being the darkest brown.
A Maran normally lays eggs that at least land on a 5 on the scale. Their eggs are quite large in size and come at a rate of about 3 eggs per week. Many desire the Marans breed due to the color of their eggs.
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These brown egg layers are considered one of the best all-rounders because of their ability to lay eggs in both hot and cold weather. The Welsummer has quite the unique eggs. In addition to their eggs being a dark brown color and large, the eggs also sport speckles on their shell.
These chickens are very good foragers, which means that you can save some money on the feed. The Welsummer chickens have nicely proportioned partridge patterns with the feathers on their necks being golden colored. The Welsummer chickens usually lay eggs at an average rate of 4 eggs per week and have a good tolerance for both hot and cold weather.
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The Penedesenca are quite famous for laying some of the darkest brown eggs in the world. Penedesenca are quite aware of their surroundings and have a type-A body.
Penedesenca are like pets, at first they will be quite shy of you and skittish but if you give them treats and show them love, overtime they will become more friendly and docile. The Penedesenca can be easily identified by their “king’s comb” which starts off as a single lobe on the top of their head and then branches off into several lobes.
Like most Mediterranean breeds, the Penedesenca chickens don’t like the colder climates because of their smaller body size and large combs. They lay eggs at an average rate of about 3 eggs per week.
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These cream colored egg layers are quite unique in their appearance and would definitely stand out to the casual observer. They have feathered feet and instead of the usual 4 toes like other chickens, the Faverolle have 5 toes.
Their different appearance doesn’t end there. They have large, snowy white chests while the feathers on their back are usually a nice light brown color. The Faverolle roosters are often the most gentle and calm roosters out of them all.
The Faverolle chickens are so docile that they are borderline submissive. Therefore, it’s best to keep them away from a mixed flock else they might end up at the bottom of the pecking order.
They are larger than most chickens and their thick feather layer makes them well-suited for colder climates. But this thick layer can also be their downfall if ever they find themselves in a hot climate.
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How to Improve Egg Quality
Just getting a specific chicken does not always guarantee the kind of result that you are looking for, but luckily there are ways to improve the quality of the eggs that the chickens produce through their feed.
The nutritional requirements of the chickens changes depending on whether they are laying eggs or molting. Providing a 20 percent protein level in their feed is usually a good idea. Their food levels out at about ¼ pound of feed per bird each day. Keep in mind that this value changes depending on the season.
In summer, most foragers tend to be more active and stay outside so they can find some food on their own. This is why it’s best to give them a little less feed in the summers. However, in the winter, the chickens tend to stay in their coops so they require a little more food than usual.
As mentioned above, the chickens tend to forage in the summer. So, as a result, sometimes the shell of their eggs becomes a little thin. Since eggs are mostly calcium you can provide your chickens with oyster shells. If they require it they will take it but if everything is okay then they will leave it.
When the chickens start to eat their own egg shells, it is usually an indicator that something is wrong with their diet and they might need some extra attention.
Chickens can easily turn this behavior into a habit which can be quite hard to break. So, if this happens to one of your chickens then the solution is to quickly collect the eggs as soon as your chicken lays them. Additionally,give the chicken a higher protein diet.
A lot of the problems with eggs usually are due to the environment that the chickens are living in. Such as the weather not being suitable for them or their living conditions are poor. It’s important that you prevent your chickens from becoming stressed to produce high quantity and good quality eggs.
To ensure chickens stay healthy and lay good quality eggs, they need a constant supply of fresh and clean water. Be sure to replace their water regularly, as chickens are not the most sanitary animals. A good chicken coop is the key to getting a good egg output, both quality-wise and quantity-wise.
Providing the chickens with nest boxes makes the coop spacious and not over crowded. It’ll also make it easier to find their eggs since they will be in one centralized location.
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