Top 10 Chicken Breeds for Colorful Egg Production
An introduction to the colorful world of chicken eggs
In recent years, colorful eggs have become popular among consumers. There has been a boom in demand for blue, green, tan, and chocolate colored eggs in addition to the commonly seen brown and white eggs.
There are several chicken breeds that have been bred to lay colored eggs, and adding these to your flock is a great ways to increase your farm’s profitability.
We've compiled a list of ten chicken breeds that produce colorful eggs so you can find one that fits your needs:
Ameraucana The Ameraucana is a dual-purpose breed that lays blue and green eggs. It's a good choice for backyard flocks, as the birds are calm and friendly, making them ideal pets. The hens lay up to 300 eggs per year. Ameraucanas were developed in the United States fairly recently in the 1970s. There are several color varieties of this breed, including Black, Lavender, Blue, and Wheaten. They have a beard and muffs that give them the appearance of having a “chipmunk face.” This breed is very popular among backyard poultry enthusiasts and breeders. Their beautiful blue eggs are beloved by consumers and they are easy to care for, making them ideal for beginner chicken owners. They are known to be in the middle of the pecking order and are sociable with other chickens in their flock. Overall, the Ameraucana is one of the most popular layers of colorful eggs out there. They are easy to procure, and make a wonderful addition to any flock.
Araucana The Araucana chicken is another excellent layer of blue eggs. In fact, these birds are the reason that blue eggs are so popular among consumers today. Although their name is often confused with the Ameraucana, they are a separate breed. They are much rarer than their blue-egg-laying counterpart, though, and are somewhat difficult to find in the United States. This beautiful breed of chicken originated in Chile, and was imported to the U.S. in the 1930s. It wasn’t until the past ten or so years that they rose in popularity. This breed is rumpless, meaning that they have no tail feathers. They have tufts of feathers that grow out from under their ears, giving them a comical appearance. They come in several different colors, including white, red, black, and golden duck wing. Araucanas are only used for egg production, as their meat is not high quality. They lay medium-sized blue eggs at a rate of about three per week. However, they will stop laying during the winter. When it comes to their temperament, they are known to be friendly, sociable birds.
Easter Egger The Easter Egger is a hybrid chicken that lays large, colorful eggs. This breed can be friendly and docile, making it a good choice for children or first-time chicken owners. They produce about four eggs per week, and will very rarely go broody. The Easter Egger also makes an excellent forager, so if you want to let your flock free range and scratch around for their own food in the yard, this breed will likely do well at it. They're hardy and resistant to disease as well. Although they are mainly used for egg production, they do well as a dual-purpose breed. They were created fairly recently by crossing Araucanas and Ameraucanas with other breeds. The only downside? Because they're hybrids (the offspring of two different breeds), there's no way to guarantee what color eggs your hens will lay — but we'll take variety any day!
Marans Marans are a breed of chicken that originated in France. They are known for being very friendly and docile, making them an excellent choice for children to interact with. Marans produce large dark brown eggs, which are rich in flavor and perfect for baking pastries and breads. However, it should be noted that Marans do not lay their eggs as consistently during the winter months when compared to other breeds. This breed can be used for both egg and meat production. You can find Marans chickens in many different colors, but the most popular are the Black Copper Marans and the Cuckoo Marans. The French variety of Marans have feathered legs, which require some extra care to keep them clean. Although Marans are known for their very dark, almost chocolate-colored eggs, this is generally only true for the first few years of their life. As time goes on, their eggs will become lighter in color.
Cream Legbar The Cream Legbar is the third type of chicken that is known for laying blue eggs. It was bred into existence in the 1930s by crossing the Araucana with the Gold Penciled Hamburg chicken. By the 1970s, their popularity had declined and they were nearly extinct, but luckily they made a comeback and are now a popular breed for backyard chicken owners and homesteaders. This breed will produce around 230 medium-sized blue eggs each year. Their level of broodiness depends on the strain. They are known to be predator-savvy and are excellent foragers. This means they excel as free range chickens. They are also friendly and are easy to care for and handle, making them ideal for beginners. The plumage of these birds is a combination of cream and grey barring.
Penedesenca Much like the Marans chicken, the Penedesenca is known for laying dark brown eggs. They originated in the Catalonia district of Spain as a local breed. They gained popularity in the 1980s and were imported to other countries, including the United States. The Penedesenca is a dual-purpose breed, meaning that they can be raised for both meat and egg production. Hens will lay around 200 dark reddish-brown eggs per year. They do tend to go broody, which can interrupt their egg production. They do best as a free range bird, and thrive in both hot and cold climates. You can find this breed in four different color varieties: Partridge, Wheaten, Black, and Crele. If you’re looking for a pet chicken, this is not the breed for you. They are known to be flighty and roosters may become aggressive toward humans, especially during mating season.
Olive Egger The Olive Egger is unique because they lay green eggs! They are a cross between a blue egg laying chicken and a brown egg laying chicken. The first generation of their offspring will produce beautiful olive-green eggs. However, if you breed that first generation, only 50 percent of the resulting chicks will end up laying green eggs. This is a great chicken to add to your flock if you want to add a unique color to your egg basket. Hens are good producers of eggs and will lay around 200 medium-large eggs each year. They do not tend to be broody, which is good news if you don’t plan on hatching and raising chicks on your farm.
Barnevelder The Barnevelder is a fairly new breed of chicken that hails from the Netherlands. They are a dual-purpose breed that produces stunning chocolate-colored eggs. These birds have brown plumage with double black lacing, giving them a striking appearance. The feathers on their necks are black with no patterning. Though this is the most common color, there are several other varieties available, including double laced blue and chamois. Hens will lay between three and four large, dark brown eggs per week. They will occasionally be speckled. They also continue to lay through the winter, which makes them popular with chicken owners who live in colder climates. Barnevelder hens are not known to be broody, and are said to be calm and gentle.
Welsummer Like the Barnevelder, the Welsummer also originated in the Netherlands within the last century. They are popular in the United Kingdom and Australia, and are slowly gaining a following in the United States. This dual-purpose bird has a combination of dark and light brown feathers. The roosters have lustrous beetle green feathers on their chest and sickles. This breed is calm and friendly, making them ideal for beginner chicken owners. They do well as free range chickens, as they are excellent foragers. However, they can be a bit noisy, so they may not be the best option if you live close to neighbors. Welsummer hens will lay around 200 eggs each year. Their eggs are a dark brown that will sometimes have dark speckles on them. They are not broody and make poor mothers. Their egg production also decreases in the wintertime.
Whiting True Blue The Whiting True Blue is the last major breed of chicken that lays blue eggs. They are a recent addition to the poultry world, and were created in Colorado by a fly fishing enthusiast. He crossbred White Leghorns and Ameraucanas to create the Whiting True Blue that we know today. Hens of this breed will lay between 250 and 300 large blue eggs each year, making them prolific egg producers. They are not prone to going broody. This breed is dual-purpose and can also be used for meat production. You can find the Whiting True Blue is several different color varieties, including Blue Wheaten, Black, and Silver Blue. They are easy to care for and are fairly self-sufficient. They excel as free range birds and are a great choice for beginners. However, they do not make the best pets; they are not very fond of humans or being handled. Their eggs are truly blue, meaning that they are blue on the exterior and interior of the egg shell. Due to their high egg production, they should be fed a high protein diet.
From blue to chocolate brown to olive green eggs, there are many different colors of eggs that you can add to your egg basket. If you’re looking to add some variety to your flock, check out one of the breeds we listed above!
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