Chickens are amazing creatures with the ability to lay nutritious eggs of all different colors.
In the past chickens could only lay white eggs, but these days you can find chickens that produce a rainbow of egg colors.
From light blue, to pink, green, and even purple!
Do you want to add a chicken to your flock that can lay a chocolate or a pretty purple egg?
Below we have put together chicken egg colors charts to help you find your perfect breed.
Keep on reading to learn more about which breeds lay colorful eggs…
Related: What Color Eggs Can Chickens Lay?
Contents and Quick Navigation
- Chicken Egg Colors 101
- Chicken Egg Colors Chart
- By Most Popular Breed
- By Egg Color
- What Color Eggs Can Chickens Lay?
- Chocolate Brown
Chicken Egg Colors 101
All chicken eggs start out as white.
Next time you crack open a brown egg, take a look inside the shell – it will be white. This is because any color on an egg is deposited only on the outside of the shell.
As the egg travels through the hen’s reproductive tract the color is added to the shell.
The color is deposited onto the egg shell in the form of a pigment. The two main pigments we know of are protoporphyrin IX (brown) and oocyanin (blue). You may have chickens that lay green, pink, or even purple eggs, but all of these colors are some mix of protoporphyrin IX and oocyanin on top of a white egg.
Blue eggs, for example, only have oocyanin deposited on them, while brown eggs only have protoporphyrin IX.
The shade of these colors will vary depending on the number of pigment layers.
A tinted egg will only have a few thin layers of color, whereas more layers of a single pigment will darken the color.
Lots of chickens naturally produce protoporphyrin IX, but this is not the case for blue eggs.
Blue eggs were introduced through the spread of an infectious retrovirus that permanently altered some breeds’ DNA. Not to worry though; blue eggs are completely safe to eat.
This retrovirus simply changed the egg pigmentation.
You may have heard of the Araucana and the Ameraucana before; both of these breeds were affected by this retrovirus and now have the oocyanin pigment naturally.
Chicken Egg Colors Chart
By Most Popular Breed
|Breed||White Eggs||Brown Eggs||Chocolate Eggs||Blue Eggs||Green Eggs||Pink Eggs||Purple Eggs|
|Rhode Island Red||✓|
By Egg Color
|Chicken Egg Colors||Breeds|
|Blue||Ameraucana, Araucana, Cream Legbar, and Whiting True Blue|
|Brown||Australorp, Basque, Black Sex Link, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Brahma, Buckeye, Buff Orpington, Chantecler, Cherry Egger, Cinnamon Queen, Cochin, Columbian Wyandotte, Cornish Cross, Delaware, Dominique, Faverolles, Golden Comet, Golden Laced Wyandotte, Iowa Blue, ISA Brown, Java, Jersey Giant, Lavender Orpington, Light Brahma, Malay, New Hampshire, Oroloff, Orpington, Plymouth Rock, Red Ranger, Red Sex Link, Rhode Island Red, Shamo, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Speckled Sussex, Sussex, Turken (Naked Neck), White Rock, and Wyandotte|
|Chocolate Brown||Black Copper Maran, Barnvelder, Cuckoo Maran, and Welsummer|
|Green||Easter Eggers, Favaucana, Isbar, and Olive Eggers|
|Pink||Barred Rocks, Faverolles, Java, and Orpingtons|
|White||Altsteirer, Ancona, Andalusian, Appenzeller, Austra White, Ayam Cemani, Barbu d’Uccle, Booted Bantam, Brabanter, Breda, Bresse, Brown Leghorn, Campine, Catalana, Crevecoeur, Cubalaya, Derbyshire Redcap, Dorking, Dutch Bantam, Egyptian Fayoumi, Frizzle, Hamburg, Houdan, Icelandic, Jaerhon, Marsh Daisy, Minorca, Nankin, Old English Game, Onagadori, Pekin Bantam, Phoenix, Polish, Red Jungle Fowl, Sebright, Serama, Sicilian Buttercup, Silkie, Sultan, Sumatra, Swedish Black Hen, Swedish Flower Hen, Thuringian, Tomaru, Vorwerk, White Faced Black Spanish, White Leghorn, and Yokohama|
What Color Eggs Can Chickens Lay?
If you have had eggs before then it is almost guaranteed that you have cracked open a classic white egg.
Out of all the egg colors, white is by far the most common naturally.
It is also the easiest egg color origin to explain.
Unlike the other egg colors on this list, white eggs have no pigment. The pigment layering process simply does not occur in the oviducts of white egg laying hens. The eggs are white because they are mainly made up of calcium carbonate and calcium carbonate is a naturally white mineral.
After white eggs, brown eggs are the most common color.
The pigment protoporphyrin IX causes the brown egg shells.
Protoporphyrin IX is produced naturally by lots of chickens and is deposited on the egg as it travels through the oviduct. It is deposited onto the egg in multiple layers, as only a few layers will create a tinted egg rather than a fully brown one.
Brown eggs are considered to be more of a tan to medium brown color, as chocolate brown eggs are much rarer.
The chocolate brown egg color is rare in the world of poultry.
Not many chickens are capable of laying a chocolate brown egg, yet a chocolate brown egg can add so much color to your basket!
Marans are gaining in popularity and are prized for their chocolate brown eggs.
The chocolate brown color is still created by the layering of protoporphyrin IX over the white egg in the oviduct. Unlike regular brown eggs, there are more layers of the pigment than normal, and this causes the rich chocolate coloration.
Blue eggs have a very different origin story to white or brown eggs.
A retrovirus caused a genetic change within the chickens that caught it, and this meant chickens could now lay blue shelled eggs. This change occurred with the mutation of the chickens’ chromosome 1, with the dominant oocyan allele taking the place of the previous, non-blue allele.
Oocyan is also the name of the pigment that causes the blue coloration on eggshells.
This pigment process occurs in the same way as with a brown egg, except oocyan replaces the protoporphyrin IX.
Green, or olive, eggs are beautiful.
You can find green eggs in two shades, the green itself which tends to align closely with blue eggs as they are both a light pastel shade, and olive.
The olive shade is more of a mossy green that is much darker.
Both green eggs are made by chickens who contain a genetic disposition for both protoporphyrin IX and oocyan.
When the time comes to add pigment onto the shell, both protoporphyrin IX and oocyan are layered onto the white egg. This combination creates a lovely green color. The less protoporphyrin IX, the lighter the green will be.
Pink eggs are one of the rarest egg colors around!
They are only laid by chickens that traditionally lay cream eggs. You may have noticed that there is no mention of cream eggs on this list, that is because cream is incredibly close to white in color and falls under the white egg category.
Unlike the other chicken egg colors we have talked about so far, the pink color is not caused by pigment.
Instead, pink eggs are created by the cuticle of the egg only being created 4-6 hours before the egg is laid – this is considered late.
The thickness of the bloom will decide how pink the egg will be. The thicker the bloom the pinker the egg.
Purple or plum chicken eggs are very similar to pink eggs, but are even rarer.
Although there are several breeds that can lay pink eggs, there are almost no breeds with the ability to consistently lay purple eggs.
Purple eggs are created due to the cuticle being applied late during the egg formation process.
Unlike the pink egg, however, pigment is involved. Purple eggs can only be laid by chickens who traditionally lay brown eggs. This means that any chicken with a genetic disposition for protoporphyrin IX can lay a purple egg.
The shade of purple will depend on how thick the bloom is. The thicker the bloom, the darker the purple.
When asked to think of chickens, it is likely that you will think of eggs as well. The two go hand in hand. Eggs have enabled us to integrate chickens into our history via agriculture.
As backyard chicken keepers today, we have it easy when it comes to finding the right breed to get the eggs we want.
Whether you want a chocolate colored egg, or a pretty pink egg, there is always a breed out there for everyone.
Just remember that there is much more to each breed than their egg color.
Make sure to do plenty of research on the breed you are interested in. Different chickens suit different types of people, environments, and levels of care.
There will always be a breed that is just right for you, it is just a matter of finding them.
Did you learn something new about egg colors today?
Let us know in the comments section below…
Some of the most popular crosses are called Easter Egger or Olive Egger chickens. Easter Eggers can lay a variety of egg colors, from blue to green and sometimes even pink. Olive Eggers are aptly named for the olive-colored eggs they lay and are a result of crossing brown egg layers with blue egg layers.What kind of chicken lays green and blue eggs? ›
Some of the most popular crosses are called Easter Egger or Olive Egger chickens. Easter Eggers can lay a variety of egg colors, from blue to green and sometimes even pink. Olive Eggers are aptly named for the olive-colored eggs they lay and are a result of crossing brown egg layers with blue egg layers.Which chicken lays a purple egg? ›
“A Chilean Tinamou is a chicken-like bird that lays a dark (and very shiny) purple egg. They are not actually a chicken though, but some people do keep them as part of their backyard flock.What are the different colors of eggs? ›
While most eggs are white or brown, they also come in colors like cream, pink, blue and green. In addition — and this is no “yolk” — some are even speckled.What are the rarest chicken egg colors? ›
When it comes to the different eggshell colors available, green eggs are perhaps the rarest. Only a few breeds lay green eggs, and many of them are newer to the chicken world as they're crosses between top egg layers, like Leghorns and Ameraucanas.What is purple eggs? ›
All eggs that appear purple are because of a bloom that the chicken creates that surrounds the shell. This purple tint can be washed off. Interestingly enough, the chicken may lay purple eggs one day, but revert back to brown on another day.What chickens lay turquoise eggs? ›
There are predominantly three breeds of chickens that lay blue eggs | the Ameraucana, the Araucana and the Easter Egger.What chickens lay Rainbow eggs? ›
An Easter Egger is literally just a mutt, but they're fabulous birds,” Torres says. Friendly, smart, cold- and heat-hardy, they lay well in the winter, with colorful eggs that range from blue, green, rose or brown to sage, olive or cream.
Purple eggs are created due to the cuticle being applied late during the egg formation process. Unlike the pink egg, however, pigment is involved. Purple eggs can only be laid by chickens who traditionally lay brown eggs. This means that any chicken with a genetic disposition for protoporphyrin IX can lay a purple egg.What color eggs are the most expensive? ›
Brown and white eggs are nutritionally identical. The only reason brown eggs cost more is because all that brown pigment takes more food – and more money – to produce.
The fact is that there is no chicken breed that lays black eggs. So if someone online tries to sell you a black egg at great cost, or if you see an image of a fresh black egg anywhere, rest assured - it was not laid by a chicken!What chicken lays pink eggs? ›
Light Sussex, Mottled Javas, Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Silkies, and Faverolles all lay a pinkish-cream egg. As noted above, some Easter Eggers will also lay cream or pink eggs, while others will lay green or bluish eggs.
According to Michigan State University Extension, egg color is determined by the genetics of the hens. The breed of the hen will indicate what color eggs she will produce. For example, Leghorn chickens lay white eggs while Orpington's lay brown eggs and Ameraucana produce blue eggs.Why are my chicken eggs blue? ›
There are three breeds that lay blue eggs: Ameraucanas, Araucanas and Cream Legbars. The blue color is created by oocyanin, which is applied early in the laying process. The blue pigment goes right through the shell, unlike the brown pigment.Are blue eggs healthier? ›
The color of an egg shell has influence on people's buying choices. Some believe that brown, green, blue, or pink eggs are healthier than white chicken eggs. The truth is, there is no nutritional difference between colorful chicken eggs and white chicken eggs.What is a rainbow egg? ›
These very attractive hens have black plumage with gold markings on the neck and chest. The amount of markings will vary from hen to hen within the breed. The iridescent black feathers have a stunning green sheen in the sunlight. They are very calm hens who will reward you with lots of lovely eggs.What are heirloom colored eggs? ›
We call them heirloom eggs because they harken back to more traditional ways of farming. These eggs come from unique, traditional hen breeds rather than the brown and white hens normally seen in commercial egg farms. They have beautiful natural variation in color including white, brown, gray, black, and spotted.What color eggs do cinnamon queens lay? ›
Cinnamon Queen hens will begin laying at an earlier age than most other breeds, and they are excellent layers of large, brown eggs.What color are jubilee eggs? ›
Their eggs are cream to light brown – which is a lighter egg coloring than most Orpingtons. The size of the egg is medium to large. They also have good egg productivity and would reward you with 150+ eggs per year.What color are Easter Egger eggs? ›
Easter Eggers can lay multiple different egg colors such as blue, green, white, pink, tan or dark brown eggs. But one thing to keep in mind, the color eggs one chicken lays will stay that same color throughout her lifetime. Their egg colors don't change.
Ameraucanas lay blue eggs. Other traits include a pea comb, white skin, full tails, muffs and beards (always together), and slate or black legs; they have no ear tufts.How many different colored eggs are there that chickens lay? ›
What color eggs can they lay and how did the shell get to be that color? Everyone knows there are three common chicken egg colors (white, brown and blue). However, there are also another 4 unique colors that chicken eggs can be.What chicken lays copper colored eggs? ›
They are also called French Black Copper Marans. James Bond was said to eat only Marans eggs. The breed was named Marans after the French town they come from, so even a single chicken is known as a Marans. Sometimes Black Copper Marans eggs come out a speckled color.Is there a bird that lays purple eggs? ›
For example, the glossy eggs of the tinamou family—from the reddish-purple egg of the Red-winged Tinamou to the emerald green of the Elegant Crested-Tinamou—give off a high-wattage shine. The Guira Cuckoo's egg is a wonder.What color eggs do Olive Eggers lay? ›
The phrase “Olive Egger” refers to a chicken that lays green colored eggs. This can be achieved by combining two breeds of chickens, one that carries a blue egg laying gene, and another that carries a brown egg laying gene. Put those two together and ta da you have beautiful green eggs!What is a starlight green Egger? ›
Starlight Green Egger™
This breed was created by crossing the Prairie Bluebell Egger™ with a brown egg layer, the result is a chicken breed that lays high quantities of only green eggs.
Deep red yolk
These yolks come from chickens that are feeding on lots of dark red pepper or anatto seeds.
Marans are best known for their beautiful, dark brown eggs — the darkest brown of any chicken egg. Those that want a colorful egg basket usually seek out this breed. The Marans breed was developed in the late 1800s in the port town of Marans, France. These are calm birds that adapt to confinement well.What color eggs do lavender Orpingtons lay? ›
One great reason to consider Lavender Orpingtons is their eggs. Hens are moderate to heavy layers of large light brown, pink-tinted eggs. Average is about 200 eggs per year.
Chickens that Lay Speckled Eggs
Some of the breeds that are most likely to produce speckled eggs are the aforementioned Marans (specifically Cuckoo Marans), Barnevelder, Penedeseneca, any of the Easter Egger breeds, and Welsummers.
Features you may find in Easter Eggers include muffs, beards, slate/green/blue legs, feathered legs, or pea combs, or they might be rumpless. Color patterns range across the board from black to white, buff to partridge, splash, blue, lacing, and on and on!Do Ameraucana chickens lay green eggs? ›
Ameraucana hens lay pastel blue-green eggs. This is 'Wheaten;" they also come as 'White," "Blue" and other colors.What kind of bird lays green eggs? ›
Though they look fearsome, cassowaries are shy animals that eat mostly fruit. This egg's green tint is actually a clue to where—and how—the cassowaries nest, and as you may have guessed, it's not up a tree.What is a sapphire olive Egger? ›
Sapphire Olive Eggers are a new hybrid breed to us this. year that is unique in the feathered tuft on their heads. and lays olive colored eggs that are sure to be a great. addition to your egg basket.How do you tell what color eggs an Easter Egger will lay? ›
Easter Eggers can lay multiple different egg colors such as blue, green, white, pink, tan or dark brown eggs. But one thing to keep in mind, the color eggs one chicken lays will stay that same color throughout her lifetime. Their egg colors don't change.What is the difference between an olive Egger and an Easter Egger? ›
What's the difference between an Easter Egger and an Olive Egger? Olive Egger is an Easter Egger produced by crossing a dark brown egg-laying breed like Marans and Welsummers with blue egg layers like Ameraucanas, Araucanas, and Easter Eggers.What is the most common Easter Egger egg color? ›
It's no surprise that the most popular breed for laying springy green eggs is aptly named the Easter Egger. Their eggs tend to be extra large and can range in color from teal, to green, and even light pink! These chickens make great family pets due to their cuddly nature and tolerance of small children.
Like all other eggs, a Marans egg starts out white. Then during the laying process, the hen deposits brown pigment onto the surface, making the egg that nice deep chocolate brown color.What bird egg is light blue greenish? ›
Thrush eggs are light blue or bluish-green and speckled with small dark spots, usually at the bigger end of the egg. This color and pattern varies between thrush species. Some species do not have spots on their eggs. Thrushes lay about two to six eggs in at least one brood per year and sometimes two.What bird lays blue eggs? ›
The most common species known for laying blue eggs are Blue Jays, American Robin Birds, Starlings, Red-winged Blackbirds, Dunnocks, Blue-footed Booby, House Finches, Common Myna, Magpie, Emus, Snowy Egrets, Great Tinamou, to name a few.
“With just two mutations, a Japanese Quail, which lays beige eggs with brown speckles, can start laying plain blue eggs,” Hauber says. “So, it's really easy to genetically regulate metabolic pathways to start laying different colored eggs.”What is a rainbow Egger? ›
The Easter Egger is a much loved hybrid chicken. They are extremely popular because you are never quite sure what you are going to get in the way of plumage or egg color. As their nickname Rainbow layers suggests they are layers of eggs with colored shells.What is a cherry Egger? ›
Cherry Egger chickens are a Rhode Island Red breed. We pick out some of the darker reds and ship them to you. They are good egg laying production chicken which will lay large brown eggs and one of the best chickens for backyards. They are well known for best chickens for eggs and kids.