Each breed of chicken lays a slightly different color egg and you can’t always tell by looking at her what colors you will find in your egg basket. Here we’ll show you a huge range of egg pictures with breed labels so you can decide exactly what hens you want!
What Chicken Laid That Color Egg? Chicken Egg Colors by Breed
I love when people photograph the various colored eggs they get and then label the eggs in the image by breed!
Eggs by Breed in the Image Above:
- Prairie Bluebell (Hoover’s Hatchery)
- Whiting True Blue (Murray McMurray Hatchery)
- Easter Egger – Sea Glass Blue Layer (Hoover’s)
- Easter Egger – Speckled Peach Layer (Hoover’s)
- Green Bright Layer
- Easter Egger – Sage Green Layer (Hoover’s)
- Welsummer with genetic pigmentation issues (Hoover’s)
- Welsummer (Hoover’s)
- Whiting True Green (McMurray) – both eggs in nest
Easter Eggers lay Colored Eggs
Easter Eggers are technically a mixed breed, having some Araucana genes somewhere in their parentage. They are only bred for egg color, not appearance, so Easter egger chicks can be all different colors. White, gray, brown, black, speckled or not, every feather color exists among the breed and all the chicks look different, too.
How to Tell if Your Easter Egger Hen will Lay a Colored Egg
The blue egg gene (which gives us blue & green eggs) is linked to the same gene that gives chickens a pea comb. If your pullet has a pea comb and the classic gray-green colored legs, there is a higher chance of her laying a blue, green or olive egg.
Blue vs. Blue – Who Lays the Bluest Egg?
I have blue Easter Eggers, Prairie Bluebells and Whiting True Blues in my flock. Here is a picture of their eggs taken November 2020 in cool afternoon shade on a sunny fall day. I used Photoshop to add the labels to each egg but did not change the egg colors.
Different Breeds Lay a Variety of Egg Shade Ranges
My first three Easter Eggers all came from the same hatchery and were born on the same day. One laid a gorgeous, pale blue sea glass colored egg. One laid a green egg. The last laid a peachy colored light brown egg with brown speckles. All three had green-gray legs but my gray feathered Easter Egger that lays the peach eggs has a larger comb that looks like a pea/rose comb cross. (That was my first clue she might not be carrying the blue egg gene and instead seems to be carrying white and brown egg genes.)
A Rainbow of Green Shades
Green eggs are beautiful, especially when you have a rainbow of earthy, herbal shades in one carton. Crossing vibrant blue layer roosters, such as Whiting True Blue, with cream laying Americanas can produce brighter green eggs, such as our Bright Layers. Hens that lay eggs with a heavy bloom can produce grayish eggs (green + heavy bloom) or lavender eggs (light brown + heavy bloom).
Rarest of all are olive eggs with a heavy bloom, which are fully gray in real life; the dark green underneath masked completely by the whitish overlaid bloom.
Olive Eggers: A Rainbow of Beautiful Egg Colors
Olive eggers are produced by breeding a blue egg layer with a dark brown egg layer. Each hen will lay a different shade of green or olive. The deepest olive eggs are bred using French Copper Marans who hatch from the darkest chocolate eggs possible.
Speckled Seafoam layers happen when a hen receives two copies of the blue egg gene in addition to genes for a lightly tinted bloom that is deposited over the shell. The resulting egg is not pure blue but neither is it green. It is something in between.
Every Breed and Each Individual is Different
Within a breed you can have each hen lay a different shade of brown egg. As I have collected some eggs for incubating and hatching, I’ve noticed my three Buff Orpingtons all lay eggs that are slightly different in shade. It is subtle but present. The same happens among my purebred Blue Marans hens.
The Egg Colors Do Not Change
A hen that lays a green egg will always lay a green egg. All of the colors in my egg basket come from having that many different individual hens. The only exception to this rule is that first eggs can be lighter in color and then darken over the next couple of lays (many dual purpose brown layers). Dark brown layers tend to lay first eggs darker in color which lighten as the hen continues laying (Marans and some colored egg layers).
but sometimes The Egg Colors Do Actually Change!
Strangely enough, some blue layers can actually lay a blue-green tinted egg at first. The bloom deposited over her first few eggs may be tinged brown ever so slightly as her body begins to produce. This seems to fade by egg number ten to a clear bloom over a bright blue egg. It can be upsetting to have a guaranteed “blue” laying hen start laying light green eggs. Six times I have had this happen – both with Prairie Bluebells and Whiting True Blues – and all six times the hen will clear and begin laying bright blue eggs. (I now actively try to breed for that vibrant turquoise bluey green color some blue egg layers initially lay but it is tricky to achieve!)
Seasonal Egg Color Variations
In the spring months hens will lay darker or more vibrant eggs which lighten considerably in the heat of summer. Speckles seem to be most prominent in the fall as the weather cools for reasons I do not understand. Occasionally faint speckles will re-appear throughout the year after the hen has had a skip day and then resumes laying. Speckling occurs when the egg turns more slowly in the shell gland but I’m not sure how temperatures affect it.
And Sometimes You Get a Wonderfully Weird Layer!
Every once in a while you’ll get a really special hen that lays a very unique, unexpected egg. Whether from a hatchery or a breeder, she is sure to add interest to your egg carton!
Chicken Egg Colors By Breed: Helpful Infographics
If you want chicks guaranteed to lay a certain Egg color
Click the image to view a list (with pictures!) of which hatcheries offer the best and most beautiful colored egg layer chicks!