Many people are surprised to see the rainbow of farm fresh chicken and eggs that we sell by the dozen from our farm.
Often they ask if we paint the eggs or dye than to give them their array of colors. As most people are used to either white or brown eggs that the uniform in color and shape and size, it is no surprise that having a blue or green makes things a little unusual.
The reason the grocery store bought eggs are all the same shape and size is because commercial layer hen strains have been bred to give a fairly uniform sized and shaped eggs. These are further sorted so only standard shapes, sizes and colors are sold in the store.
Years ago when people had their backyard flocks, even the brown eggs ranged in color from a pale cream all the way up to a speckled rich brown, people have forgotten that natural variation. Sometimes an individual hen will lay different shades of eggs at different times.
What make the colours so different?
The real variation in color comes from the ability of some hens to color the actual shell of their egg. The internal eggshell color can be white, brown or blue. This is the color of the inside the shell when you crack the egg open.
There is also another genetically controlled ability to put a brown coating on the outside of the egg as it is laid. This can turn a blue egg into a green or even an olive-green speckled egg. This outer coating is also what sets a speckled egg apart from a plain colored one.
Blue or Green eggs
The main chicken breeds known for laying a blue or green shelled eggs are
- Ameraucanas– These are a bearded, muffed pure coloured poultry breed that are rarer and lay blue eggs only
- Tufted Araucana – A very rare smaller rumpless chicken with ear tufts that lay blue eggs only
- Easter Eggers These are a common barnyard mix with Ameraucana blood and often bearded and come in many assorted colours
- Olive eggers – a cross between a dark chocolate egg layer and one of the above blue-green layers
Chocolate Brown Eggs
Some chicken breeds lay a dark brown egg almost as darkest chocolate. Other rare poultry breeds lay a similarly dark egg with a red terra-cotta tint to it. Some of these unusual egg dark brown eggs come from the French Maran’s chickens, the Penedesencas from Spain, and from Holland the Welsummer and Barnevelders.
There are many breeds that number up that lay a white colored eggs and also the medium brown colors so they are a lot easier to find.
Do they taste the same as brown or white store eggs?
Sometimes people ask if the rainbow eggs taste like other eggs. Nutritionally, eggs from free range hens fed on the same diet and have the same conditions that lay blue, brown or white eggs are all the same inside. Somewhere along the way, people started to believe the green eggs are lower cholesterol, but that is a myth.
They will taste and look the same with a nice orange yolk and lots of flavor. So my answer is usually, No ours taste way better! So do our brown and white ones. The colour of the inside of the egg will give you more idea of an egg’s flavor than the outside! Also, see how the dark orange yolk sits up higher the the flat store bought egg above which has a pretty dark yolk for a Candian store bought egg.
Rainbow Eggs for Rare Breed Hens by rarepoultrygifts