12 Chickens That Lay Colored Eggs: Blue, Green, Chocolate, and Pink!

12 Chickens That Lay Colored Eggs: Blue, Green, Chocolate, and Pink!

Every backyard flock owner dreams of raising chickens that lay colored eggs. Who doesn’t want a paint box of vibrant colors in your morning basket?

 

But first, you need hens that lay colored eggs – so you gotta know which breeds LAY colored eggs!

 

In this article, you’ll discover which chicken breeds lay:

  • Blue eggs
  • Green eggs
  • Dark brown eggs
  • Pink Eggs

 

We’ll also share where you can buy these types of chickens!

 

Chickens That Lay Blue Eggs

What Breed Of Chickens Lay Blue Eggs?

  • Araucana
  • Ameraucana
  • Cream Legbar
  • Easter Egger
  • Arkansas Blue

 

Did you know all eggs are either blue or white? You can read more about different colored eggs here

 

Araucana

This ancient breed is named after the Araucania region of Chile – where scientists say they evolved. Araucana chickens lay blue eggs and have an appearance unlike most other chickens – they grow tufts of feathers near their ears, called “peduncles.”

 

Araucanas also are “rumpless” (meaning they don’t have tails), so don’t expect your roosters to grow any long tail feathers.

 

Many people confuse Araucanas with Ameraucanas and Easter Eggers. They can look similar, but they’re different breeds with different egg laying abilities. You can read more about the difference between Ameraucana and Araucanas here:

 

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So if you want this type of chicken in your flock, go to a reliable breeder.

 

The hens lay about 200 beautiful blue eggs every year. You can learn more about Araucana chickens here.

 

Ameraucana

Wondering “what color eggs do ameraucana chickens lay?” Well, they’re blue! Ameraucanas were created by American researchers, who used Araucana bloodlines, but eliminated a lethal gene that kills a portion of chicks before they hatched. (Ameraucana is a conglomeration of the words “American” and “Araucana.”)

 

Like their Araucana foremothers, this breed lays blue eggs. They have a distinctive appearance with tufts of feathers, muffs, and a “beard” of feathers that makes their chicks look like balls of fluff. They also have a pea comb.

Ameraucana hens lay about 200 blue eggs a year, and they can be a light sky blue to almost green.

 

You can read more about Ameraucanas here.

 

Cream Legbar

Cream Legbars are a relatively new 20th century chicken breed that was created by researchers at Cambridge University. These scientists crossed Leghorns, Barred Plymouth Rocks, and Cambars with Araucanas to create a second type of blue egg layer that also eliminated the lethal Araucana gene.

 

These chickens have cream-colored feathers (hence the name Cream Legbar). They also look different from Ameraucanas, Araucanas, and Easter Eggers.

 

Cream Legbars hens lay about 200 blue or bluish green eggs annually.

 

Arkansas Blue

This is a relatively unknown breed that’s been developed by researchers in Arkansas. They’re not for sale currently. They don’t have muffs, tufts, or beards, however, they do have a pea comb and lay blue eggs.

 

Easter Egger

Many new backyard chicken owners have heard of Easter Eggers! They’re a very popular breed because they lay different colored eggs.

 

These hens lay about 250 eggs per year, and some do lay blue eggs. Unlike the chicken breeds previously mentioned, not all Easter Eggers will lay blue eggs.

 

In fact, this type of chicken is a hybrid – a cross between a blue egg layer (like Ameraucana) and a brown egg layer (like a Plymouth rock). An Easter Egger chicken can lay blue, green, brown, or pink eggs!

 

Each chicken only lays one color egg though. If you want blue eggs, it’s best to stick with Ameraucana, Araucanas, or Cream Legbars.

 

You can read more about Easter Eggers here.

 

What Chicken Lays The Bluest Eggs?

Araucana eggs are the bluest eggs known, and are caused by the oocyan gene. This breed evolved in Chile, and all other blue egg laying breeds are descended from Araucanas. The blue egg gene is a mutation caused by a retrovirus.

 

Chickens That Lay Green Eggs

What Breed Of Chickens Lay Green Eggs?

  • Easter Eggers
  • Olive Eggers
  • Isbars
  • Ice Cream Bars
  • Favaucanas

 

Easter Egger

As previously mentioned Easter Eggers can lay green colored eggs – however, it’s not guaranteed. The color of the eggs will depend on the genetics of the individual chicken. So, if you definitely want green eggs, then check out the breeds below.

 

Olive Egger

What chickens lay olive green eggs? Like other types of chickens mentioned on this list, Olive Eggers aren’t a true breed – they’re hybrids. BUT they lay great dark green eggs!

 

They’re a cross between a blue egg layer and a dark brown egg layer, and their eggs can range from dark green to a brownish green egg. One breed combination that makes an olive egger chicken is an Ameraucana hen and a Marans rooster.

 

The amount of eggs olive eggers lay depends on the individual bird (since they’re a hybrid) but you can usually expect about 200 eggs per year.

 

Isbar

Isbar (pronounced “ice bar”) is a Swedish breed developed in the mid-20th century by Martin Silverudd, who wanted to create an autosexing chicken breed that consistently laid colored eggs. (Autosexing means you can tell the sex of a chick as soon as it hatches).

 

This breed lays about 200 green colored eggs each year. You can buy Isbars at Greenfire Farms, among other breeders.

 

Ice Cream Bars

Ice Cream Bars are a cross between Isbars and Cream Legbars – and they lay green eggs! Many owners say their eggs are colored teal or blueish green – so it seems the actual shade depends on the individual hen.

 

Favaucana

Like the other chickens on this list, Favaucanas are a hybrid chicken (which isn’t bad – usually hybrids are healthier and friendly). They’re a breed sold on My Pet Chicken, and is created by crossing Favorelles with Amerauanas. They lay “sage green” eggs, and are said to have friendly personalities.

 

Chickens That Lay Dark Brown (Chocolate Eggs)

  • Barnvelder
  • Welsummer
  • Marans

Barnvelder

Barnvelders originate from the Barneveld region of Holland. They were developed about 200 years ago by crossing local Dutch chickens with breeds imported from Asia such as Cochins or Brahmas.

 

Barnevelders are beautiful birds – the hens display a black-and-white or buff-and-white “double laced” feathering, giving them a distinctive appearance. Roosters have blue and green tinged double lacing, with a single comb. They were included in the American Standard of Perfection in 1991.

 

Some unrecognized varieties are auto-sexing (meaning, you can tell the sex of the chick when it’s born). These types include:

  • Barred
  • Dark brown
  • Partridge
  • Chamois
  • Blue
  • Silver

 

Welsummer

Welsummers are intelligent and docile chickens that add nice, chocolate-brown eggs to any backyard flock. Like their name implies, they originated in Holland. They love to forage, and you can expect up to 200 eggs per year. You can buy Welsummers at any major hatchery.

 

Marans

Originating in the town of Marans, France, Marans eggs (particularly Black Copper Marans) are noted as the best in the world – in fact, some chefs will ONLY cook with Marans eggs!

 

While historically a dual purpose breed, many people now raise these chickens for its striking egg color and beautiful appearance.

 

Maran eggs are traditionally a deep chocolate brown color, although the exact color will depend on the individual bird. You can usually tell how dark a hen’s eggs will be after she lays 12 eggs (the first 12 might be darker than the remaining eggs she lays.)

 

What Breed Of Chickens Lay Pink Eggs?

Easter Egger eggs can sometimes be pink. However, this hybrid breed can also lay eggs of varying colors that range from blue, green, or brown. Take note that a hen will only lay one color of egg.

 

Easter Eggers are great for beginners because they lay consistently (about 250 eggs per year) – There is no standard for this chicken breed, and one chicken can look quite different from another.

 

Can A Chicken Lay Different Colored Eggs?

No, a hen will only produce one color of egg, and the tint of her eggshells is determined by her genetics. Unlike yolks, you cannot change the color of her eggs based on diet. That being said, if the hen is stressed, she might lay lighter eggs or weird looking eggshells. However, some breeds, like Easter Eggers, will produce hens that can each lay a different color egg (so one hen will lay blue eggs, one will lay green, etc).

 

Why Are My Chickens Eggs Getting Lighter In Color?

A decrease in pigmentation in the eggshell can be caused by a poor diet, stress, or age. Stress such as predators or heat stress can cause a lightening of the eggshell. Make sure your hens have plenty of protein and fresh water. To make sure her diet is right, feed your hen a good layer feed with 16% protein.

 

Do Different Color Eggs Taste Different?

No, eggs with different colors doesn’t taste any different than a regular white egg. The taste of an egg depends on the quality of the hen’s diet, not the color of the eggshell. You can read more about what to feed chickens for great tasting eggs here, what chickens eat here, and about alternative feeds for chickens here. For golden egg yolks, offer your flock herbs.

 

How Do You Tell What Color Egg A Chicken Will Lay?

You can tell by the breed of a chicken – Plymouth rock will lay brown eggs, for example. You can also look at the earlobes, although this isn’t much help determining the egg color of Easter Eggers or chickens when you don’t know the breed (some can lay brown eggs, some olive eggs, etc). Traditionally, hens with white earlobes will lay white eggs while hens with red earlobes will lay brown eggs. The exception is Silkies, which have blue earlobes, but lay white eggs.

 

Do Chicken Ears Determine Egg Color?

Chicken earlobes can be a determinant of their egg color. Traditionally, hens with white earlobes will lay white eggs while hens with red earlobes will lay brown eggs. However, in practice, this isn’t a good indicator because Silkies have blue earlobes, but lay white eggs, while blue or green egg laying chickens have red earlobes.

 

How Many Different Color Eggs Do Chickens Lay?

A chicken will lay only one color of eggs. Some breeds, like Easter Eggers, will have hens who lay different colored eggs, but each individual hen will only lay a single egg color her whole life (so, one hen will lay blue eggs, another will lay green eggs, etc).

 

What Chicken Lays Purple Eggs?

No chickens lay colored eggs that are a true purple. Eggs have a protective layer on their outside called “the bloom,” which helps eggs stay fresh and bacteria free. Some hens will lay brown eggs with a heavy bloom that can tint the egg purple. However, when the bloom is washed off, the egg will be brown.

 

Does The Rooster Determine Egg Color?

No – both parents determine egg color. That’s why hybrid breeds – like Olive Eggers – can exist. One parent has a blue egg laying gene while the other has a dark brown egg laying gene. So, chickens that lay colored eggs have genes from both parents that influence shell color. You can read more about how roosters influence laying here.

 

Which chickens that lay colored eggs do you raise? Leave a comment below!

Pumpkin Seed, Cayenne, & Wormwood Deworming Treat For Backyard Chickens!

Pumpkin Seed, Cayenne, & Wormwood Deworming Treat For Backyard Chickens!

If your chickens have worms, it can seriously derail their egg laying.

 

Worms (aka freeloaders) rob your hens of vital nutrients while making it more difficult to pass manure, and generally just trash the insides of your chickens – so you gotta get rid of them (and it doesn’t hurt to be proactive).

 

Unfortunately, because chickens walk around without shoes and socks on, they’re likely to be exposed to parasites more than we like.

 

There’s not really a good wormer on the market for chickens, although Ivermectin is considered safe and it’s definitely effective against worms in dogs, horses, pigs, etc.

 

But the problem with wormers, aside from the fact that we don’t really have great dosages for chickens, is that they have withdrawal periods, meaning you can’t eat their eggs for about 30 days (unless you want to get a mouthful of Ivermectin. If that’s your thing, then by all means, go for it).


Have a hen that loves treats? (Who doesn’t?!)

Yes, my hens love mealworms!


For those trying to raise their chickens organically, then of course pharmaceutical wormers aren’t ideal.

 

That’s why I developed this fun treat with ingredients that might help your hens expel those nasty critters and hopefully prevent them in the future.

 

Now bear in mind that with many of these ingredients, their effectiveness is merely anecdotal; there’s not a TON of studies to show whether pumpkin seeds, pepper, or herbs will truly leave your hen’s insides squeaky clean of freeloaders.

 

But I put these things into the category of “can’t hurt, might help,” and at the bare minimum, your hens will have fun eating the seeds and gobbling down garlic.

 

And that’s always a good thing!

 

You should also remember that treats aren’t a meaningful replacement for a quality layer feed that’s formulated to ensure your fluffy butts get all the vitamins and minerals necessary.

 

Treats should comprise about 10% of your flock’s diet, so feed treats just a few times a week, or daily in small amounts. I feed my hens the recipe below about once a month (and of course I feed other treats in between time!)

 

Pumpkin Seed, Cayenne, & Wormwood Deworming Treat For Backyard Chickens

 

Pumpkin Seed & Cranberry Deworming Treat For Backyard Chickens

 

Ingredients (per chicken)

½ c raw shelled pumpkin seeds

2-3 freeze dried or fresh cranberries

1 tsp cayenne pepper

½ cup kale

1 tsp fresh garlic

¼ cup wormwood (buy here)

¼ cup sunflower seeds (optional)

 

Directions

Multiply amounts of ingredients based off the amount of chickens you have. Mix all ingredients together and serve as a treat. Be sure to use raw, unsalted, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

 

Pumpkin seeds are a popular folk remedy for preventing and curing worms, although it’s not really been studied in chickens.

 

There was one study done in mice that showed extracts from pumpkin seeds reduced the worm load when fed in 8 grams of pumpkin per 1 kg of animal weight.  

 

There’s also been studies that showed pumpkin seed oil is good for the urinary tract in humans and might help against tapeworms.

 

At a bare minimum, chickens love pumpkin seeds, so they’ll enjoy gobbling them down. It’s also important to note that an all-seed diet can cause Vitamin A deficiency, which might cause bumblefoot, so don’t only feed your chickens seeds.

 

The other main ingredient in this recipe, the cayenne pepper, has long been purported to help humans and animals get rid of worms. The reasoning behind it is that the worms don’t like a chemical constituent in peppers – Capsaicin – and it causes them to detach from their hosts, and chickens can then poop the worms out. This breaks the lifecycle of the worms.

 

Again, evidence it works to expel worms in chickens is limited, although it has been studied in rats.

 

Wormwood has long been used as a remedy to prevent and treat worms since nearly as long as humans have been around.

 

During the middle ages, it was the go-to cure because worms find the herb bitter, and choose to not stick around.

 

It’s also the “active ingredient” in some herbal wormers you’ll find on the market.

 

Garlic is never a bad thing for chickens, and it’s been shown to help living creatures be healthier and have better immune systems. Parasites also object to the smell and spiciness of garlic, so it’s possible it’ll help your flock stay worm-free as well.

 

If you want to prevent worms in your chickens, making sure their surroundings are clean and moisture free is a good place to start. A healthy diet will help keep them in tip top condition so if they do get a parasite infestation, they have the energy to fight it off.

 

This treat is a great addition to any feeding plan out there, and you’re chickens will love it as much as mine do!


Have a hen who loves treats? (Who doesn’t?!)

Yes, my hens LOVE mealworms!


 

What’s Owning Speckled Sussex Chickens Like?

What’s Owning Speckled Sussex Chickens Like?

Who doesn’t love a gorgeously feathered egg laying breed like Speckled Sussex chickens?

 

Speckled Sussex chickens are so much fun to own! They have wonderful, inquisitive, and “big” personalities, not to mention the beautiful “speckles” on their feathers!

 

Ours will willingly sit on our laps or take treats from our hands – they’re the perfect “pet” chicken!

 

If you’ve been considering adding a Speckled Sussex hen or two to your coop, then read on to learn all about this wonderful breed!

speckled sussex chickens are fun to own

Speckled Sussex Breed Characteristics

Sussex chickens have historically been raised as a dual purpose breed (for both eggs and meat), although many people today raise them as beautiful pets. There’s a standard-sized chicken and a bantam variety (can you imagine how adorable the bantam variety is???)

 

This breed of chickens, as it exists today, has been around since the mid-1800s, and originated in the county of Sussex, England, hence the name of the breed.

 

While each color variety has its own individual influences, the Sussex chicken is largely influenced by Brahmas, Cochin, Dorking, among other breeds.

 

Roosters can weigh up to 8 pounds while hens weigh about 6 pounds.


Have a hen that loves herbs? (Who doesn’t?!)

nesting box herbs

Yes, my hens love herbs!


Colors

While there are three different color varieties of the Sussex chicken that are recognized by the American Poultry Association, the speckled coloring is the oldest.

 

Speckled Sussex hens have reddish brown feathers (which is referred to as mahogany) with black and white “speckling” which gives the breed its name. Each feather has a white tip, and the amount of speckles varies from chicken to chicken.

 

The roosters can have green in their feathers as well!

 

In Britain, 8 color varieties are recognized, including the Coronation Sussex, which was developed to celebrate the coronation of Edward VIII (who abdicated the British throne, and so the coronation never took place).

Eggs laid per year and color

Speckled Sussex hens lay about 260 light brown eggs per year, and are consistent layers. The size of the egg depends on the hen; ours lay medium-sized eggs.

 

To ensure your Speckled Sussex hen lays healthy eggs, be sure to feed her a good layer feed and provide plenty of calcium supplements!

 

You can also add herbs to her nesting box to help her feel comfortable laying.

 

Brown speckled sussex chickens eggs

What its like owning a Speckled Sussex

Speckled Sussex chickens are wonderful to own! They have “big” personalities, and ours are at the top of the flock. They’re curious, the first to check out new situations, love environmental enrichment, and are intelligent pets.

 

Speckled Sussex chickens love attention, and love being at the center of action. If you add one to your flock, you’re sure to have hours of fun watching her interact with other chickens and beg you for treats!

 

To ensure you have a pet chicken who enjoys human company, it’s important to handle them frequently when they’re chicks and spend a lot of time feeding them treats if you want lap chickens.

 

They don’t require special feed, are docile, and the hens don’t get very aggressive during brooding. The roosters are equally a joy to be around!

 

Where you can buy Speckled Sussex chickens

You can buy Speckled Sussex chickens at any major hatchery. They’re a very popular breed! Cackle Hatchery is where we purchased ours, and they were healthy and happy when they arrived!

 

If you do go to a breeder, be sure to print out this article and take it with you so you can be sure the chicken you’re looking at is a Speckled Sussex!

speckled sussex chickens


Have a hen that love herbs? (Who doesn’t?!)

nesting box herbs

Yes, my hens love herbs!


 

The 5 Best Ways To Tell If Your Hens Are Laying

The 5 Best Ways To Tell If Your Hens Are Laying

Did you get chicks this spring? Me too. Soon they’ll start laying, but if you let your hens free range, you might not find those eggs easily. Here’s some of the best ways to tell if your hens are laying!

 

Even if you keep your hens in an enclosed area, knowing when they’re ready to lay is one of the most exciting moments of chicken ownership. 

 

I’ve ranked these ways in the order I use on our homestead because they’ve worked well for me and my flock. 

 

Not sure if your hens are laying? Here's 5 of the best ways to tell, complete with photos! From FrugalChicken

1. Look at your hens’ comb and wattles (The best way I use)

I like using the comb and wattles (and the area around the eyes to a certain extent) to tell if my hens are laying or might lay soon.

 

It’s not the most scientific way, but it’s the least invasive, and in my experience, fairly accurate.

 

Look at your pullets – what do their combs and wattles look like? Are they a vibrant red or dull?

 

Are the wattles small, or are they starting to droop and sag?

Not sure if your hens are laying? Here's 5 of the best ways to tell, complete with photos! From FrugalChicken

 

These two pullets are from the same hatch, but the pullet on the right looks like she might lay soon. Her waddles are longer and more red than the pullet on the left.

 

Vibrant red wattles are my best bet for telling whether my chickens are laying (aside from the hens laying an egg in front of me). 

 

When Qwerty was about 6 months, the length and color of her wattles quickly started to change.

 

Not sure if your hens are laying? Here's 5 of the best ways to tell, complete with photos! From FrugalChicken

Here’s Qwerty!

 

 

Her comb also became more prominent, and the color around her eyes changed, and sure enough, she soon started to lay.

 

Qwerty came to the homestead with 2 other pullets, also Blue Copper Marans, who were born 4 weeks after her. One has wattles that have started to change, while the other one from the same hatch haven’t. 

 

You can easily see the difference between the two. While I’m not sure the pullet is laying yet, I’ve isolated her with my other laying hens to find out!

 

2. Behavior (My second best way to tell)

 

If you have a rooster, this is one of the best ways to tell if your hens are laying.

 

Watch your hens behavior – is she happy go lucky as a pullet, eating and minding her own business, or has she become glued to the hip with a rooster?

 

Roosters don’t really worry too much about pullets that aren’t laying – their success producing offspring doesn’t depend on it. Once the hens are ready to produce eggs, though, it’s a different story.

 

The rooster starts to feel more possessive and does his “mating dance” around her to show that’s his girl. It’s hilarious and a good indicator your pullets are becoming hens.

 

I definitively knew Qwerty was laying when my king rooster stole her from another rooster, Lavender (whom she was best buds with). She became one of the hens flock, and I was pretty sure she had started laying or would lay very soon.

 

 

3. Skin Bleaching

 

This one gets a little tricky, and takes some experience to determine. Here’s an excellent article about the best way to use skin bleaching to tell if your hens are laying but here’s the short answer:

 

As hens start laying, they divert the yellow color in their skin pigment from their vent, her eye rings, legs, and beak to their yolks.

 

The vent is the first to start losing its yellow color. The yellow will fade from the vent within the first week of laying, and it’ll become a white, pink, or bluish-white color.

 

Not sure if your hens are laying? Here's 5 of the best ways to tell, complete with photos! From FrugalChicken

This hen lays, but isn’t my best layer. You can see her vent is pink, but not completely bleached.

 

Within 2 weeks, the eye rings will start to bleach, and finally her beak will begin to lose its pigment, too, starting at the base and heading out towards the tip.

 

A hen that shows black in its beak is likely laying, although this is breed dependent, since darker colored breeds sometimes have dark beaks.

 

It takes 4-8 weeks for the beak to begin to bleach. Hens that have beaks that aren’t bleached haven’t started laying or haven’t laid an egg for 4-6 weeks.

 

4. Feathers

 

Molting is almost always a sure sign your hens aren’t laying, since the bird needs to put her energy into making new feathers instead of eggs.

 

Hens who have been laying will have feathers that are possibly broken or rumpled, while hens with sleek and clean looking feathers might not be laying.

 

While messy feathers are a good sign of egg laying, I don’t use it as a sign alone, but instead I use it as a secondary indicator.

 

I think the methods outlined above are the best way to tell if your hens are laying.

Not sure if your hens are laying? Here's 5 of the best ways to tell, complete with photos! From FrugalChicken

This hen lays regularly. See how her feathers are kinda messy?

 

Think about how neat and shiny a pullet looks as opposed to hens who are laying regularly.

 

When hens molt, it’s always in a certain order. The feathers are first lost from the head, then on the neck, breast, body, wings, and tail in that order. They also lose their primary flight feathers before secondary flight feathers on the wings.

 

When in doubt…

 

5. Isolate them or keep them in an enclosed area if they’re free range birds

 

If your hens seem like they should be laying but you have no eggs, pen them in an area that’s safe, has water and shelter, and see if they will lay.

 

In my experience, if your hens aren’t used to being penned or experience some sort of stress, it can take up to 2 weeks for them to start laying again, so give them time if you do decide to pen them.
We had laying hens, but no eggs. We didn’t realize the cause of the problem was an overly aggressive rooster who was creating large wounds in the hens (which were hidden by their wings and feathers) until we isolated the hens from the rest of the flock.

 

After a couple weeks and a bump in their protein, the girls started laying again.

 

Remember, there might also be nutritional reasons your hens might not be the best layers. 

 

Not sure which chicken breeds are the best at laying? Here’s 5 breeds and here’s what to feed your hens for great tasting eggs!