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?
- 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
- Ice Cream Bars
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.
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 (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.
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)
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:
- Dark brown
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.
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!
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.