Chicken eggs come in a variety of colors, and since we are looking at the whole process of a chick’s life, we may as well look the egg too. One of the biggest questions people have is “What color eggs will my chickens lay?” This is a fun question, one that I’ve decided to answer today.
For me, the thrill of having chickens begins before they are even hatched. Chickens need care and attention even when they are still in their eggs. I don’t know about you, but I love eggs. Sure, they are incredibly useful in the kitchen, but if we’re hatching them, we’re not thinking food, are we? No, what I’m talking about is egg color.
What Color Eggs Will My Chickens Lay – How Can I Tell?
Hens can lay all sorts of colored eggs – everything from green eggs to chocolate brown eggs, some lay blue eggs and others lay pink eggs. And all shades in between. Egg shell colors are just another part of raising chickens that is enjoyable and fun.
So, how do you know whether your hen will lay white eggs (like a white Leghorn) or be cream egg layers (like Buff Orpingtons)? Can you tell if they will be blue egg layers or pop out dark brown eggs? You want to know the future eggshell color that will fill your egg basket NOW, but how?
- The Surefire Way
- Earlobe Color
- Easter Eggers
- Ayam Cemanis
- Additional Reading
Table of Contents (Quickly Jump To Information)
The Surefire Way Of Knowing What Color Eggs Your Chicken Will Lay
There are a few different ways you can predict (sort of) what color eggs your flock will lay, but really? The only surefire way to know what color eggs your chickens will lay is by waiting until the egg is actually laid. I know, pretty obvious and not exactly the advice you were hoping for. But I’m a truth teller, so that’s what you get.
Beyond that, there are some other ways that can probably help you figure out what color egg your hen will lay. So keep reading.
Before we get started with this, I must say that there are always exceptions to everything I say here. Don’t message me or leave a comment about how I’m wrong because a specific breed of chicken might not follow the conventions mentioned in this video.
There are always going to be exceptions, and I will touch upon some of them. Please keep in mind that the information in this post (and video) is very generalized advice.
Will Ear Lobe Color Tell You Egg Color?
From a conventional standpoint, if your chicken has white earlobes, it will lay white eggs. If your chicken has red earlobes, it will lay brown eggs.
Silkies and Polish Bantams have blue ear lobes, but they can lay like a white egg or a cream-colored egg. Easter Eggers have red ear lobes and they can lay any sort of color eggs, from brown to cream to pink to blue to green to teal.
Exceptions To Ear Lobe Color
Easter Eggers, especially, are tricky: the only way you are guaranteed to know what color egg will come out of your chicken is by seeing the egg that comes out of its vent. But this unexpected fluke of genetics is one of the exciting parts of raising your own chickens!
Easter Eggers aren’t a breed, exactly, and the colors of their eggs do have something to do with that chicken’s particular genetics. Because they are more like a hybrid, their eggs can be one of a massive variety of colors. With Easter Eggers, the idea that red ear lobes mean brown eggs doesn’t work in reality.
An Easter Egger can lay brown, white, cream, blue, green, or even pink eggs. There’s no way to know until she actually starts laying. Many folks are partial to a blue egg shell, but trust me when I say blue-colored eggs are not the only exciting color pallets out there.
One thing to note is that each Easter Egger hen can only lay one color throughout that hen’s lifetime. If you want a different color egg from your Easter Egger, you need to have another hen.
Ayam Cemanis and chickens that have purely all black skin are another exception. Even though they’re completely black in color, and they have black ear lobes, Ayam Cemanis don’t lay black eggs; their eggs are cream-colored.
Want to learn something fun about black eggs? Check out this article: Black Chicken Eggs AND the Fountain of Youth.
There you have it! While most chicken breeds are at least mostly predictable, there are exceptions.
When your chicks are ready to start laying, the anticipation of seeing the eggs will keep you on your toes. Who knew that backyards (and your egg carton) could be so colorful!?
- How often do chickens lay eggs?
- When chickens stop laying eggs
- Chicken breeds that lay colored eggs
- Welsummer Chickens – Iconic Chickens With a Royal Twist
- Araucana Chickens – Extremely Rare Breed Worth Checking Out
- Ameraucana Chickens: Know Before You Buy!
- Cream Legbars – A Dream Come True
- Minorca Chicken – Big Eggs, Big Features, Big Personality
- Light Brahma Chicken – Breed of Splendor
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.