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 at that awkward transition between the alpha state and the omega state, too. One of the biggest questions people have is “What color eggs will my chicken lay?” This is a big question, one that I’ve decided to answer today.
For me, the thrill of having chickens begins before they are even hatched, as chickens will need care and attention even from 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.
- The Surefire Way
- Earlobe Color
- Easter Eggers
- Ayam Cemanis
The Surefire Way Of Knowing What Color Eggs Your Chicken Will Lay
There are a few different ways you can sort of predict what color eggs your chicken 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. Beyond that, there are some other ways that can probably help you figure out what color egg your hen will lay.
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 below about how I’m wrong because a specific breed 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 video is very generalized advice.
Will Ear Lobe Color Tell You Egg Color?
From a conventional standpoint, if your chicken has white ear lobes, it will lay white eggs. If your chicken has red earlobes, it will lay brown eggs.
Some very obvious exceptions to this, notably, are Easter Eggers, Silkies, and Ayam Cemanis – or any sort of chicken that is completely black. 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 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.
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.
Silkies also have black skin, but they’re not purely black because they do have the blue ear lobes. They also do not lay black eggs, but rather cream-colored eggs.
There is to the best of my knowledge, while no chicken lays a black egg, emus do lay black eggs.
There you have it! While most chicken breeds are at least mostly predictable, there are the exceptions. 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! When your chicks are ready to start laying, the anticipation of seeing the eggs will keep you on your toes.
Got questions? Got comments? Got suggestions? 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.