The genes of the hens decide what color the eggs will be. What color eggs the hen lays will depend on what kind of chicken it is. How do different-colored eggs come from chickens? Why do chickens lay different colored eggs? Let’s take a look.
The breed of chicken that lays the egg changes the color of the egg. The genes of a breed decide what color of eggs it will lay. Some chicken breeds have been bred to lay eggs of a certain color, but most breeds lay either brown or white eggs.
Different brown egg-laying breeds lay eggs in different shades of brown, from a light cream color to a dark, almost black chocolate color. The different genes that control eggshell color are to blame for the different shades of brown.
Most chicken breeds lay brown or white eggs, but there are also chicken breeds that lay green, blue, or pinkish eggs. Many breeds that lay colored eggs are a mix of two or more breeds. Colored eggs look nice on the outside, but keep in mind that the shell’s color does not affect how the egg tastes or how healthy it is.
There are two kinds of color in chicken eggs
Two main kinds of pigment make chicken eggs look different colors.
Porphyrin, which is brown, is the most common color. This color goes on top of the eggshell right before it comes out of the oviduct, which is part of the chicken’s reproductive system. When you crack open a brown egg, the inside will be white, which is how most eggshells are.
Blue eggs are harder to find, and grocery stores rarely sell them. This is because the bile duct makes a color called oocyanin. This pigment is put on the eggshell so early in the process that the color goes through the shell, so a blue egg will also be blue on the inside.
Things that affect the color of an egg
Even though breed and genetics are the main things that determine what color eggs a breed will lay, there are a few other small things that can affect the color or shade of an egg.
- Genetic Breed Strains: During their reproductive lives, all breed members will lay eggs of the same color. However, some genetic strains within a breed will lay eggs of different shades of color. Within a breed, each hen lays an egg with a certain shade of shell color. This color may change throughout a hen’s reproductive life.
- Drugs: Some drugs, like coccidiostats, can make the shells of eggs look pale.
- Viral Diseases: Eggshells that are pale can be caused by diseases that affect the reproductive system.
- Stress: When a hen is stressed, she may lay her egg early or later than her natural laying cycle would tell her to. When eggs are laid early, there isn’t enough color in the bloom. If the egg is laid late, the shell or bloom may have to be added again.
- Age: As the hen ages, her eggshells’ color may get lighter.
As the eggshell grows in the oviduct, pigments start to come into contact with it as they are added. Because of this, eggshells have many different colors. The oviduct is one of the main things that makes colored eggs. This organ is a tube-like structure that runs along the chicken’s backbone. This tube-like thing is between the tail and ovary of a chicken.
Eggs are made in the ovaries, where the process begins. The ovaries are where an egg yolk, also called an ovum, grows. Once it has finished growing, it leaves the ovary and goes into the oviduct to start its journey.
There, it goes through a five-step process that ensures the egg yolk comes out whole without any problems. An egg takes a little longer than twenty-four hours to form.
In the fourth stage, the coloring part takes place. This is where the colors meet and get stuck into the eggshell. The shell gland, a key part of making an egg, is involved in the whole process. To sum up, each breed of chicken adds a different color to the shell as it grows. Because of these deposits, the color of the shell’s outside and, in some cases, its inside changes clearly.