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You don’t have much choice when you’re buying chicken eggs from the store — you’re getting white ones, light brown or maybe dark brown eggs. But if you’re raising your own chickens, you have the opportunity to be a little different. The key is choosing the right hens.

Even within one breed you’ll find variations in eggshell color depth, with some eggs being a lighter hue and others being much darker. These friendly birds are fabulous foragers that love to be outside and are great at avoiding predators. They are also “autosexing,” meaning males and females can be differentiated with 100 percent certainty upon hatching. However, they are a popular choice among chicken owners because they are friendly, smart, hardy, and lay well in the winter. Many hatcheries mistakenly label their Easter Eggers as Araucanas or true Ameraucanas, so beware if you are looking to show your chickens . Consider the breed’s personality and characteristics when making your choice to add blue egg-laying birds to your backyard flock, but if colorful eggs are what you’re after, you can’t go wrong with any of these blue egg layers.

What chicken lays purple eggs?

Sadly, there is no chicken breed that lays truly purple eggs. If your eggs look purple, it’s the bloom to blame. The bloom is a protective layer on the outside of the gg that helps prevent bacteria from entering the shell. It also helps the eggs stay fresh.

Do chickens lay blue eggs naturally?

But some breeds of chicken produce blue or green eggs. The blue color is caused by insertion of a retrovirus into the chicken genome, which activates a gene involved in the production of blue eggs. The Araucana, a chicken breed from Chile, and Dongxiang and Lushi chickens in China lay blue eggs.

What type of chicken lays green eggs?

Olive Egger chickens (half Marans chickens and half Ameraucana chickens) lay olive green eggs, while a new breed developed by My Pet Chicken, the Favaucana (half Faverolle and half Ameraucana), lays a pale sage green egg. Isbars also lay a range of greenish-colored eggs from mossy to mint green.

Do blue eggs taste different?

We’ve also seen people look at our brown and blue eggs and ask how they taste. Regardless of these common beliefs, the short answer is no. All chicken eggs are made the same on the inside. Egg tastes only change because of a hen’s diet and the egg’s freshness.

Whatever your reason for wanting blue egg layers, they are just as lovable as regular backyard chickens – they just happen to be a little bit more special.

Keep reading to learn which breeds lay blue eggs and how to care for them… They were first bred back in 1931 which Barred Rocks, Leghorns, Araucanas and Gold penciled Hamburgs were crossed together. By the 1970s the Cream Legbar had almost become extinct but a growing interest in multi-colored eggs saved the day. Here Dr Keith Bramwell mixed a Leghorn with a Araucana to create a blue egg laying chicken. The Dongxiang chicken is mainly found in the sub-tropical Jiangxi province of South East China. Because of the unique color of their skin they are considered healthy and healing back in China. However recent breeding programs have created a partridge colored Dongxiang that is capable of laying 3-4 eggs each week. A gentleman by the name of Henry Hoffman was an avid fly fisherman who happened to raise chickens on his parents’ farm. Mr Hoffman met Professor Whiting and they agreed to start a business together. This breed is not yet officially recognized so you can find them in a variety of colors as there is no set standard. Hens are good layers and will produce 200+ medium blue eggs each year. The Whiting is said to have a good tempered and is tolerant of other breeds – they prefer to free range rather than being kept in confinement. The South American Araucana is considered to be the first blue egg layer in the Western hemisphere. The native tribe of Mapuche Indians had been breeding and domesticating these birds for many years before they were discovered by civilization. Many theories have been put forward including contact between the Polynesian peoples and the Chilean natives making the Rapanui chicken a possible ancestor. The Ameraucana was developed from the Araucana with the intention of keeping their blue eggs but removing the lethal genes from the breed. It took many years and much patience for the Ameraucana to emerge as a success story and in 1984 this breed was admitted to the American Poultry Association. Hens are not prolific layers but will produce 3-4 blue eggs each week (around 150-180 per year). With a little encouragement and plenty of treats this sweet bird can become a lap chicken in no time. They are a low maintenance chicken that will tolerate confinement or free range with equal grace. At some point in ancient history a retrovirus infected the Mapuche (Araucana) chickens. This retrovirus contained Ribonucleic Acid which inserts itself into the invaded organism and rewrites their DNA profile. You should remove all the old bedding and sanitize the coop with Virkon or white vinegar mixture. Scrub down the walls, nesting boxes and sprinkle liberally with poultry dust. While you are in the coop you should check for any small entry points for mice, rats and weasels. Although they will be less active during the winter they will still proliferate in the warmth of the coop and make nesting or roosting a miserable experience. Always add extra light in the morning as it is better for the birds and does not strand them outside the coop when it gets dark at night. Your chickens do not need extra heat in the coop at night providing it is draft free and dry. If you absolutely have to have some form of heat then a simple 40watt light bulb enclosed in a protective cage and is well secured should be sufficient. Mankind has an obsession with improving on nature and chickens that lay blue eggs were no exception. It was a marketing ploy to bring blue eggs to the attention of the public and it seems to have worked.

There are several breeds of chicken that lay blue eggs. The best-known of these breeds are the Cream Legbars, Ameraucanas, and the Araucanas. Mixed-breeds descended from any of these can also lay blue eggs.

The ones that come in different colors are exposed to different pigments as they travel through the hen’s oviduct, a trip that takes around 26 hours. Chickens are believed to have first been domesticated by the Indus Valley Culture or the ancient Chinese 6000 years ago. The Spanish aviculturist Salvador Castelló visited Chile in 1914 and thought the chickens were a new species. The Entente Européenne d’Aviculture et de Cuniculture lists over 20 colors and patterns for the Araucana; the American Poultry Association recognizes five plumage varieties for large fowl and six for bantams. Its ancestors include Brown Leghorns, Barred Plymouth Rocks , Araucanas, and Gold Campines . During the 1930s, Michael Pease and Reginald Punnett at the Genetical Institute of Cambridge University decided to breed a chicken that could lay lots of eggs and produce “auto sex” chicks. Auto sex chicks are those born with traits that enable people to distinguish males from females on the day that they hatch. Mr. Keller of Pennsylvania’s Pratt Experimental Farm began working with Araucana chickens in 1925. He wanted to produce chickens that would lay the same pretty blue eggs as the Araucana but wouldn’t have its lethal genes. Easter Eggers aren’t a specific breed; they are the chicken version of a “mutt” or “moggie.” They are sometimes called “Rainbow Layers,” because they can lay eggs of any color: pink, brown, green, or olive. In terms of calories, proteins, and cholesterol, all eggs have the same nutritional value, no matter what color the shell is. One Arizona farmer gave his chickens leftover red chile peppers, and they produced eggs with yolks the color of sunsets. Chickens that eat a lot of corn, by contrast, tend to lay eggs with yellow yolks.

Each chicken breed has specific genes that affect eggshell color. Chickens that lay colored eggs include Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red, Welsummer, Maran and Easter Egger hens. No matter the color, hens need balanced nutrition to lay eggs with strong, protective shells. Get strong eggs with the Oyster Strong® System, exclusively in Purina® premium and organic layer feeds.

From olive to pretty blue and speckled to chocolate brown, colored eggs are trending in the backyard chicken world. Some chicken keepers discover even more unique egg colors, like deep pink, dark green or speckled, by crossing different breeds. When a hen and rooster are mated, genes from both parents contribute to the eggshell color laid by their offspring. A combination of blue and brown pigments produces a green shell color, as with an Olive Egger. Hens that lack proper calcium levels typically produce soft or brittle eggshells. Historically, chicken raisers have supplemented oyster shell on the side of layer feeds to provide calcium. This means calcium is steadily supplied during the full 24- to 26-hour egg-formation process – helping hens create strong, protective shells , no matter the color.

8. Cream Legbar

The Cream Legbar is one of the most popular blue egg laying chickens.They were first bred back in 1931 which Barred Rocks, Leghorns, Araucanas and Gold penciled Hamburgs were crossed together.
This color had never been seen before. At this time the breed was not really that popular as blue eggs were a bit of an oddity. By the 1970s the Cream Legbar had almost become extinct but a growing interest in multi-colored eggs saved the day.Although they are still fairly uncommon the Cream Legbar is now more popular because of their blue eggs. So if you are looking for blue egg layers then the Cream Legbar comes highly recommended.This is a medium sized breed with roosters weighing 7.5lb and hens weighing 6lb.They are fairly independent and much prefer to free range rather than being kept in confinement. In fact confinement can make them flighty, anxious and difficult to handle.Hens will lay around 4 light blue eggs each week (approximately 200+ eggs each year).Interestingly the chicks are auto-sexing which means that you can tell the sexes apart at hatching.Overall Legbars are quite robust and low maintenance chickens that are docile and friendly.

7. Arkansas Blue

The Arkansas Blue Chicken is an experimental breed from the University of Arkansas.Here Dr Keith Bramwell mixed a Leghorn with a Araucana to create a blue egg laying chicken.The Arkansas Blue is a medium sized chicken that lays eggs very well.These chickens look similar to a Sumatra with pale blue/gray feathering and a pea comb.Several years ago I had two of these chickens in my flock. Unfortunately they were flighty, independent and hated humans.However more recently this breed has been further refined and their disposition should be better.

6. Lushi

The Lushi chicken also comes from China.This is a small chicken with hens only weighing around 3lb (1.3kg)They have a multi-colored plumage and there is no set standard for this breed.You can expect them to lay a medium sized egg – this rare chicken can lay either blue or pink eggs.However they are poor layers and can only lay around 2 eggs each week (around 100 eggs per year).

5. Dongxiang

The Dongxiang chicken is mainly found in the sub-tropical Jiangxi province of South East China.This ancient breed is a fibromelanistic bird which means their skin is black.Perhaps the most well known fibromelanistic chicken is the Ayam Cemani. The Dongxiang is a similar color to the Ayam Cemani but not as dark in color. Because of the unique color of their skin they are considered healthy and healing back in China.This is a small breed with roosters only weighing 3.5lb and hens weighing 3lb.Sadly this breed is not a great egg layer.Hens will lay around 2-3 blue eggs each week.However recent breeding programs have created a partridge colored Dongxiang that is capable of laying 3-4 eggs each week.

4. Whiting True Blue

What has fishing got to do with chickens?With the Whiting True Blue – everything.A gentleman by the name of Henry Hoffman was an avid fly fisherman who happened to raise chickens on his parents’ farm.He would select the best hackle feathers available and use them for his award winning ties. In the 1960s he noted that the quality of feathers available commercially was pretty poor so he started breeding his own chickens to have a superior feather to use.Mr Hoffman met Professor Whiting and they agreed to start a business together. Professor Whiting was a poultry geneticist and was interested in genetics and husbandry.The enterprise flourished producing high quality feathers for fly tying and a line of birds that produced blue eggs – the Whiting True Blue.This breed is not yet officially recognized so you can find them in a variety of colors as there is no set standard. You can expect a medium sized chicken with roosters weighing 7lb and hens weighing 5.5lb.Hens are good layers and will produce 200+ medium blue eggs each year.

3. Araucana

The South American Araucana is considered to be the first blue egg layer in the Western hemisphere.This breed was created by mixing two other breeds (the Collonocas and the Quetros).The native tribe of Mapuche Indians had been breeding and domesticating these birds for many years before they were discovered by civilization. This breeds’ history is intriguing yet vague.There is much speculation about the origin of the original chickens. Many theories have been put forward including contact between the Polynesian peoples and the Chilean natives making the Rapanui chicken a possible ancestor.Depending on which country you live in the Araucana can be rumpless (or not) and tufted (or not). Here in the US it is also known as the South American rumples bird.Those that are rumpless look like they have no tail.Their ear tufts are also notable and extravagant.The tufting gene responsible for those tufts is also a lethal gene. If both parents of the chick have the gene it decrease fertility dramatically and many chicks die in shell. This rumpless gene also reduces fertility so breeding Araucanas can be a challenge.However they are a friendly and intelligent breed that loves to free range. They can get cranky and anxious in confinement.

2. Ameraucana

The Ameraucana was developed from the Araucana with the intention of keeping their blue eggs but removing the lethal genes from the breed.It took many years and much patience for the Ameraucana to emerge as a success story and in 1984 this breed was admitted to the American Poultry Association.This is another breed that depending on which country you live in has some variables.In several other countries the Easter Egger and Ameraucana are considered the same breed.The Ameraucana must have a beard, muffs and a tail to reach the APA standard here in the US.Again this is a small breed with roosters weighing up to 6.5lb and hens weighing 5.5lb.Hens are not prolific layers but will produce 3-4 blue eggs each week (around 150-180 per year).They are very good foragers and prefer to free range but will tolerate confinement fairly well. Overall this is a friendly, docile and intelligent breed.

1. Easter Egger

The Easter Egger is a backyard favorite because of their lovable and friendly nature.With a little encouragement and plenty of treats this sweet bird can become a lap chicken in no time.They are are quite similar in appearance to Ameraucanas. Some may have muffs, beards and tails while others may have none or some of those features.Someone once described Easter Eggers as Ameraucanas that do not conform to the standard.
This breed is great with kids as they are very gentle, docile and always curious about things.They are a low maintenance chicken that will tolerate confinement or free range with equal grace. This breed is a little on the small side with roosters only weighing 5lb and hens weighing 4lb. However they are a vigorous and healthy breed with few problems to note.You can expect the hens to lay around 200 eggs each year – roughly 4 per week.Although Easter Eggers have the blue egg gene they can lay anything from a pale pink to a blue egg, so be aware you may not get blue eggs from your hens.

Why Do Some Chickens Lay Blue Eggs?

Why is it that so few chicken breeds lay blue eggs?It all has to do with a virus – a retrovirus to be precise.At some point in ancient history a retrovirus infected the Mapuche (Araucana) chickens. A similar but different retrovirus invaded the Dongxiang and Lushi as well.This retrovirus contained Ribonucleic Acid which inserts itself into the invaded organism and rewrites their DNA profile.So now instead of laying a regular white or brown egg, the script has been changed to a blue egg.You can read more here if you are trying to understand the mechanism behind the blue egg phenomenon.

Tips For Keeping Chickens Laying Eggs

In order for your chickens to lay eggs you need to keep them healthy.A key part of this is housekeeping.Spring and Fall are the two major clean ups of the year.You should remove all the old bedding and sanitize the coop with Virkon or white vinegar mixture. Scrub down the walls, nesting boxes and sprinkle liberally with poultry dust.While you are in the coop you should check for any small entry points for mice, rats and weasels. Check all window coverings to ensure that they cannot be removed by raccoons. Check the perimeters of the run for signs of weakness or digging.Winter is a harsh time of year for wildlife and they will be looking for easy food – do not let it be your chickens.During this time you should also check over your chickens for lice or mites.Although they will be less active during the winter they will still proliferate in the warmth of the coop and make nesting or roosting a miserable experience.So if you find pests you should treat them.If you want your chickens to lay through the winter then you will need to provide extra light. Always add extra light in the morning as it is better for the birds and does not strand them outside the coop when it gets dark at night.The old chestnut of heating the coop is bound to make its annual appearance. Your chickens do not need extra heat in the coop at night providing it is draft free and dry. If you place a thermometer in your coop you should consistently find it a few degrees warmer than outside.If you absolutely have to have some form of heat then a simple 40watt light bulb enclosed in a protective cage and is well secured should be sufficient.Finally during Fall it is also the time of year for chickens to molt.So you will need to feed them a slightly higher protein ration – 20% or better until they are feathering up nicely.You can also add some electrolyte powder to their water about once a month for an extra boost. Extra nightly treats such as scratch grains or cracked corn will help to keep the birds a bit warmer thorough the night.