Chicken Breed Selection For A Rainbow Egg Basket

Posted by Diane Conklin on Mar 12, 2014 10:28:00 AM

In Poultry, Chickens, Eggs, Flock

Our good friends at Manna Pro have written an excellent article about colorful eggs. This is some great info packed in a short read.There are a lot of things to consider when choosing breeds for your flock, but most perspective and current chicken owners have one thing on the brain… EGGS.  Sure, egg production is a major factor, but it’s no surprise that egg color has eclipsed many other considerations as people choose their breeds.  Similar to how a coach chooses a lineup, backyard chicken enthusiasts are now strategically outlining their flock to ensure a diverse egg basket filled with as many colors from the eggshell rainbow as possible.eggs-resized-600.jpg-921460-editedTo make your job a little easier, we have outlined the key color categories and a few of the most popular breeds that deliver them!

  • White: Some people might shy away from white egg layers, having been exposed to white eggs their entire lives and seeking something more “exciting.”  However, don’t let this happen to you!  Sure, a dozen white eggs might be boring.  When you have a dozen different colored eggs, though?  That white egg will pop and add an important element to your egg basket.
  • Leghorns – Widely used in production operations, it’s time to give Leghorns some love. They are great producers of large white eggs, come in a few different color variations, and deserve the same spoiled lifestyle as more common backyard breeds.  They don’t tolerate the cold very well, though, so take that into consideration.
  • Lakenvelder – They’re smaller, true, which means their eggs aren’t as large as a Leghorn’s, but many find their 3-4 lb. size charming!  Available as Golden Lakenvelders or Silver Lakenvelders, their color pattern is exciting and they usually lay white eggs varying to tinted.
  • Polish – Everyone knows about the Polish chickens.  They’re the ones with the fashion-forward headdress.  Available in a wide assortment of colors and patterns, the Polish are unique-looking birds who lay small white eggs.  Not what we would call “super star producers” but they are a fun addition to any flock.
  • CREAM:  Somewhere between the common white and the increasingly common brown, lies cream colored eggs.  If you are looking to have a rainbow egg basket, you won’t want to forget this category!
  • Wyandottes – While some Wyandottes will lay eggs a little slanted to the “brown” side, most lay a delightful cream colored eggs.  Moreover, they are fantastic producers and come in some very exciting color patterns such as Silver Laced, Golden Laced, or Blue Laced Red.  
  • Silkies – Do we even need to describe these beauties?  They’re sweet, soft, adorable and great mothers.  Sure, they’re bantams and therefore lay small eggs, but they lay often!
  • BROWN:  Classic.  Most backyard flock owners have at least one hen that lays brown eggs.  Not only are they a keystone in your rainbow egg basket, but there are bunches of fantastic breeds that produce high numbers of large eggs.
  • Rhode Island Red – One of the best egg producers with beautiful plumage.
  • Plymouth Rock – Great producers that come in a wide array of colors or patterns. 
  • Australorp – Large, friendly hens that lay light brown eggs.  They are all black, but their feathers have a lovely green shimmer.
  • Orpingtons – Related to the Australorps, they have many of the same desirable characteristics, but are available in numerous color options with the most popular being “buff.”
  • CHOCOLATE:  This is one of the egg colors that gets people extra excited.  Few things “pop” in a dozen eggs like a deep, dark, mahogany colored beauty.  We especially like to set these next to a cream or white egg for extra contrast!
  • Black Copper Marans – Any variety of Marans will lay a dark brown egg, but you have to give special props to the Black Coppers as they always manage to have the deepest and darkest of the bunch.
  • Welsummer – While their egg might not be quite as dark as the Black Copper Marans, Welsummers are known to commonly lay dark speckled eggs.  Don’t forget that part of the appeal of a diverse egg basket will be fun touches like eggs with speckles!
  • Penedesenca – These aren’t ideal if you live somewhere cold, as they are a Mediterranean breed.  If you have the climate for them, they are beautiful birds that lay a dark brown egg.
  • BLUE:  In recent years, chocolate colored and blue colored eggs have become the talk of the town.  Not to mention how fun it is to show your neighbors blue chicken eggs for the first time.  This is a must-have color in your egg basket!
  • Easter Eggers – A mixed breed chicken that comes in an endless variety of colors and patterns.  Friendly, assertive, and comical these are a backyard flock favorite.  Beware, though, not every Easter Egger will lay blue eggs.  Some will lay green or light brown.
  • Ameraucana – Ameraucanas share the personality characteristics of Easter Eggers, but come in fewer, more strict color varieties and are guaranteed to lay blue eggs.  Our warning here is that many hatcheries, online shops, or feed stores often mislabel Easter Eggers as Ameraucanas, so be confident in your source to be sure.
  • Araucana – Another guaranteed blue egg layer.  These birds are rumpless (they don’t have tails) and they have delightful muffs on the sides of their faces.
  • GREEN:  The last, but not the least important!  Green is just as fun and essential nowadays as blue eggs!
  • Easter Eggers– While most Easter Eggers used to lay blue eggs, more and more are laying green ones these days.
  • Olive Eggers– A new twist on Easter Eggers, Olive Eggers are blue-egg laying chickens crossed with a dark brown egg laying breed.  The result is a hen that lays a gorgeous olive green egg!

So, now you have a plan for beautifully colored egg shells, but what about the yolks?  Don't forget to try Manna Pro® Omega Egg Maker® supplement!  Perfect for healthy hens and rich colored yolks!

Created on 10/31/11 at 09:53:51