Most chickens lay brown and white eggs and various shades in between. These can be beautiful in their own way—creamy whites and deep, rich browns—but did you know that some chicken breeds also lay colorful eggs?
While you won’t find bright red or purple eggs at the grocery store any time soon, some chickens lay beautiful blue, green, and olive eggs. Interestingly, these colors are all due to genetics and not food consumption, as one might assume. This means that you can easily predict egg color simply by choosing a particular breed of chicken, and you’ll be guaranteed the egg color of your choice—for the most part. While individual chickens lay only one color of egg, some hybrid breeds are known to lay different egg colors within a flock, making for an exciting morning of egg collecting.
The best way to determine the color of eggs that you want is to choose a breed of chicken known to lay those eggs. In this article, we look at 18 chicken breeds that are known to lay blue, green, olive, and chocolate-colored eggs. Let’s get started!
The 18 Chicken Breeds That Lay Colored Eggs
1. Ameraucana Chicken
An Ameraucana is a hybrid breed, a cross between an Araucana and various other breeds, with the intention of producing unique feather patterns and a healthier animal. The breed is far more common than the Araucana and has a distinctive tuft of tail feathers, a pea comb, and even beards! These chickens lay blue eggs (and occasionally green), like the Araucana, and typically lay around 200 eggs per year.
2. Araucana Chicken
The tail-less Araucana chicken, also known as the “rumpless,” was named after the Araucana region in Chile, where the breed is thought to have been developed. They lay up to 200 striking, bright-blue eggs per year. Most chicken breeds that lay blue eggs likely have Araucana in their lineage. They are confidant birds that are fairly mild in temperament and are popular birds for small farms.
3. Arkansas Blue Chicken
The Arkansas Blue is an experimental breed developed at the University of Arkansas. The breed is a cross between a White Leghorn and Araucana and lays blue eggs but is not yet available to the public for purchase. They have a pea comb and yellow legs but have no tufts, muffs, or beards.
4. Asil Chickens
The Asil was developed in Pakistan and India primarily for cockfighting. The breed arrived in the United States in the mid-1800s and became popular due to their beautiful appearance. The breed is fairly aggressive, however, making them difficult to raise. They lay pink to cream-colored eggs, but don’t expect to see many; they only lay around 40–50 eggs per year.
5. Barnevelder Chicken
Named after the Barneveld area of Holland where the breed was developed, the Barnevelder chicken is a popular breed prized for their rich, chocolate-brown-colored eggs. The breed was developed around 200 years ago by crossing native Dutch breeds with Cochins and Brahmas and are uniquely beautiful birds with black-and-white laced feathering.
6. Barred Rock Chickens
A common backyard chicken breed, the Barred Rock has long been used as a popular meat fowl and laying bird. They are prolific layers, laying around 300 eggs a year, or about four eggs per week, and produce light-pink-colored eggs. They are beautiful, calm, and docile birds that have been a popular backyard fowl for well over 100 years.
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7. Cream Legbar Chicken
The Cream Legbar was developed in the late 1900s, making them a fairly recent breed. They developed from various breeds, including Leghorns, Cambars, and Araucanas, and lay blue and blue-green eggs. These birds have beautiful coloring, with a unique mix of black, grey, and tan. They are also autosexing, meaning males and females are easy to tell apart from birth, so you know what you’re getting the moment they hatch.
8. Dorking Chickens
The Dorking is one of the oldest known chicken breeds and is considered to be one of the most flavorful and tasty for meat, too. The breed is unfortunately endangered and rare due to the favored faster-growing breeds available nowadays, but for backyard breeders, they are ideal, producing high-quality meat and plenty of creamy-white-colored eggs.
9. Easter Eggers
A popular breed among backyard breeders, the Easter Egger chicken is one of the most well-known and popular breeds when looking for a bird that lays colored eggs. They are also fairly prolific layers, producing 250 or more eggs per year. Because the Easter Egger is a hybrid breed of the Araucana and several other breeds, they lay predominantly blue eggs, but various other colors are seen too. Each individual will only lay one color, but you will get a large variety within a flock.
10. Favaucana Chicken
The Favaucana is a designer hybrid breed of chicken, developed from crossing the Faverolles and Ameraucanas. They are sweet and docile birds with the beautiful plumage of the Faverolles and the hardiness and cold weather capability of the Ameraucanas. They are excellent layers that produce sage-green eggs, and are expert foragers, making them an ideal backyard breed.
11. Ice Cream Bar
A cross between the Isobar and the Cream Legbar, the Ice Cream Bar is a relatively new breed that is known for their blue-green eggs and prolific laying capabilities. They lay around 200 eggs per year, are docile and calm birds, and are extremely independent. They are difficult birds to find, though, and due to their anti-social personalities, they are not popular among backyard breeders.
Hailing from Sweden, the Isbar (pronounced “ice-bar”) is the only purebred chicken that lays naturally green-tinted eggs. They are small birds that lay fairly large eggs for their size, and they can lay up to 250 eggs per year, all year round in the right conditions. They are a fairly rare breed that can be difficult to find, but their numbers are slowly growing due to the popularity of backyard chicken breeding.
13. Light Sussex
A British, dual-purpose chicken breed, the Light Sussex is hardy, docile, and easy to care for and is renowned for their foraging capabilities. They are excellent meat birds and are prolific layers too, usually producing up to 250 light-pink eggs per year. They are the ideal fowl for novice chicken keepers due to their friendly personalities and ease of care.
Maran chickens are renowned for laying large, deep-brown, chocolate, and sometimes reddish-brown eggs—up to 200 large eggs per year. These eggs are regarded by most as some of the most delicious in the world and some of the most unique. They are often spherical, have thick shells, and can differ in color depending on the age of the hen; younger birds lay darker eggs than older birds.
15. Olive Eggers
True to their name, Olive Eggers lay dark-green, olive-colored eggs and are prolific layers, producing around 200 eggs per year. They are a hybrid breed, usually a cross between Ameraucanas and Marans, although they are developed from crossing any blue egg-laying breed and brown egg-laying breed. They are bred solely for the purpose of laying olive-colored eggs.
Developed in Catalonia in Spain, the Pendesenca chicken lays large, chocolate-brown eggs that are most vibrant early in the season but slowly fade as the season progresses. They are active birds known to be somewhat skittish at times, making them less than ideal as pets. That said, they are extremely hardy and resistant to cold and do well in hot climates too.
A fairly new chicken breed developed in the Netherlands less than 100 years ago, the Welsummer’s claim to fame is their representation as the Kellogg’s cereal rooster. They lay beautiful, rich chocolate-brown eggs (up to 200 per year) and are expert foragers. While the breed is not hugely popular in the United States, they are an ideal backyard breed due to their hardiness, excellent foraging skills, and beautiful eggs.
A truly unique Japanese chicken breed, the Yokohama is primarily used for exhibition and ornamental purposes. They are known for their striking, elegant, and long tail feathers rather than their laying abilities. Still, the breed lays around 100 eggs per year, and they are a beautiful creamy white or tinted in color.
Featured Image: MelaniMarfeld, Pixabay