How To Get Instagram-Worthy Colorful Chicken Eggs
How To Get Instagram-Worthy Colorful Chicken Eggs
Eggs
How To Get Instagram-Worthy Colorful Chicken Eggs
Let the hens do the coloring for you — just in time for Easter
By Colleen Creamer
There’s a growing trend among small chicken farms and backyard coop owners alike: Breeding flocks that lay an assortment of beautifully colored eggs. The pastel colors range from soft blues and greens to deep olive, rich browns, and burgundies.
Social media is likely a contributor to the trend. On Instagram, the hashtag #RainbowEggs has over 23,000 public posts as of January 2020.

“They look like jewels to me,” says Crystal Hill, who keeps 15 chickens in her yard in Great Meadows, New Jersey. Her hens provide enough eggs to feed Crystal and her husband, as well as her daughter’s young family. She recently added six young hens to her growing flock based on the hue of eggs they will produce.

“The colors I am aiming to have are olive green, pale blue, white, light brown, and very dark chocolate brown,” Crystal says.

Colorful Chicken Eggs
By Colleen Creamer
There’s a growing trend among small chicken farms and backyard coop owners alike: Breeding flocks that lay an assortment of beautifully colored eggs. The pastel colors range from soft blues and greens to deep olive, rich browns, and burgundies.
Social media is likely a contributor to the trend. On Instagram, the hashtag #RainbowEggs has over 23,000 public posts as of January 2020.

“They look like jewels to me,” says Crystal Hill, who keeps 15 chickens in her yard in Great Meadows, New Jersey. Her hens provide enough eggs to feed Crystal and her husband, as well as her daughter’s young family. She recently added six young hens to her growing flock based on the hue of eggs they will produce.

“The colors I am aiming to have are olive green, pale blue, white, light brown, and very dark chocolate brown,” Crystal says.

Colorful Chicken Eggs
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An Easter egger chicken from Cackle Hatchery
An Easter egger chicken from Cackle Hatchery
A chicken called Easter eggers, as well as breeds such as Ameraucanas, barred rock, Welsummers, Marans, and leghorns, produce their own unique eggshell colors, and many are good layers, says Jeff Smith, director of sales and marketing at Cackle Hatchery, one of the largest hobby hatcheries in the country.

Cackle Hatchery offers a package of chicks called a “Rainbow Special,” a variety of Easter egger chicks and other breeds that will eventually produce colored eggs. The “rainbow” can consist of blue eggs and green eggs, brown and dark brown eggs, speckled eggs, cream eggs, and white eggs. Generally, 30% to 50% of the chicks in the package are Easter eggers, according to Jeff, who adds that the breed makes good moms, which is important for those who want to breed for chicks and not just use them for eggs.

“We also keep that strain of genetics in them so they will ultimately go brooding, so they are excellent mothers,” he says. “These are not necessarily a strict production bird.”
Instagram-worthy Eggs
An Easter egger chicken from Cackle Hatchery
An Easter egger chicken from Cackle Hatchery
A chicken called Easter eggers, as well as breeds such as Ameraucanas, barred rock, Welsummers, Marans, and leghorns, produce their own unique eggshell colors, and many are good layers, says Jeff Smith, director of sales and marketing at Cackle Hatchery, one of the largest hobby hatcheries in the country.

Cackle Hatchery offers a package of chicks called a “Rainbow Special,” a variety of Easter egger chicks and other breeds that will eventually produce colored eggs. The “rainbow” can consist of blue eggs and green eggs, brown and dark brown eggs, speckled eggs, cream eggs, and white eggs. Generally, 30% to 50% of the chicks in the package are Easter eggers, according to Jeff, who adds that the breed makes good moms, which is important for those who want to breed for chicks and not just use them for eggs.

“We also keep that strain of genetics in them so they will ultimately go brooding, so they are excellent mothers,” he says. “These are not necessarily a strict production bird.”
Instagram-worthy Eggs
/ Do colorful chicken eggs taste the same? /
They do. Egg color has nothing to do with taste. According to Michigan State University Extension, all eggs start out white; eggs that are other colors have pigments deposited on them as they travel through the hen’s oviduct, a journey that takes roughly 26 hours.

Coloring is a natural process that happens in specific breeds. Diet doesn’t affect the pigments that are deposited.

“The pigment does not penetrate the interior of the egg, but tints only the surface of the egg, which is why brown eggs are white on the interior,” the Extension’s website states. “In the case of an olive egger (a breed that lays dark green eggs), a brown pigment overlays a blue eggshell resulting in a green egg.”

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/ backyard chickens are trending /
“The whole market has changed over the last decade,” Jeff says. “There is such demand for families in suburbs and cities to have their own fresh eggs that some cities and towns are changing ordinances to accommodate them.”

Crystal’s flock supplies her family with more than enough eggs. What colorful eggs she has left over she gives to homes where she knows they will be appreciated—especially around Easter.

“When I have extra, I like to donate some to our local church pantry with the instructions to give them to a family with small children,” Crystal says.

/ Do colorful chicken eggs taste the same? /
They do. Egg color has nothing to do with taste. According to Michigan State University Extension, all eggs start out white; eggs that are other colors have pigments deposited on them as they travel through the hen’s oviduct, a journey that takes roughly 26 hours.

Coloring is a natural process that happens in specific breeds. Diet doesn’t affect the pigments that are deposited.

“The pigment does not penetrate the interior of the egg, but tints only the surface of the egg, which is why brown eggs are white on the interior,” the Extension’s website states. “In the case of an olive egger (a breed that lays dark green eggs), a brown pigment overlays a blue eggshell resulting in a green egg.”

Kreamer Feed ad
/ backyard chickens are trending /
“The whole market has changed over the last decade,” Jeff says. “There is such demand for families in suburbs and cities to have their own fresh eggs that some cities and towns are changing ordinances to accommodate them.”

Crystal’s flock supplies her family with more than enough eggs. What colorful eggs she has left over she gives to homes where she knows they will be appreciated—especially around Easter.

“When I have extra, I like to donate some to our local church pantry with the instructions to give them to a family with small children,” Crystal says.

The whole market has changed over the last decade,” Jeff says. “There is such a demand for families in suburbs and cities to have their own fresh eggs that some cities and towns are changing ordinances to accommodate them.”
Do you breed chickens that lay colorful eggs? We want to see them! Send your photos to OutHere@TractorSupply.com for a chance to be featured in an upcoming issue of Out Here.
About the Writer
Colleen Creamer writes about travel, farming, and health and wellness from her home in Nashville, Tennessee.

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