Eggs are not just white or brown, they actually come in many different shades! When you keep your own chickens you can pick breeds that lay a variety of colors. Here are what chickens lay blue eggs!
Which Chickens Lay Which Eggs?
The blue egg laying gene comes from the chicken breed, the Arucauna, The Arucauna is not very common. A big part of that is because they have a genetic mutation that causes many of the chicks to die in the shell.
The Ameraucana was developed from cross breeds of the Arucauna. Ameraucana chickens don’t lay quite as much, but they don’t have as high of a mortality rate. They’re also a pretty friendly and docile breed.
However, most of the chickens available for sale that lay blue eggs are actually Easter Eggers. Easter Eggers are any chickens that are cross breeds from the Arucauna or Ameraucana. Easter Eggers aren’t an official breed, but they can lay a lot of differently tinted eggs such as green, olive, blue, and even pink-ish.
Often the chickens that are being sold as Ameraucana’s are truthfully Easter Eggers. If you really want to raise purebreds and guarantee that the eggs you get will be just blue, you’ll want to purchase your birds directly from a reputable breeder, and not from a hatchery or feed store.
Of course there’s nothing wrong with Easter Eggers if you’re interested in a rainbow of fun egg colors. They often are friendly birds and decent layers, both good qualities for backyard flocks. If you really want a rainbow, include the Maran as it lays dark brown eggs!
Another chicken that lays blue eggs is the Cream Legbar. This is a new breed that was recently developed in England, but it’s becoming more available in the United States. Cream Legbars are actually autosexing, which is handy if you want to identify quickly whether you have males or females.
What Makes Some Chickens Lay Blue Eggs?
Blue eggs are nutritionally the same as white or brown eggs. The differences between them occur only in the shell formation. All eggs start out white and are formed by calcium carbonate. That’s why it’s so important to provide calcium supplements for your laying hens!
Chickens that are genetically capable of making brown eggs release a pigment from hemoglobin during the shell production. For chickens that lay blue eggs, pigment from the liver gives the blue-ish color. This actually originally occurred as a natural genetic mutation!
Of course now we breed for it intentionally. Whether you want to preserve and breed rarer breeds like the Arucauna and Ameraucana, or just enjoy the fun variety of colors from Easter Eggers, chickens that lay blue eggs are a great option to consider for your flock!