Blue eggs may not be as common as brown or white eggs, but they certainly add a unique touch to any egg carton. While most people are familiar with the idea of brown and white eggs, blue eggs are a bit more elusive.
In this article, we will explore some of the different breeds of blue egg-laying chickens, including their unique characteristics and egg-laying habits. Whether you are looking for a colorful addition to your egg carton or simply want to try something new, here are a few breeds of chickens that lay blue eggs.
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Understanding Blue Eggs
All eggs start out white. Brown or blue eggs have pigment added during the shell formation process. The blue color of eggs is caused by a pigment called oocyanin, which is deposited in the eggshell during the egg formation, making them blue inside and out.
The oocyanin pigment is produced by a gene called the oocyan gene, which is responsible for the blue coloration of the eggshell, which is why only certain breeds can lay blue eggs.
The brown pigment, protoporphyrin IX, is applied toward the very end of the egg formation, coating the outside of the shell, so the inside of a brown egg is still white.
Green eggs, which are even more rare, combine the two pigments. They have oocyanin in the shell and are then coated with protoporphyrin, giving them a green color on the outside and blue inside the shell.
While the blue color of these eggs may be visually striking, it does not affect the taste or nutritional value of the egg itself. In fact, the color of the eggshell has no bearing on the quality or flavor of the egg inside.
The Araucana chicken breed is one of the most popular breeds of chickens that lay blue eggs. This breed originated in Chile, and it is known for its unique features, including being rumpless and tufted.
The Araucana chicken breed is also known for its tufted gene, which is lethal and can cause some chicks to die before they hatch if they carry two copies of the gene. This gene is responsible for the tufts of feathers on the bird’s cheeks, and it is important to breed Araucana chickens carefully to avoid this issue.
Araucana chickens are medium-sized birds, and they are known for their friendly and curious personalities. They are also good foragers and can thrive in a free-range environment.
In terms of egg production, the Araucana chicken breed can lay between 150 to 200 eggs per year.
The Ameraucana chicken breed is a popular blue egg-laying chicken. They are medium-sized, weighing between 5 and 6.5 pounds. They have a pea comb, which is smaller and lower than the traditional single comb. The Ameraucana chicken breed has a friendly disposition and is a good choice for families with children.
Ameraucanas come in a variety of colors, including black, blue, blue wheaten, brown red, buff, silver, and white. They have a fluffy appearance due to their muffs and beard, which are a distinguishing feature of the breed.
Ameraucanas are a hardy breed and do well in most climates. They are active and enjoy foraging, but they are also content in confinement. They are good layers, producing around 250 eggs per year. The eggs are a beautiful blue color and are medium to large in size.
One thing to note is that Ameraucanas are often confused with Easter Eggers, which are not a recognized breed. Easter Eggers can also lay blue eggs, but they are a mixed breed and do not have the same breed standards as Ameraucanas. It is important to purchase Ameraucanas from a reputable breeder to ensure you are getting true Ameraucanas.
Cream Legbar Chickens
The Cream Legbar chicken breed is a popular auto-sexing chicken that lays blue eggs. This dual-purpose breed was developed in the United Kingdom in the 1930s by crossing Brown Leghorns, Barred Plymouth Rocks, and Araucanas.
Cream Legbars are known for their distinctive appearance and friendly personalities. They have a small crest on their heads, a V-shaped comb, and a sleek body with a slight slope. The males have a more pronounced comb and are slightly larger than the females.
One of the most unique features of the Cream Legbar is its ability to be sexed at hatch based on feather color. Male chicks have a white spot on their heads and darker, striped feathers, while female chicks have a more even, lighter coloration.
In addition to their striking appearance, Cream Legbars are also known for their egg-laying abilities. They typically lay around 180-200 blue eggs per year, making them a popular choice for backyard chicken keepers and small-scale farmers.
Easter Egger Chicken
Easter Eggers might be the most popular blue egg-laying chicken among backyard chicken keepers because they are very easy to find and inexpensive compared to some of the other blue egg-laying chicken breeds. They are not a recognized breed by the American Poultry Association but rather a mix of different breeds that carry the blue egg-laying gene. Since they are a hybrid, you may also get some green, cream, and brown eggs.
Easter Eggers come in a variety of colors and patterns, making them a fun and colorful addition to any flock. They have a friendly and curious personality, making them a great choice for families with children.
One unique characteristic of Easter Eggers is their feathering. They can have a mix of different feather types, including muffs, beards, and crests. This gives them a distinctive and charming appearance.
Fibro Easter Eggers are a type of Easter Egger that have a gene that causes black pigment to be deposited in their skin and connective tissue. This gives them a dark, slate-colored skin and a unique appearance. They still lay blue eggs, but their coloring is different from traditional Easter Eggers.
Whiting True Blue Chicken Breed
The Whiting True Blue chicken breed is a relatively new breed that was developed by Tom Whiting in the United States. This breed is known for its beautiful blue eggs, which can range from a pale sky blue to a deep turquoise color.
The Whiting True Blue chicken breed is a medium-sized bird that is known for its hardiness and adaptability. They are also known for their friendly and docile personalities, which makes them a great addition to any backyard flock.
One of the unique characteristics of the Whiting True Blue chicken breed is its ability to lay eggs consistently. They are known to lay around 250 eggs per year, which is an excellent amount for a backyard chicken breed.
In terms of their appearance, the Whiting True Blue chicken can have feathers of any color as the emphasis in development was on the blue eggs, not the appearance of the chicken.
Other Chicken Breeds Laying Blue Eggs
One such breed is the Dongxiang blue chicken, which is native to China. This breed is known for its blue eggs and its hardiness in cold weather. Another Chinese breed that lays blue eggs is the Lushi chicken. This breed is smaller in size but still produces a good number of blue eggs.
The Ice Cream Bar is a relatively new breed that was developed in the United States. This breed is a cross between a Cream Legbar and a White Leghorn and produces blue eggs.
The Isbar is a Swedish breed that was developed in the 20th century. This breed is known for its blue eggs and its friendly personality.
The Shetland Hen is a small breed that is native to Scotland. This breed is a good layer of blue eggs and is known for its hardiness in cold weather.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are blue chicken eggs safe to eat?
Yes, blue chicken eggs are safe to eat. The color of the eggshell does not affect the quality or safety of the egg. However, it is important to ensure that the eggs are properly stored and cooked to reduce the risk of foodborne illness.
Do blue chicken eggs have lower cholesterol than other eggs?
No, the color of the eggshells has no effect on the egg’s nutritional value. Blue chicken eggs are not more or less healthy than other eggs.
What is the rarity of blue chicken eggs?
Blue chicken eggs are relatively rare compared to other egg colors. However, the popularity of blue egg-laying breeds has increased in recent years, making them more widely available at farmers markets and food co-ops.
Which chicken breeds are commonly used for blue egg production?
The most commonly used breeds for blue egg production are Ameraucana, Araucana, Cream Legbar, and Easter Egger. These breeds have been selectively bred for their blue egg-laying abilities and are known for consistently producing blue eggs.
Curious about the other chicken breeds? Delve into a wealth of information on various chicken varieties by exploring our comprehensive list on “Encyclopedia of Chicken Breeds”.
Want to learn more about raising chickens? This Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens (+Pro Tips) will help you ask yourself all the right questions, and it will also give you a realistic idea of what to expect as a chicken owner.
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