Perhaps before you started raising chickens, you always bought the cheap carton of uniform white eggs at the grocery store. Then somewhere along the line, maybe you became more health-conscious and upgraded to the carton of brown free-range eggs.
Even after you started keeping your own flock of laying hens, a little bit of color prejudice might have stayed with you. It happens to most new chicken keepers for a time. We seem to feel that somehow the brown eggs are healthier than the white eggs, even if they come from the same backyard flock.
Rest assured, however, that research has yet to reveal that white-shelled eggs are any healthier than brown-shelled eggs, all other factors being equal. If your Leghorn and your Rhode Island Red receive the same care and opportunities to forage, their eggs are probably of equal nutritional value.
With that in mind, there is no reason to choose only hens that lay brown eggs. In fact, there is no reason to limit yourself to just brown and white eggs. Chickens are actually capable of laying eggs in a wide variety of colors. Consider some of these unique egg hues:
- Pink: Laid by some crossbred hens.
- Blue: Laid by Araucanas, Ameraucanas, Legbars, and some other related crossbred hens.
- Green: Laid by hens that come from crosses between blue- and brown-laying breeds.
- Lavender: Laid by some crossbred hens.
- Plum: Laid by Croad Langshans.
- Chocolate: Laid by Marans, Barnvelders, Welsummers, and Penedesencas.
Note that each individual hen will lay eggs of a slightly different color, and that eggshells tend to lighten as the laying season progresses.
If you like unique breeds and want some distinctive eggs in your refrigerator, consider some of these chickens. Finding that blue egg in the nesting box can be a special treat!