I don’t keep chickens. Yet. My neighbours do, and my other neighbours used to, and I love eating the fresh eggs they’ve provided me over the years. I love the rich yellow yolks and the flavour so different from supermarket eggs, and I really, really love the different colours in a basket of farm fresh eggs when the eggs come from different chicken breeds.
There’s a great website called Fresh Eggs Daily and in this week’s article, Lisa Steele explains why some chickens produce white eggs, others brown, others blue, green, pink and so on.
Turns out all eggs start out white. Pigment gets added by specific breeds of chicken as the egg goes down the chute (aka oviduct). Brown eggs have the pigment added near the end of the journey so it stays on the surface of the egg (meaning the inside is white). Blue eggs has pigment added early on, giving it time to penetrate the entire shell. The genes of various types of chicken determines how much pigment is added, which accounts for various shades of brown or blue. Other colours of eggs (green, pink) are produced by brown egg chickens and blue egg chickens that have been cross bred.
Not really about gardening, I know, unless you want to get me started about how free range chickens can really wreak havoc in a garden, as told by the neighbour who no longer keeps them!