Why Those Chickens Be Layin’ Them Green Eggs



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I was out feedin’ the chickens the other day when I spotted somethin’ weird.

Ol’ Bessie was sittin’ on her nest like usual but when she got up there was the strangest lookin’ egg I ever did see – it was bright green! Now I know chickens ain’t supposed to lay no green eggs.

What in the world is goin’ on with my chickens? You gotta check this out.

The real deal is that some chickens can lay eggs with green shells either because of what they’re eatin’ or it’s in their genes.

It’s What They’re Eatin’


Turns out green eggs may be cause of what the chickens are chompin’ on. See, hens get the pigment to color their egg shells from the grub in their diet.

If they’re noshin’ on foods with pigments like alfalfa, wheat grass, or blue-green algae it can come out in the eggshell hue. Just like carotenoids from carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkin make eggs that bright orangey-yellow color.

Bessie’s coop is near the garden where she’s been grazin’ on plenty of leafy greens like kale, spinach and collards. All those veggies are high in chlorophyll which is that deep forest green pigment in plants.

She’s also been gobblin’ up wheat grass I’ve been growin’ as a chicken treat. Wheat grass is super rich in beneficial chlorophyll, so when Bessie’s body absorbs it some of that green pigment may be endin’ up in her egg production.

Heck, I’ve even seen her peckin’ around in the blue green algae scum on the water trough a few times. That algae is vividly azure colored, so you know it’s chock full of those pigments that could stain her eggs green like Easter candy.

The moral is – chickens are what they eat. If a hen’s noshin’ on pigment-rich greens it’s gonna reflect in her egg color way outside the yellow box.

It’s In Their Genes


Another reason could be straight genetics. Some breeds like those Araucana chooks naturally lay eggs with different shell hues because of the genes they were born with.

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Araucanas come from South America and are famous for layin’ pale blue or minty green eggs. The shells get their color from biliverdin and protoporphyrin pigments deeply embedded in an Araucana’s DNA code.

Even if an Araucana hen eats a super plain diet of just corn and chicken feed, her eggs will still come out pastel colored due to the genetic traits passed down over generations.

Other breeds with naturally tinted eggs include Ameraucanas (like a cross between Araucanas and production hens), Easter Eggers, Blue Egg Laying Brazilian breeds and Cream Legbar chickens famous for pastel blue-green shells.

So in summary, if you got feathered friends with breeds known for atypical egg hues, there’s a good chance their genes not their grocery are creating the vibrant colors too.

Bessie’s eggs could be green due to loads of chlorophyll in her salad fixings or genes from a colorful chicken lineage. Either way – the results are definitely not run of the mill!

You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!


You wouldn’t believe all the wacky egg hues chooks can create. In addition to azure and emerald eggs, other pigment possibilities include fuchsia, mint, olive and lavender shells.

Just imagine the epic Easter egg hunt if your baskets were filled with these beauties! Instead of the usual yellow and brown, you’d find rosy pink, kelly green and periwinkle blue marbles rolling around.

Heck, some rare breeds could even lay confetti colored or speckled spheres that look like Pollock paintings. With genetics tinkering you may someday see chickens crankin’ out eggs featuring paisley patterns or Van Gogh-style swirling sunflowers.

Nature gives most hens a limited coloring palette, but humans have discovered ways to apply new pigments or cross special breeds to expand egg artwork horizons.

The bottom line is – chickens continue to crack open the possibility of funky fresh hues far beyond average expectations. So next time you find an egg in the coop, be prepared for any color of the rainbow!

In summary friends, those green eggs are probably thanks to your hen’s nutritious noshing or naturally occurring inherited traits. Ol’ Bessie may have gotten into the alfalfa a little too heartily or have some fancy forefather feathers to thank. Either way – it’s a cool surprise to find her colouring outside the egg dye lines!

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What’s Up With Those Crazy Colors?

You may be wonderin’ what exactly causes such vibrant yolks and shells beyond just diet or breed.

It comes down to science – chickens make eggs in layers and each layer can contain different amounts of pigments.

The layer laid down first is the eggshell which gets its hues from pigments absorbed from food.

Next up is the outer albumen or “white” part closest to the shell, followed by the inner thick albumen layer.

At the egg’s center sits the yolk, where chickens deposit carotenoid pigments ingested from plants and bugs like marigolds, beetles and citrus peels.

The specific pigments deposited, how much of each and in which layer makes for all the wild color variations between plain, pastel or psychedelic eggs.

Do Chickens Really Lay Every Day?

You may think your busy hens crank out an egg daily without fail, but that’s not always the case.

While some top laying hybrids can average around 300 eggs a year, that pace isn’t maintainable forever.

Young chickens under a year old in their first season will typically lay 5-6 days a week on average.

Older chickens’ rates decline each year as their bodies conserve more energy for basic self-maintenance.

Molting, stress, illness or cold winter temps can also slow egg production temporarily.

So if you notice a day or three between eggs, don’t panic – your hen’s just taking a well-deserved rest.

How Do Chickens Decide Which Eggs to Sit On?

Since chickens don’t incubate all their eggs at once, how do they pick which clutch to brood?

Interestingly, hens have instincts allowing them to track laying sequences and sit based on timing.

A mother hen notices when she’s laid a complete cluster, often around 12-15 eggs, then starts incubating.

She memorizes the order and keeps the oldest eggs centered under her for equal warmth distribution.

Sometimes a few extras will get sat on by mistake, but the main clutch usually hatches within a day of each other.

A hen’s maternal memory helps ensure the same aged chicks have the best synchronized start in life.

Is It Normal For Eggs To Have Blood Spots?

Finding those dark red flecks inside a cracked egg can be alarming, but it’s usually nothing to fret over.

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In fact, any type of spot whether blood, meat or calcium deposits are considered quality issues by industry standards.

However, spots form for normal reasons rather than disease and don’t pose health risks when consumed.

They occur when a small blood vessel ruptures during egg formation inside the hen, releasing a blood droplet.

As long as spots are small, isolated and the egg appears otherwise fresh, it’s fine to eat with no extra cooking needed.

Only discard eggs with large spots or off odors that could indicate factors like infection or prolonged storage.

Do Easter Egger Eggs Always Come In Fun Colors?

Easter Eggers are hybrid chickens commonly associated with laying pastel eggs, but their hues can vary.

These hens result from breeding Ameraucanas, Easter Eggers or other varieties carrying certain genes for unique shells.

While many do lay shades of blue, green or pink reliably, egg colors aren’t 100% guaranteed with each chicken.

Diet, age and individual genetics influence pigments more than breed alone in some cases.

So while colorful eggs are typical, an Easter Egger may occasionally produce tinted, speckled or even plain brown/white eggs.

The best way to ensure a steady supply of pastels is to hatch several Easter Eggers and note which hens produce the brightest hues consistently.

Can Old Eggs Still Be Used?

Most stores stamp eggs with sell-by dates around 3-5 weeks from laying.

But properly stored eggs can remain fresh for several weeks past printed dates.

As long as shells are intact and interiors aren’t runny, aged eggs are fine for cooking applications not requiring crisp texture.

Older eggs may have weaker membranes allowing contents to spread a bit more in dishes like scrambled eggs or baked goods.

It’s best to use overly aged or questionable eggs in recipes where disrupted form isn’t noticeable, like quiches, frittatas and egg drop soup.

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Get Crackin’ on Your Own Egg Empire

Do you crave the rich golden yolks and thick whites that only come from the freshest eggs?

After nearly a decade running my own egg empire and mastering the art of keeping chickens, I’ve stuffed all my insider secrets into the aptly named “How to Raise Chickens for Eggs”.

how to raise chickens for eggs book pdf

Get Crackin’ on Your Own Egg Empire

Do you crave the rich golden yolks and thick whites that only come from the freshest eggs?

Dream of a waddling flock of feathered friends in your own backyard?

Then stop dreaming and start hatching a plan, people!

This ain’t no chicken game. After nearly a decade running my own egg empire and mastering the art of keeping chickens, I’ve stuffed all my insider secrets into the aptly named “How to Raise Chickens for Eggs”.

I’m talking building a palace of a coop guaranteed to impress the neighbors, concocting feed for peak egg production, collecting eggs so perfect you’ll weep tears of joy – plus hilarious stories and accidental mishaps along the way.

So get cluckin’ and grab the key to creating your own morning egg paradise before I sell out!