Collecting eggs that my hens have laid is something I enjoy because I always have the most beautiful basket of eggs to show off! Are you looking for a colorful basket of chicken eggs? If so, here are 5 breeds giving the BEST basket of colorful eggs for YOU to show off!
What are the recognized varieties of the Maran chicken?
The American Poultry Association (APA) recognizes 4 varieties of Marans and there are at least 9 unrecognized varieties. All varieties lay a beautiful, dark brown egg, rated on a scale from 1-9.
|RECOGNIZED VARIETIES||UNRECOGNIZED VARIETIES|
|BLACK COPPER MARAN||BIRCHEN|
|BLACK MARAN||GOLDEN CUCKOO|
|BLUE SILVER SALMON|
|BLACK TAILED BUFF|
What chicken lays a “chocolate egg?”
Many people refer to Marans as “chocolate eggers” because their eggs are so dark, like chocolate. If you are looking for an excellent contrast of colors to your egg basket, the Marans dark chocolate colored eggs are a great choice!
The shade of a Marans egg shell is rated on a scale of 1-9, 9 being the darkest. In order for an egg to be recognized as a Marans, it must be rated at least a 4.
In the beginning of a Marans laying cycle, its eggs will be at its darkest. As the weeks go on, the eggs will lighten slightly, but still stay pretty dark in color.
Breeders take their Marans egg color very seriously, with their goal to produce the darkest egg possible.
How do Marans’ Eggs Get Their DARK CHOCOLATE Color?
According to another article that I wrote on Egg Color Facts,
All chicken eggs begin as white eggs. It’s the genetics of the hen that determine what color egg it will become. If an egg is any color other than pure white, pigment was deposited into it during the development.
Marans, unlike other chickens, have an additional step that occurs, creating its dark chocolate brown color. During the last 10 cm that the egg travels in the hens reproductive tract, right before it is laid, a spongy tissue excretes pigments that give the egg its VERY DARK BROWN coloring.
This coloring is deposited right before the hen lays the egg. Because this pigment is deposited right before being laid, it is possible to scratch off.
If you want your Maran eggs to look nice, make sure that she has a nice, soft nest box to lay in and you carefully gather the egg soon after she lays it.
Many times I notice that my Marans eggs have scratches on them. It is most likely from the hen trying to position it under her to lay on it a little longer.
2. Crested Cream Legbar
What color eggs do Crested Cream Legbars lay?
Crested Cream Legbars lay beautiful sky blue – aqua colored eggs. They are a cross between a Barred Plymouth Rock and a Brown Leghorn. Greenfire Farms imported the Crested Cream Legbar into the USA from Britain in 2010.
What is an autosexing chicken?
Crested Cream Legbars are autosexing. This means you can tell what sex they are by their physical characteristics.
- The Barred Plymouth Rock gene gives you the ability to be able to autosex the chick when it first hatches.
- The Leghorn gene gives the Crested Cream Legbar its good egg laying ability.
Hens have both dark and light stripes, a chipmunk pattern, when they are baby chicks. Roosters are lighter in color with a white spot on the top of their head.
They have a very distinct look about them. They have an absolutely adorable little crest of feathers behind their comb that looks like it is wearing a toupee!
Its feathers are cream and grey in color and it has yellow legs and beak.
Other Facts About Crested Cream Legbar
- Professor R.C. Punnett, a well know geneticist, helped in creating the Crested Cream Legbar. He is also the geneticist that is responsible for the “Punnett Square.”
- The Crested Cream Legbar is still considered a rare breed in the USA.
- A fully grown hen weighs about 5 1/2 lbs. and a cockerel 7 1/2 lbs.
- It lays about 4 eggs a week. That’s over 200 eggs a year!
- CCL are not recognized by the American Poultry Association.
Orpingtons are also a British breed, bred in the late 19th century by a man named William Cook of Orpington, Kent. This is how it got its name, Orpington. This breed lays various shades of large, light brown eggs. Today there are 4 recognized varieties that are recognized by the APA.
What are the recognized varieties of Orpington chickens?
How long do Orpington chickens live?
Because Orpingtons are a heritage breed, they live a little bit longer than the hybrid breeds. If they are well attended to and their needs are met, they can live an average of about 8 years.
Why are Orpingtons so popular?
Orpingtons are one of the most popular breeds for backyard chicken owners for several reasons.
- Orpingtons make wonderful mother hens.
- They are often seen hatching coop mates eggs.
- This breed is easy going and friendly.
- The roosters can get pretty big, averaging 10 lbs. and the hens 8 lbs.
- They have big, fluffy feathers and are a gorgeous breed.
- Orpington chicks are very easy to find at your local TSC or local farmer in the Spring.
- They will not let you down with their prolific egg laying!
Why are Silkies so popular?
Silkies are considered the number 1 kid friendly chicken as well as number one “mother hen.” They love to sit on eggs, even their coop mates and hatch some baby chicks. Silkies are good with children and will let you hold them in your lap.
How long do Silkie chickens live?
If a silkie is well cared for and all of its needs are being met, it can live an average of 9 years. Silkies are a unique breed and do require special care.
For more information on raising silkie chickens, read my article How to Raise Happy Silkie Chickens – Everything You Need to Know.
Do Silkie chickens lay eggs that you can eat?
Yes! They may be small eggs, but they most definitely are edible and taste just the same as a large brown, blue, green or white farm fresh egg. Silkies lay about 100 small, off-white bantam size eggs per year that taste delicious!
Why is Silkie chicken meat black?
Silkies have black skin, black bones and black organs. They owe this to the rare genetic mutation of hyperpigmentation.
In China, they were known as “Wu-gu-ji,” which means “black boned.” They were believed to have medicinal purposes.
Their skin and meat were said to help with anemia, female reproductive problems and diabetes. Eating the meat of this chicken was said to increase your immunity, build muscles and increase your energy.Source from “7 Fun Facts of the Silkie Breed.”
Are Silkie chickens good egg layers?
No, Silkies are not known to be good egg layers. This is because they often go “broody” and sit on a clutch of eggs to hatch them. They lay on average about 100 small, off-white eggs per year.
What are the recognized Silkie breeds?
Once you get a Silkie, you will want another and another and another! It’s one of those things, you can’t have just one of. They come in so many beautiful colors
Their plumage is so soft, fluffy and “silky” it’s hard to resist picking them up and cuddling with them. And most of them will let you too!
5. Olive Egger
What color eggs does an Olive Egger Lay?
Olive Eggers lay various shades of green or olive colored eggs. Yes, green eggs really do exist and they were not made up in the Dr. Seuss story, “Green Eggs and Ham.”
What breeds make an Olive Egger chicken?
An Olive Egger is a hybrid chicken that you get when you cross a blue egg laying chicken and dark brown egg laying chicken. The result is a green colored egg.
Because there are SO MANY varieties of egg color from blue and brown laying chickens, the variance of shades of green are limitless.
The most common breeds used to make Olive Eggers are the Ameraucanas and Legbars (both blue egg layers) and the Welsummers and Copper Marans (dark brown egg layers).
The darker the color of the egg shell of the brown egg layer, the deeper olive or darker green the resulting Olive Egger’s eggs will be.
What color are Olive Egger chickens?
Olive Egger chickens come in a wide variety of colors; blues, black, various shades of browns. All have some similar characteristics though.
Most will be short and stocky, with pea combs and muffs. Roosters weigh about 4 1/2 lbs. and hens 3 1/2 lbs.
What age do Olive Eggers start laying?
Olive Eggers will begin to lay eggs at around 5 month, 20 weeks, of age. When you see their first egg, it is time to switch them to a layers crumble, pellet or mash. Their body requires increased nutrients to keep up with their egg laying.
They will lay about 3+ eggs per week, 180-200 per year. The various shades of olive and green eggs make a GREAT addition to your colorful egg basket!
CONCLUSION: 5 Chicken Breeds Giving the Best Basket of Colorful Eggs
I chose the Marans, Crested Cream Legbar, Orpington, Silkie and Olive Egger chicken breeds because they provide the BEST basket of colorful eggs to show off. Not only that, but they are all decent egg layers and family friendly breeds to boot!
|CRESTED CREAM LEGBAR||4||SHADES OF BLUE|
|ORPINGTON||3||SHADES OF BROWN|
|OLIVE EGGER||3||SHADES OF GREEN|
So, if you were to have one of each breed, they would provide your family with about 16 colorful eggs a week, probably giving you some leftovers to share with your neighbors!