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Your guide to the best breeds for beautiful colorful eggs!
One of my favorite things about owning chickens is their colorful eggs. There are sooooo many beautiful chicken breeds and colors out there it can get so overwhelming (or just make you want allll the chickens). So I’ve compiled a manageable list of the best chicken breeds for colorful eggs!
Growing up, my sisters and I had many different chicken breeds we had bought as chicks at our local feed store. We mainly had brown and blue egg layers. The only time that I can remember we had white eggs (besides our cute little silkie eggs) was when we had leghorns we raised to butcher, or if we had some cross-breeds that resulted in white eggs.
As I got older I began to expand our flock and researched new-to-me breeds. I had caught the bug. There was no stopping now! I had aspirations to sell my own chicks someday. Fast forward a decade and some change, and I’ll be incubating eggs from my own flock for the first time! This spring I’ll be hatching my purebred Orpingtons and Silkies, as well as new eggs I’ve bought such as Ameraucanas, Olive Eggers, and Marans.
There are many sources to buy breeds for colorful eggs. You can order chicks online (Papa’s Poultry has excellent chickens), find local suppliers, or better yet, hatch your own!! Last year was my first year hatching eggs, and I’ll be using this new incubator this spring! A friend and I were “hatching buddies” last year. We both used older incubators, and talked each other through our ups and downs. Who knew incubating eggs could be such an emotional experience! But it is! You’re hatching babies, after all, and are solely responsible for their little lives! I hand-turned mine, and I have SO much more respect for a momma hen now!! This year, my friend ordered an Incuview, and I’ll be using this Nurture Right 360 (with an auto-turner!). Both have great reviews, so I’ll let you know how they perform!
Now, on to the breeds to grow your rainbow egg laying flock! Note that these are generally the colors they lay, although there are variations among each breed!
Silkie – These little darlings lay the cutest white eggs! My silkies handle the winter just fine and are great foragers (although I do have to trim back the ‘hair’ on some of them so they can see what they’re eating!)
Lakenvelder – I have a Lakenvelder rooster, “Napoleon”, who was a free exotic breed chick with one of my chick orders. So, I obviously don’t get eggs from him! He initially was crazy. He had PTSD from the other roosters picking on him even though he was the fastest to mature. My neighbor took for him a while since he was getting beat up and gentled him down. Now he’s the sweetest rooster and comes up to me wanting me to pick him up. I definitely recommend this breed for their temperament (and if he was a hen I’d say for the eggs too!)
Light Brown Eggs
Orpington – Oh Orpingtons…My absolute favorite heavy breed. Not only do they lay beautiful large warm brown eggs, but the Orpington breed has so many feather color variations! I currently have Lavenders, Jubilee and Chocolate. They’re a beautiful and full bodied bird. Extremely gentle and friendly. I ordered my Orpington hatching Eggs from Papa’s Poultry, and they are very high quality chickens. I highly suggest ordering eggs from him if you plan to hatch. He usually includes surprise extras too!
Brown Speckled Eggs
Welsummer – My Welsummer hen is one of my best foragers. She lays a darker brown egg that has beautiful chocolate flecks. Her shells are also consistently thick and healthy all through the winter months!
Medium Brown Eggs
Light Brahma – Light Brahmas were some of the first chicks I ordered on my own when I was in my teens. They are a feather-footed gentle giant and great layers through the winter.
Dark Brown Eggs
Rhode Island Red – The ol’ reliable. One of the most common multipurpose breeds. They are great consistent layers of medium-dark brown eggs and so well tempered.
Dark Chocolate Eggs
Maran – On my hatch list for this spring! The chocolate egg makers! I’m looking at hatching several colors of Marans. Papa’s Poultry has Golden Cuckoo Marans (auto-sexing – meaning you can tell the females from the males right when they hatch!) and Lavender Marans (this one he says is still a project so the eggs aren’t quite as dark.) I also might hatch some Black Copper Marans. My egg list keeps growing so I’ll be doing two hatches this spring! I’ll need a bigger coop!
Ameraucana – Fluffy faces, blue eggs and curious personalities – what’s not to love? Our last Ameraucana was lovingly named “Fluffer Cheeks” by my toddler, and I think they’ll all be named that from now on! My Ameraucanas have all been excellent layers and lay through the winter. They are also great foragers and very smart! I’ll be using hatching eggs from TarBox Hollow this year.
Sage Egger – These eggs are soooo beautiful! A softer color of the olive egg. Alchemist Farms has bred a beautiful line of these producers. They are in high demand!
Olive Egger – This one is also on my hatching list for this spring. They lay a beautiful earthy green egg. I’ll be order this one from Papa’s Poultry. He has an auto-sexing variety. I will also be breeding my own next year to see what kind of olive-egger I can come up with!
Moss Egger – These are definitely on my want list. This egg color is a dark mossy green. So beautiful! You HAVE to go visit the Alchemist Farms page to see the egg color and the beautiful white hens that lay them! They are sold out till July, so maybe I’ll still be egg shopping then!!
Your local feed store might carry some of these breeds or, like I said, you can order them online both as chicks and hatching eggs. Your post office can hold them for you so they aren’t exposed to inclement weather – definitely the best choice!
Now, get to shopping for those lovely breeds for beautiful colorful eggs and stay tuned for my incubation updates!
Till next time, happy trails!