Chickens are wonderful creatures. There are many different species of chicken, and all of them come with fascinating characteristics. While most of us think that they can only lay eggs in shades of white and brown, there are actually some chicken breeds that lay blue, green, pink, white, and other egg colors. If you want a wide assortment of colorful eggs for your table, or for selling, you may want to consider getting some of the chicken breeds mentioned here.
Read on to find out more about these breeds to uncover more information on their temperament, appearance, body structure, and egg laying habits. You will also get some tips on how to care for these chicken to get optimal egg laying.
• The Araucanas
The Araucanas chicken is well known for its ability to lay blue and green eggs. This breed is originally from Chile, from the Araucania region. It is classified as a rare breed. Its other names are Gallina Mapuche, the Mapuche Fowl, and the South American Rumpless. The rumpless gene is actually a lethal type of gene, however, not all of the birds of this gene are affected by this.
This breed of chicken is characterized by its white skin and pea comb. Large males will weigh about 2.7 to 3.2 kilograms, and large females come in at about 2.2 to 2.7 kilograms. The Bantam Araucanas chickens will weigh at around 680 to 850 grams.
While these chickens are known for being rumpless, the British Standard accepts both tailed and rumpless varieties. Sometimes they may also be treated as two separate breeds, but this does not have an effect on the blue colored egg laying. These chickens can give you more or less 250 eggs per year.
• The Ameraucana
The Ameraucana is another rare chicken breed breed that can lay colorful eggs. This breed is derived from the Araucana chickens from Chile. This chicken was bred to eliminate the lethal rumpless gene of the Araucanas, but maintain its blue eggs. This chicken also comes in standard and bantam sizes.
This breed of chicken is very sociable and fun, but they can also adapt to smaller places. In fact this chicken can be quite comfortable in confinement, but this is discouraged. It is bred to do well during winter seasons.
In other countries such as Britain and Australia, the Araucanas and Ameraucanas are considered to be the same breed. They do share some of the same characteristics, such as their pea comb. Ameraucanas are tailed and bearded, and their comb, wattles and earlobes come in red. Most of these chickens come with black or slate plumage, but they may also come in brown red, while, silver or buff. The Ameraucanas chickens may or may not come with bluish or slate legs.
You can expect your Ameraucana hens to give you around three eggs a week, and these eggs should come in a medium size.
• Easter Eggers
If you come across a hatchery that sells Americana chicks, you should expect that you are getting an easter egger chicken. Easter Eggers are not pure breeds like the Araucanas or Ameraucanas, but they are ideal if you want a pet chicken. The Easter Egger types are friendly birds. They are also known to be smart and extremely adaptive to any kind of weather. Easter Eggers are gentle to children, which is a good thing if you have small children in your home.
People love Easter Eggers not just because of their warm personalities, but also their ability to lay eggs all year round. You also get a huge variety of egg colors. You can have cream, rose, blue, green, brown, and olive eggs, which can be quite exciting to some, even if they are an unrecognized breed of chicken.
Easter Eggers come with a Pea Comb Type, and also tend to differ when it comes to plumage colors. You can expect four eggs a week from these Easter Eggers, and their eggs will always come in an extra-large size.
• Cream Legbar
Cream Legbars are lean and active chickens that are known to be prolific at egg laying. This is a kind of chicken that provides most of its daily food intake to its eggs. Females weigh 2.7 kilograms, and males weigh 3.4 kilograms. Cream Legbar hens produce blue colored eggs and can produce up to 180 to 200 eggs per year.
The Cream Legbar was originally bred in Great Britain, and is considered quite a rare breed. It was produced by crossing-breeding three different kinds of chicken. These are the Araucaunas, the Barred Plymouth Rocks, and the Golden Leghorns. It is the influence of the Araucanas chicken that gives the Cream Legbar hens their ability to lay blue eggs.
The Cream Legbar was also bred for autosexing; this means that if you hatch the chick at home, you will immediately be able to tell if the chick is a girl or a boy. This is very apparent in the hatchling’s color. They are great to keep in farms or in larger backyards since they are natural foragers, and are great at avoiding predators. If you do have a small space, the Cream Legbar will also be able to adjust. They can stand confinement to some extent, but this is discouraged. It is always better to let chickens roam free.
The Cream Legbar is a lean chicken with a wide breast and a sprightly appearance. It is very active and shows itself to be quite intelligent. Its sports a red single comb with around five to seven spikes, and they should have red or orange eyes.
The Marans is a French chicken that lays a brown colored egg. These chickens are of medium build and come with a calm and easygoing personality. Most breeders and owners would even consider them quite friendly, and they can be great companions.
They originate from Marans, a port town located in Western France, in the Poitou-Charentes region. In France, these chickens are called Poule de Marans. They were imported to the United Kingdom in 1930.
These chickens were developed by crossing feral chickens from the locality with game chickens from India and Indonesia. The Marans are now crowd favorites at poultry shows.
The Marans come in both standard and Bantam sizes. The standard sized Marans will weigh at around 2.5 to 4 kilograms, and the bantam Marans will weigh at around 900 to 1100 grams.
The Marans chicken has a single comb type and come in nine colors. These are Cuckoo, which is a speckled black and white color, Black Copper, Cuckoo, Golden Cuckoo, Black, White, Birchen, Wheaten, and Columbian. Marans have orange eyes, and they can lay 150 to 200 eggs a year.
The Welsummer is a Dutch chicken breed originally from Welsum, a village in Eastern Netherlands. They were created by breeding local chickens with other breeds such as Wyandottes, Cochins, Rhode Island Reds, Partridge Leghorns, and Barnevelders. These chickens can adapt to harsh winters and small spaces.
Welsummer or Welsumer chickens come in three colours, but only one colour, the Red Partridge, is considered to be the true Welsummer color in the Netherlands. Their weight is approximately 2 to 3.25 kilograms for standard sizes, and 1000 to 1300 grams for Bantam sizes.
The standard Welsummer hens will lay an average of 160 eggs every year, while the bantam sized hens can lay 180 eggs a year. You can expect large sized eggs from your Welsummer hens around 4 times a week. Their eggs range from a Deepened Reddish Brown, to Dark Brown, to a Spotted Dark Brown.
If you take a closer look at them, you may find that the Welsummer chickens look quite familiar. The reason behind this is that the chicken that is on the Cornflakes box is modeled off of the Welsummer breed.
The Penedesenca chicken originates from Catalonia, a region of Spain. Its name was taken from the town where it was created, the Vilafranca des Penedes. They were created from local barnyard chickens in the early 20th century. The Penedesenca breed is known for its dark brown eggs, which is considered darker than the ones made by any other breed of chicken.
The Penedesenca breed is a beautiful chicken that has a clavell comb type and weighs 1.7 to 2.3 kilograms for females, and 2.3 to 3 kilograms for males. The Penedesencas come in four colors: Black, Wheaten, Partridge, and Crele. The standard black Penedesenca is named the black Villafranca chicken, or Villafranquina Negra.
This breed of chicken is known to be active, like most Mediterranean chicken breeds. They are not too used to extremely cold weather, but they can certainly survive even the most stifling heat. Their bodies are small and are topped with a large single comb.
You can expect your Penedesenca hens to give you medium sized eggs around three times a week. Please do remember that this kind of chicken cannot stand confinement. It is best to keep it in a bigger space where it can roam and forage.
How to Feed Chickens for Better Egg Quality
In order to get the maximum amount of eggs from your chickens, you must know how to give them proper care and nutrition. There will be different seasons for your chickens, and you will have to remember that their needs will vary while they are laying, or molting.
For Laying Season, your chickens will need a good amount of protein. Their meals should consist of one fifth protein, and they should have an average of .25 pounds of bird feed per day. Give your chickens less if you let them forage outside during the summer.
You will also need to provide your chickens with a bit of calcium. The shells of eggs are mainly made out of calcium carbonate. This is a needed supplement to help your chickens lay more quality eggs.
Where do you get calcium for your chickens?
Oyster shells are a good source of calcium and they come pretty cheap too. You can place the oyster shells outside for your chickens to peck on.
Why is the hen pecking at her own eggs?
A hen pecking at her own eggs can be a sign of a deficiency of protein in their diets. However, if you are giving them the correct portions of protein, then this could be attributed to a particular habit they have which be quite hard to stop. If you want perfect eggs, you may have to collect the eggs as soon as they pop out.
If you do suspect a dietary problem, you can try isolating your chicken so you can make sure that it is eating correctly. In a week or so, you should notice changes.
How can you tell if you are getting a genuine pure bred chicken?
First of all, you must always source your chickens from a well reputed hatchery. Another way to distinguish rare breeds of chicken is by checking the spelling. This is a common mistake most first time owners face when they buy chickens. Hatcheries are very precise when it comes to the spelling of Araucanas and Ameraucanas. Any other spelling, such as Americanas or Aracanas would mean that you are getting a common Easter Egger.
Colorful eggs are fun to collect and are often a hit with people at local markets. Your kitchen is definitely becomes a better place to cook in with brightly colored eggs. If you are considering getting a chicken that can provide these eggs, any of these breeds can be a fine addition to your farm, or as a part of your household.
I hope that this article was able to give you the information that you need about chickens that can lay colorful eggs, and I also hope that this gives you a better idea on how to better care for them, so they can stay healthy and produce good eggs all throughout the year.
Always remember that the health of your chicken is important for good and vibrant eggs.