shades of brown chicken egg

Same Chicken, Many Colors of Eggs

Out of my 5 backyard hens, only one is laying regularly. This lady’s name is Owl. She’s 5 months old, and has been laying eggs for a full month now (she started laying at 4 months).

Alaska backyard hen

I don’t know what breed she is, but for the last month worth of eggs, she’s consistently laying 2 eggs every 3 days. And to my surprise, they’re always a slightly different color.

While every breed of chicken lays a slightly different colored egg, I imagine not many chicken owners have the ability to compare the eggs of a single bird day after day. (Most chicken keepers have multiple chickens, and it can be tricky figuring out which egg came from which hen sometimes.)

After I eat the eggs, I save all of my shells, dry them out, then crush them up for chicken calcium supplement. Sounds like borderline cannibalism, but egg shells are basically pure calcium. And when you’re a hen who pushes out a handful of eggs every week, you need plenty of calcium.

Every one of these eggs came from the same chicken, yet they’re all slightly different colors. Grocery store bought eggs are always the same color, so I figured backyard hen eggs would be, too. Nope!

Here’s proof that it’s totally possible for one chicken to lay multiple colors of eggs.

Alaska backyard chicken eggs

As you can see, some days they have faint speckles. Some days are shinier than others. Some days the egg shell is darker, some days it’s lighter. But these are all from the same hen!

Finding an egg in my backyard coop is always a treat. And guessing what color it might be that day is just the cherry on top.

POST UPDATE 8/4/16 – did you know you can actually reuse those old egg shells as a source of calcium for your egg laying hens? Click here to read more.

4 thoughts on “Same Chicken, Many Colors of Eggs

  1. Since I know nothing about chickens, I’ll believe anything you tell me.

    What would you do if all of them were laying?

  2. If all 5 of them were laying, first I’d do a happy dance. Then I’d look up recipes for spiced alcoholic eggnog and invite over friends!

  3. We won t be buying any layers this year, a few of our hens like to go broody in spring and we will fire up the incubator to get some mutt chickens to increase our number of layers.

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