If you’re into homesteading and hobby farming, you’ve no doubt seen gorgeous photos of egg baskets overflowing with multicolored eggs. These enviable egg baskets are enough to get anyone interested in backyard chicken keeping, but do you know which breeds lay colorful eggs?
There are several prominent chicken breeds that lay blue, green, dark brown and even pink eggs. Adding these chickens to your flock will make egg collecting a much more delightful chore.
Chickens that Lay White Eggs
While it’s true that plain white eggs aren’t nearly as interesting as shades of blues or greens, don’t discount adding a few white egg layers to your flock. If your goal is to have a colorful egg basket, you’ll need eggs in every shade, including white.
White egg layers also tend to be more prolific, which will keep you eating fresh eggs for breakfast even when the more colorful egg layers are taking a break.
The Leghorn is well known for being one of the most prolific layers in chickendom. This breed is used most frequently on large egg production farms, but they fare very well in backyard flocks as well.
The leghorn is small but mighty, producing around 280 bright white eggs per year. This breed is known for being skittish and flighty, so they may not be best for families or those looking for pets, but if you’d like consistent white eggs for your egg basket, the Leghorn is the way to go!
This breed is a backyard favorite for good reason, their funky and fashionable feathers make them completely unique amongst your flock. Polish chickens come in a wide range of color varieties and all feature a beautiful bouffant of feathers on the top of their head.
This breed is known for being quiet, docile, and friendly. They’re the perfect pet with benefits for families with small children or those that want cuddly chickens. Polish chickens produce 2-4 white eggs per week.
Chickens that Lay Cream Colored Eggs
The Silkie is a beloved breed that lays small cream-colored eggs. These eggs are about half the size of standard chicken eggs, but just as delicious!
Silkies are known for being friendly and docile, they make excellent pets and fare well in all climates. Silkies also go broody frequently and make excellent mothers, so if you’re hoping to hatch some chicks in the future, this is an excellent breed for you!
Australorps are one of our favorite breeds and for good reason! They’re friendly to people and to other chickens, they’re cold-hardy, and they’re good layers of beautiful cream-colored eggs.
Australorps themselves are a beautiful breed as well, their black feathers are iridescent in sunlight and have glints of green, blue, and red in the light.
Chickens that Lay Dark Brown Eggs
Brown eggs are the most common egg color, but dark, chocolatey brown eggs are pretty hard to come by, and they add beautiful variety to your egg basket. The following breeds lay rich, deep brown eggs.
The Barnevelder is a popular breed due to its calm and sweet dispositions. They’re wonderful with children and make great pets with benefits. The biggest benefit is that these chickens lay deep, dark brown eggs that will surely add some beautiful variation to your egg basket.
Marans come in nine different color varieties and lay eggs in a range of brown shades. This breed is quite popular for backyard flocks as they are friendly and docile.
The most well-known of the Marans is the Black Copper Marans, coveted for their absolutely gorgeous chocolate brown eggs. This breed is one of the most expensive you can buy, and they tend to sell out within days when hatcheries make them available in the spring.
If you’re looking to add Black Copper Marans to your flock, make sure to keep an eye on your favorite hatcheries and be there the day they go on sale!
The Welsummer lays beautiful deep reddish-brown eggs with speckles on them. These eggs add a real pop of interest to your egg basket.
The Welsummer lays around 200 eggs per year, are great foragers, and are quite docile. The only real downside to this breed is that they can be loud, so they may not be a great choice for urban or suburban chicken flocks.
Chickens that Lay Blue Eggs
Blue egg layers have seen a rise in popularity in the last decade, much to the credit of Martha Stewart, who started the craze by featuring her blue egg-laying chickens on her tv show.
The newfound popularity has resulted in the development of many new colored egg breeds over the past ten to fifteen years.
Araucana chickens are a rare breed and quite hard to come by. If you’d like to add Araucana chickens to your flock, your best bet is to contact a breeder that specializes in this breed, as most hatcheries don’t carry them.
The Araucana is the original blue egg-laying chicken that the Ameraucana and Easter Egger breeds were developed from. This breed is interesting due to the fact that it’s rumpless, meaning it has no tail feathers, which gives this breed its characteristic upright stance.
Araucanas also have adorable tufts of feathers growing out from under their ears, a feature that’s very rare in the chicken world.
The Ameraucana is very similar to the Araucana but much more widely available. Similar to the Araucana, this breed lays beautiful blue eggs and produces around 3-4 per week.
Ameraucanas are wonderful egg layers and lay truly beautiful eggs, but aren’t known for being the friendliest birds. This breed can be flighty, generally don’t like being touched, and can be quite loud as well.
10. Cream Legbar
Cream Legbar chickens lay beautiful blue eggs. Not only are their eggs gorgeous, but the birds themselves are also as well. Adding these beautiful birds to your flock will not only make for a stunning variety in your egg basket, but it will also make your barnyard shine too.
Cream Legbars are known for their independence and friendly disposition. They love to free-range and don’t take well to being confined. This breed is an excellent choice if you want to only order female chicks, as their gender is easy to identify at hatching.
Chickens that Lay Green Eggs
The Isbar (pronounced ice-bar) was imported from Sweden and is a fairly new breed. This rare breed produces beautiful moss green eggs, though they sometimes lay brown speckled eggs too.
Isbars are cold hardy chickens and excellent foragers, so they’re ideal for a free-range flock. This beautiful breed is a wonderful choice for any climate and any family, though they may be hard to find as most hatcheries don’t offer them. Seek out a specialized breeder if you’d like to add Isbars to your flock.
12. Ice Cream Bar
This new breed of chicken was developed by breeding the Isbar with Cream Legbars to create a chicken that lays beautiful green-blue eggs. The Ice Cream Bar is known for being calm and is a decent egg layer at around 200 eggs per year.
Due to this being a very new hybrid breed, there are only a few farms that sell these chicks and fertilized eggs.
13. Olive Egger
Much like the Easter Egger, the Olive Egger is a mixed breed, generally developed by breeding Ameraucana chickens with Marans. This hybrid breed lays the most gorgeous olive green eggs.
Due to the fact that Olive Eggers can be created from several different breed combinations, their disposition may be a bit of a mystery until they’re fully grown. Most keepers of Olive Eggers find them to be friendly, and this attribute can certainly be encouraged with lots of handling of the chicks while they’re young.
The Favaucana is another hybrid breed, developed by crossing the Faverolle, a brown egg layer, with the Ameraucana, a blue egg layer. The resulting chicken lays green eggs.
Favaucanas are a new breed and not recognized as an official breed. They’re also sometimes lumped in with the Easter Egger Breed, which we’ll talk about next.
Favaucanas are good egg layers, fare well in all sorts of climates and are known to have sweet personalities.
Chickens that Lay Rainbow Eggs
While the previously mentioned breeds predictably lay their destined colored eggs, there’s a whole different type of chicken that is more sporadic in its egg colors. Read on to find out more about Easter Eggers, the fun breed that lays eggs in all colors!
15. Easter Egger
Easter Eggers are a top-notch choice if you’re looking to add rainbow colors to your egg basket. They are a mixed breed, created by breeding several different types of colored egg-laying breeds together.
While the breed isn’t officially recognized and can’t be presented at shows, this breed is a great addition to your backyard flock.
Easter Eggers are quite prolific, laying more than 200 eggs per year. Each chicken will lay a different color egg, from blue to green, even to pink shades. You won’t get different colored eggs from a single Easter Egger chicken, but if you add several to your flock, they’ll provide a variety of beautiful colors for your egg collection.
Where to buy colored egg chicken breeds
There are a lot of options for adding to your chicken flock. Local farm stores often have chicks for sale in the early spring, and most of them release a schedule of which breeds will be available and when on their website.
Alternately, you could buy fertilized eggs and hatch the chicks yourself! This is a fun project for the whole family, and there’s almost nothing so satisfying as raising your chicks from tiny embryos to full-grown hens.
You can buy fertilized eggs on eBay, Craigslist, or from local farms. Local farms are the best way to go if you can, that way you don’t have to worry about damage to the eggs during shipping!
The most popular way by far to add colored egg breeds to your flock is to buy from an online hatchery. These hatcheries are well known for having a huge variety of breeds available and can ship the day-old chicks almost anywhere in just a few days. We’ve ordered from online hatcheries many times and have found great success with them.
Are you ready to add some colored egg breeds to your flock this year?