Why Do Eggs Come in Different Colors (and How Important Is That)?

If you eat chicken eggs, you probably prefer the color of the shell for reasons you can’t explain. Some people buy brown eggs just because they think they are “healthier” or more “natural” than white eggs, but is that based on more than just marketing? What makes an egg white, brown, green, blue, or pink, and does it matter at all?

The color of the shell says absolutely nothing about what is inside the egg. When it comes to taste and nutritional value, all chicken eggs are more or less the same. The characteristics that make some eggs tastier than others, such as extra-large electric yellow yolks and richer flavor, are mostly the result of what the hen that laid them was eating at the time and the environment they live in. . chickens that eat table scraps will always be better than farm-raised eggs at the supermarket, but store-bought white eggs are no different from the brown ones sitting next to them on the shelf. (To dispel another common misconception: white eggs are not just discolored brown eggs.)

If all eggs are the same inside, then why do they come in such different colors? It’s quite simple: different breeds lay eggs of different colors. Most commercially raised chickens are leghorns , a breed that lays white eggs; thus, most eggs in the grocery store have white shells. But there are dozens of different breeds of chickens, some of which leave pigments on the surface of their eggs before they are laid.

It’s not clear why one breed deposits brown shell pigment while another may deposit green, blue, or none at all, but in case you’re wondering, here’s how it happens: The eggshell is formed in the shell gland (also called the uterus), which is the penultimate reproductive stage. chicken systems. (The last stage is the vagina, where laying occurs.) It is this gland that gives the egg its color: according to a Michigan Development Program blog post , shell formation takes about 20 hours, and pigment deposition occurs over the last few hours. hours of this process.

Whether you buy them from the store or collect them from your own herd, beautiful eggs are simply beautiful. The only time to consider shell color is when you’re researching breeds to grow yourself, and even then it’s not a deciding factor. This is just one of the many characteristics that make the breed unique. Eggs are eggs; once they are cracked you will never know the difference.


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