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Can anyone teach me about egg color genetics?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by pnp4kidz, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. pnp4kidz

    pnp4kidz Chillin' With My Peeps

    I bought some mixed birds for pretty colors of eggs last year, and they are laying. Some lay pink eggs, fairly dark pink... and some lay light to medium green... and one lays ivory... but here is the rub... there are three hens... and three roo's in there... and I get FOUR egg colors...
    the other is a brown egg...
    so... the roo of choice MUST make some difference in the egg color...
    what is it?
    and
    why is my pink egg layer laying 'dusty' eggs, not a shiney egg...?

    thanks!
     
  2. WooingWyandotte

    WooingWyandotte Overrun With Chickens

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    Roosters don't determine egg color. And you probably shouldn't have that many roo's in with only three hens [​IMG] If you are getting four eggs and you only have three hens than maybe one of the cocks is actually a pullet.
     
  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Pink, most of the time, and in your case - is really just brown with extra coating of white over it, that's the "dustiness."

    Roosters don't change egg color.

    The pinks vs light browns and ivory colors are likely all from the same hen or hens, especially if they're just young pullets.
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Gee, I was gonna give ya the quick n' easy info about egg color, here, but you have a question I cannot answer.

    However, egg color is solely up to the hen. You can work on a hen's offspring laying different colored eggs, though.

    All chicken egg shells are either white or blue, what the hen adds from her paint box sprayer at the next to the last step in producing eggs colors only the outside of the egg.

    White eggs get brown color, or pinkish, or such, or not. Blue eggs get green or brown or other colors added, or not.

    "Olive" eggs are blue based with brown overcoat. Green eggs are blue based with another overcoat.

    Break some colored eggs open and look at the inside of the shell - that tells you the base color. The pretty colors (other than blue) are only on the outside of the shell.

    The very last step of all eggs being laid is the addition of the "bloom" which is a protective sealant to keep bacteria from reaching through the porous shells. Sometimes the bloom has a dusty or dusky or powdered appearance to it.

    The bloom is one reason folks don't wash eggs until just before they cook 'em.

    Hope that helps some. The rooster has no involvement in the color of the eggs at all.

    Some new layers have to get their coloring system working right, though.... Hence the variation in color from one hen.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  5. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Quote:Actually, olive and green are both blue eggs with a brown overcoating. Olive is just different when you think of "Olive Eggers" in that it also has some dark brown colored genes in there, too.
     
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Shininess to an egg is actually caused by a specific gene. The rooster has nothing to do with the colour of his "wives'" eggs, but he has an equal say in the colour of his daughters' eggs. I do not think there are any genes that add a white coating to the egg, although there are ones that whiten an egg. I think it has to do with preventing brown coatings, or possibly diluting coating pigment.
     
  7. pnp4kidz

    pnp4kidz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Awesome!
    now, to see what my colorful layers' eggs make! I have some green some ivory and some pink in the bator. The Roos are a BCM, a gorgeous white roo and a buff colored roo. (all very much Roos!!) and the coop will lose mr UNO the BCM soon to his new wife and then there will be two, but so far these six are pretty happy together! It's a big pen with a big house. UNO had an unfortunate run in as a cockerel with a dog, hense his name and his wing number... But he is beautiful none the less!
     
  8. pnp4kidz

    pnp4kidz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Interesting! These pink eggs are very dusty looking and none of my others are! Is it a good gene or bad?
     
  9. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Neither, really. Although few birds truly carry a gene that causes a consistent coat over the egg, while most birds just have that coating during their early laying life.
     
  10. pnp4kidz

    pnp4kidz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well since I sell most of my eggs for eating they do make a colorful egg basket!
     

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