Confused about egg color

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by yotetrapper, May 21, 2010.

  1. yotetrapper

    yotetrapper Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    North Central MS
    I'm now planning on working on two breeds popular for their egg color. What determines egg color? Is it the roo, the hen, or a combination of the two? How does one select for egg color? Do you only hatch the best colored eggs? And again, where does the roo come into the equation?
  2. Farmer Benjii

    Farmer Benjii Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2009
    Vic, AUS
    Not the hen, nor the roo, it's the breed. Ameracaunas (easter eggers) lay green eggs while australorps lay creamy-brown eggs, get it now?(It sound mean but I really wasn't trying to be mean)
  3. yotetrapper

    yotetrapper Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    North Central MS
    LOL, guess I didnt explain well. I know the breed determines if the eggs are colored. What I meant was better color. You know, some black copper marans eggs are much darker than other black copper marans eggs and some blue ameraucana eggs are much bluer than other ameraucana eggs.....
  4. morninggloryhatchery

    morninggloryhatchery Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2009
    I think it all starts on where you get your chickens. If you want to produce darker eggs possibly get a line that lays light eggs and a line with really dark eggs, then breed and see if you can improve the color
  5. georgialee

    georgialee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    It's a combination of both, I believe. I would only hatch out the best colored eggs and use the best roo you can find.
  6. My Little Sister's Farm

    My Little Sister's Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2008
    Forest Grove, Oregon
    Egg color is not determined by "breed" that is the selection of traits caused by genes lining up. There are too many places on the DNA strand to account for brown egg laying genes. HOWEVER white and blue egg laying genes are on 1 pair and can easily be explained. "O" represents blue egg laying gene, "o" represents white egg laying gene (or actually absence of blue gene). OO = blue egg, Oo = blue oo=white. You get green when there are specific brown genes on at the other bases. They have id-ed 13 browns but don't know where exactly they are on the DNA. There is an anti-brown gene they use to breed into white egg layers for all of those leghorns in cages to make brilliantly white eggs (natural bleach gene I'd call it).

    Roo is HUGE!!! He is more important to your flock than any 1 hen. His gene will be in more than one egg a day unlike your hens so he needs to come from the best stuff possible. If you don't know your first one's mom's qualities, you'll have to start with that first generation and hope for the best. Select only the best eggs (if Maran remember that they will fade over the course of the laying season but are from dark egg laying hens so you may still want them, they carry the same genes). For my green egg laying breedings that I am working on I only hatch green eggs that I'd like to see carry on. (I also preselect the hens that I like for otherreasons, less broody, lay lots of eggs per year, etc.) You have to start with the best and go from there though. You can't just grab 2 brown egg layers and hope that selecting the darkest eggs will produce darker, you have to start with dark eggers and select for dark eggers, or start with some green eggs and make them pureer genetically, weeding out some of those brown egg laying genes. Poultry Sci has not been able to ID all of those brown egg genes so I can't say for sure if you can ever really get rid of them but...

    I hope this actually helps in your journey. I would start by googling though, you need research not opinion to get off to the best start. Good luck and keep ups posted.
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  7. pinkchick

    pinkchick "Ain't nuttin' like having da' blues"

    May 30, 2008
    Washington State
    Quote:I don't know the exact percentages that each parent contributes but heres what I do know where Marans are concerned. You want to only hatch the darkest eggs. You also would hatch the eggs from hens that consistently lay a dark egg for the longest period of time. You want to breed a rooster that you know hatched from a dark egg to your hens that way you are then lending his egg color gene to the pool. Let me see if I can find a post by a gentleman on here named Resolution and I will post the link for has tons of info on back crossing and breeding Marans.

    Here is the link.....I hope it helps. [​IMG]

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