# egg colors

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wowmanacat, Mar 27, 2012.

1. ### wowmanacatChillin' With My Peeps

Apr 1, 2011
Oak Grove AR
I hope this will make since.
I have a rooster that came from a brown egg, a hen that laid green eggs, I am wondering if the chicks that hatch from the eggs will lay the color they hatched from or the color of the rooster came from.

brown egg rooster + green egg laying hen= ?
I really love to have a lot of different color eggs in my basket. right now all I have is browns, my green egg lay was killed. I have two of her eggs in the incubator due the few days. I also had two of the green eggs that I bought hatch out, I just hope that I will start to get some green/blue eggs. I have yet to see a blue egg at all.

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Feb 2, 2009
Northwest Arkansas
There is no way to know until they lay an egg.

There is one gene pair that determines if the base color of the egg is blue or white. Blue is dominant, so if just one of that pair is blue, the base color will be blue.

Then you have the brown-green colors. I’ve read that scientists have discovered 13 different genes that control the shade of brown that goes on an egg. Which of these 13 genes are present determines what shade of brown or green the egg will be. If the base color is blue and brown is present, the egg will be green. If the base color is white and brown is present, the egg will be brown. If no brown is present, the base color will be the egg color. Like this:

Base white + no brown = white
Base white + browm = brown
Base blue + no brown = blue
Base blue + brown = green

The chick gets one gene from each parent. I don’t know the genetic make-up of the parents of the chickens, so I’ll have to go through a lot of what ifs. Say that O is the dominant blue gene and o is the not-dominant white gene.

Since the hen laid a green egg, she either has one or two blue egg genes, either O,O or O,o. You really don’t know which. I don’t know the parents of the rooster. For all I know his father may have had a blue egg gene and given it to him, so he might have a blue egg gene. Since he hatched from a brown egg though, his mother did not have a blue egg gene to contribute. So the rooster is either O,o or more likely o,o.

If the hen that laid the green egg is O,O then all her offspring will get at least one blue egg gene and lay green eggs. It does not matter what the rooster contributes. If the hen is split O,o then about half her chicks will get the blue egg gene and half will get the white version from her.

Then you have to consider the rooster. He could be O,o or much more likely o,o. If he is o,o it purely depends on the hen. If he actually has O,o, it can get really confusing. So like I said, you have to wait until the chicks actually lay to know what you will get.

Since the hen is laying a green egg and the rooster came from a brown egg, it is practically guaranteed that they will both contribute some brown egg genes. This means you will not see a white egg or a blue egg. You will either see a brown or green egg.

I know that is a lot of typing to say “I don’t know”. I once hatched four pullets from green eggs. Three of them laid brown eggs and one laid green eggs. You really don’t know.

3. ### wowmanacatChillin' With My Peeps

Apr 1, 2011
Oak Grove AR
Thank you so much for the answer, it did help a lot. now how do you tell the base color of an egg? I got it, by looking at the inside of the shell under the membrane. most all my eggs are white base. I might have got one of two that was a blue base that hatched, not really sure since the egg shells from the hatch where thrown away yesterday.

Last edited: Mar 27, 2012