good question from kids in "chicken school"! Help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kimboolah, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. kimboolah

    kimboolah Chillin' With My Peeps

    I teach a very informal chicken 101 class to some grade schoolers---I take my birds in and let them touch them and we learn all about the different kinds of chickens and their anatomy, all about eggs and pooh and everything chicken related. So I told them that the chickens have yellow skin and legs and that the color will fade some as they pull the color into their eggs. Today one child asked me "what about Puff? she has black skin--what color are her egg yolks???". I replied that they are yellow--so my peeps here at BYC where does the yellow come from on a black chicken?

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well, the yellow is from the make up of the fats that the hens put into their eggs. Instead of thinking of it as the hens pulling pigment from their skin to put into eggs, it is rather the pigment goes into eggs instead of into their skin over time so what yellow they did have on their skin and legs fades as it is not replenished. If you look at birds with green and black legs, over time, the color does become washed out, as nutrients and pigments are going to the future food supply of an embryo instead of to the hen.

    If you had an albino chicken, her yolks will also be yellow, as the color is from fats/proteins/vitamins forming the yolk.

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