looking for another egg color

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Pburg, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. Pburg

    Pburg New Egg

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    How do I find chickens that will lay different color eggs than medium brown and pale green?

    I am a photographer and have a photo project in mind that uses many eggs of all various colors. I am having so much fun collecting these eggs and have all the colors I can find within an hours' drive time from here. However, I am finding only shades of medium brown and pale green. I need more variety for the shoot I want to do.

    I have a friend who raises her own chickens and I told her I would purchase a chicken or two for her if they have different color eggs than what I have collected. Obviously, I know nothing about chickens..... yet. :) But I have seen some amazing photos here and there is such a wealth of info on this site that I am hoping that you can help me out on where to go from here. I can't have chickens where I live, but I hope to be a help to those nearby with chickens and also raise some awareness of other "city slickers" about how cool chicken eggs can be when you get away from the 12 white eggs in the grocery store carton.

    How can I get some of those other awesome colors?
    Is it better to buy the chicken? Can you even buy eggs? (don't care if the eggs fertile or not)

    Thanks!
    Cheryl
     
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where are you?

    Start with CL. There is a big cottage industry of small egg producers out there. Blue eggs will come from araucanas, ameraucanas and cream legbars. Easter eggers can give you a wide range of colors including olive, green, brown, pink, blue, white and every color in between. The trick there is to know what the parent stock is as most hatchery EE are a simple blue/brown cross and the eggs are a light green. My welsummers produce dark brown/red eggs with spots. The spots are a fault but I love them. Some marans (not my cuckoos) will lay dark chocolate eggs. Buying chickens for a photo shoot is unrealistic. Unless she is already laying, you really don't know what color she will produce. The stress of moving might put her off laying for a month, plus the shortened days of winter are playing with their laying mechanisms. Buying chicks might not put you in eggs until spring.

    Check for breeders in the for sale sections and the where are you? section. You can probably trade some nice proofs for use of their chickens/eggs. Also check for any local shows around you. If nothing else works, go buy the white supermarket eggs and dye them yourself. It shouldn't be that hard to come up with realistic colors.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Craigslist is a good start. For some color tips...


    Super dark brown eggs: French Marans. They'll be sold as Black Copper, Wheaten, Blue Wheaten, Golden Cuckoo, Blue Copper, Blue, Splash, to name some colors. Also it goes under BCM, abbreviation for Black Copper Marans. These guys will lay the darkest of eggs, which trust me, sure they're "brown" but they're an awesome brown. Nearly red, really.

    Blue eggs: Easter Eggers, Legbars, Araucanas, and Ameraucanas. Most of the time, even if your seller says otherwise, you'll probably end up with Easter Eggers (the name for mutts who lay blue eggs but aren't purebred Araucanas or Ameraucanas) Easter Eggers may also lay green eggs and sometimes brown, too.

    Green eggs: Easter Eggers and Olive Eggers. Olive Egger is the term for a bird who's a cross between a blue/green layer and a dark brown layer, such as Marans. Olive Eggers tend to lay very large and very awesome green eggs, sometimes really really dark green. Everyone has their own Olive Egger "recipes" of genetics, so the egg colors may vary.

    There's also sections on this forum for your own location as stated above, you might find a thread for your state and ask there. There's lots of honest breeders nearby who have some pretty awesome birds. [​IMG]

    If you're reeeaally lucky you might trip across some breeders with really really rich blue eggs, like a robin's egg blue. Usually Blue Wheaten Ameraucana owners have those. The richest blue egg in my avatar came from a specific line of Blue Wheaties, and these days most Blue Wheatens originate from the same parentage that Jean Ribbeck bred.


    Edited to add: I forgot terra cotta eggs! Those orangey ones in my avatar are often found from Welsummers, Barnevelders, and Penedesencas as well as lesser quality Marans or Marans crosses.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014
  4. Pburg

    Pburg New Egg

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    Percheron Chick-- what is CL? I will go check on those other places you mentioned. I understand now is not the time to expect hens to be laying. I am making plans for next spring. Talking to my friend with chickens, she will place her order in the spring, but I want to know which ones to place on the order.

    Illia, is there a way to know if I am getting a "mutt" bird, or one that is bred true to Legbars, Araucanas, and Ameraucanas?


    love this information! Thank you!
    :D
     
  5. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Craigslist.

    EE are more often than not sold as Ameriaucanas, ameraucans.. or some similar incorrect spelling that make people think they are buying purebred Ameraucanas. Your best defense if to educate yourself about the breeds and know the breed standard. Most hatchery birds sold as Ameraucanas will be EEs so if you are looking for true Araucanas and Ameraucanas, start by looking for breeders with quality stock. Dead give away, they must be a recognized color. Start there.
     
  6. Pburg

    Pburg New Egg

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    thanks. I will start there.
     
  7. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Like others said, chances are you'll find an Easter Egger unless you hone up on learning the differences and how to spot a real breeder versus someone who's misinformed by the hatchery they got their stock from. Or by another breeder, too. Like said previously, the biggest key is seeing if the seller knows what they're breeding and/or selling. Do they mention recognized colors? Do the birds truly look like the labeled colors mentioned? Do all birds have the right leg color? Do they have other traits that are required? (for example, Araucanas should not have beards nor tails)
     
  8. Pburg

    Pburg New Egg

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    Thank you, Illlia. I have a lot of learning to do first. Good thing I have all winter.
     
  9. carikermoon

    carikermoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow! I love your color wheel! Do you have all the breeds that made the eggs in your avatar? Are the Blue Wheaten Ameraucana eggs bluer than the Araucana eggs? Are Blue Isbar egg a lighter green than Olive Eggers/Easter Eggers? I am building my flock with your color wheel in mind... [​IMG]
     
  10. Pburg

    Pburg New Egg

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    Thank you for the great information! I appreciate it!
     

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