Talk to me of egg color genetics

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by CityGirlintheCountry, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    I confess that while I kind of get feather genetics I am somewhat clueless about egg color genetics. I understand if you cross a brown egg layer with a blue egg layer you get green eggs. But what if I wanted to increase the saturation of blue eggs? How do you up the amount of a color in an egg (ie brown eggs a darker brown, blue eggs a deeper blue, green eggs a greener, not browner, color)?
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    You would cross your blue egg layers and choose the darker blue eggs for hatching until you acheive your goal.

    With green it is not quite that simple, since a green egg layer has a blue gene and a brown gene.

    But, someone will come on here and help us both out !
  3. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Blue eggs are pure bred.

    The olive and other shades of green and pinkish and purplish eggs are from chickens considered mutts.
  4. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    But will the blue eggs keep getting bluer or will they only be as blue as the initial egg? How do you get more blue in there?

    Same deal on green eggs. I know that to get a green egg layer you have to cross a blue egg layer with a brown egg layer (thus getting a mutt). My four EEs lay green eggs ranging from the lightest minty green to a med dark olive. I get the lighter and darker aspects. But how do you make the eggs greener?
    I guess my question is all about saturation (the amount of actual color in the egg) as opposed to hue (the color) or value (the amount of lightness or darkness).
  5. Henk69

    Henk69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 29, 2008
    Groesbeek Netherlands
    Quote:Not true. Each color blue brown white has one or more genes responsible.
    A green layer can be purebreed blue and purebreed brown layer at the same time.

    For more intense color I would advice to get your genes purebreed first.
    If you select for intense color you will end up with chickens that lay less eggs and/or maybe smaller eggs.

    Maybe a diet would help?
  6. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    The shade of blue varies from hen to hen, so you make sure the rooster you are using is also out of a blue egg. You pick the bluest eggs the hen lays to hatch. Then with the hatched pullets you pick the darkest blue eggs, each succeeding generation is theoretically capable of producing bluer eggs. I am not sure just how blue you will be capable of acheiving, but, I have seen some nicely colored blue eggs.

    If you cross a rooster from a blue egg on a white egg layer, you will get a pullet that lays blue eggs.

    For green eggs, you cross a rooster from a blue egg with the brown egg layer. The resulting pullets will lay a green egg, the shade of green is determined by the shade of brown from the hen.

    I don't know exactly how it works if you cross a rooster from a green egg with a hen that lays green eggs.

    I suspect you will get some green egg layers and some brown egg layers. Because green egg layers have blue and brown genes combined to lay green eggs.
  7. mountaintopchicken

    mountaintopchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2007
    If you select for intense color you will end up with chickens that lay less eggs and/or maybe smaller eggs.

    Wow! I hadn't heard this before. Why does selecting for color intensity end up selecting for less or smaller eggs? I am interested because I am really interested in intense egg colors.

    I have BC Marans - selecting for extreme egg color doesn't seem to have decreased size in the egg. Marans eggs tend to be very large. They don't lay like a production bird would, but they are reasonably productive.

    Also, I have bantam Ameraucanas and want to select over time for a great egg color, but I certainly don't want my egg to get any smaller!

    As for diet, I've seen discussions on this but I don't think anyone has managed to find a direct correlation between feeding a certain thing and getting great egg color. Although a good healthy diet helps keep the bird healthy, which probably does help with egg color. I've read about feeding Marans pigeon grit but haven't tried it.​
  8. keystonepaul

    keystonepaul Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    what I've read is that for blue eggs you may get less eggs and smaller eggs as the blue color is added continuously and is synthesized by the liver limiting quantity of the blue coloration available- perhaps limiting quantity?? Where a brown egg layer the color is added at the end- a slightly different process. Keystonepaul.
  9. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    keystonepaul where did you read this ? I would like to read the entire article if possible.
  10. cariboujaguar

    cariboujaguar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2009
    Quote:I would like to as well...

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