What makes eggs different shades of color?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by anniejs, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. anniejs

    anniejs New Egg

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    Dec 15, 2012
    I háve RIRs all from the same breeder bought at the same time.
    Their eggs are different shades of brown. Why is this, hormones?, food? What? Some are dark brown and some are only creamy tan.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    There are a few things that can cause an egg from one specific hen to be a bit different in shade of brown. The brown overcoat is laid on in the shell gland. If something happens to either speed up or slow down how long a specific egg is in the shell gland, it can have different shades of brown. I don't think that is what you are talking about though.

    There are a lot of different genes that affect how much brown a hen puts on the egg. I think 13 have been identified and I’m sure there are several others not yet identified. The shade of brown you get depends on how many of these genes are present an exactly what they do.

    Most breeders don’t breed specifically for egg shell color. They have more important things to breed for.
     
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  3. Brandi Leigh

    Brandi Leigh Chillin' With My Peeps

    I imagine that it is part genetics but there must be some kind of 'chemical' factor such as hormones because a individual hens eggs will change color through out their life.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Thank you, I forgot that one. The longer a brown egg laying hen lays, the lighter her eggs become. She stores pigment in her body during the molt that is used for egg shell color. The longer she goes from the molt the lighter her eggs become as she uses up that pigment. I have several that lay a nice brown right after the molt but the egg is almost white by the time she starts her next molt. How fast they become lighter depends on her diet.
     
  5. tashtash

    tashtash Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Funny I have 3 girls all hiline hens all look the same apart one has a white bum one has a caramel bum one has a brown bum I watched the white bum hen lay her egg today. Her egg is a dark brown. The other two I have not seen lay but one has a caramel egg and one has a white egg. I always bring inside everyday a dark brown a caramel and a white egg. I wondered who layed what colour. Now I know one of them now tomorrow just to watch and wait to see who lays the other ones.
     

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