Why are most commercial eggs white?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lengel, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. lengel

    lengel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From everything I've read here (and in my own experience), the best layers are brown egg layers. So why is it that the cheap commercial eggs are white? What kinds of birds are they using?
     
  2. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    Actually, Leghorns are one of the absolute best egg layers, and they lay white eggs. I believe they use them in most commercial egg facilities in the US. However, if I am not wrong, I believe most other countries use brown egg layers more?

    Another reason I just thought of they may use Leghorns here.....they are white (the ones they use anyway) making them more heat tolerant, and they have a HUGE comb which also make them tolerate heat better. This helps them cram them in those houses with less loss.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  3. satay

    satay oz-e-chick

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    Yes in Australia our commercial eggs are brown. Mostly laid by Isa Browns.
     
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In the early part of the 20th century, US egg production began to shift from brown-egg layers to white. By mid-century, consumer preference was strongly on the side of white, white, white.

    Selective breeding has gone both ways with more efficient layers developed for either color. But, greater emphasis was placed on white egg shells.

    We seem to now be in something of a change with an idea growing in the consumer's mind that brown eggs are more wholesome or fresh. The commercial flocks of brown-egg layers must be growing to meet that increasing interest.

    It is interesting to see how breeds and hybrids have waxed and waned in their popularity. A lot of that has been a result of nothing more than the color of their egg shell.

    I'm personally on a campaign for the cream egg shell layers [​IMG].

    Steve
     
  5. new-roo

    new-roo Scrambled

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    Its because White is the color for store eggs, Brown is the color for farm eggs, and Green/Blue is just wrong.... [​IMG]

    Actually its the feed to egg ratio, while you may get the same size of brown egg as white, it takes less feed to get the white egg. even if its only an ounce or part of an ounce less feed multiplied by thousands it adds up quick. And most people are not willing to pay Extra just for shell color.
     
  6. Krys109uk

    Krys109uk Chillin' With My Peeps

    As someone else has already said, in lots of other countries shop eggs are brown. The commercial people have put lots of money into developing egg layers to lay the maximum number of eggs over a 10 to 12 month period, eat the minimum possible food, take up the least posble space, & lay the largest egg. From that point of view the colour of the egg makes no difference.

    The days when actual pure breeds such as white leghorns laid the eggs for the commercial market have long gone. [​IMG]
     
  7. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    Nope...it is cuz if they were camo colored you couldn't find them! [​IMG]
     
  8. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

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    Quote:As far as I know, feed has NOTHING to do with egg color. It all depends on the hen, its part of the reproductive tract. IMO that doesn't make sense... If the feed ratio had to do with egg coloring, then you would need alot of feed for the dark egg layers like Marans and Welsummers. And how would you explain the blue/green egg layers??? Its all genetics and individuality.

    The reason store eggs are white is because the most common battery hens are Leghorns which lay large white eggs. They are small birds that do not eat much and lay alot.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2009
  9. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    digitS' :

    In the early part of the 20th century, US egg production began to shift from brown-egg layers to white. By mid-century, consumer preference was strongly on the side of white, white, white.

    Selective breeding has gone both ways with more efficient layers developed for either color. But, greater emphasis was placed on white egg shells.

    We seem to now be in something of a change with an idea growing in the consumer's mind that brown eggs are more wholesome or fresh. The commercial flocks of brown-egg layers must be growing to meet that increasing interest.

    It is interesting to see how breeds and hybrids have waxed and waned in their popularity. A lot of that has been a result of nothing more than the color of their egg shell.

    I'm personally on a campaign for the cream egg shell layers [​IMG].

    Steve

    Dead on the money, Steve.

    When the Leghorn breed took over, it wasn't because of some inherent goodness of the white egg. It was strictly a matter of economics. Leghorn breeds are more efficient at converting feed into copious quantities of eggs. Plain and simple.

    At that time there was a decided mistrust of the white egg, in fact, as brown had been the predominant color prior to that. It took a lot of marketing and advertising to get people to accept them. It would take a lot of effort to get them to shift away from them, now...effort that isn't worth the trouble

    The same simple economics that gave rise to their predominance will keep them in play. Leghorn breeds simply are more efficient at feed conversion on a commercial scale, giving little reason to develop a brown egg Leghorn.

    I suspect the white egg is to be with us for a long time to come.​
     
  10. Bluemoon420

    Bluemoon420 The Rooster Queen

    I'm from Rhode Island, and our eggs from the store were always brown.
    There was a commercial that used to play on TV when I was a kid, I still remember the song from it...Brown eggs are local eggs, and local eggs are fresh.


    Bluemoon
     

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