This morning I was blessed to get a dozen beautiful eggs from my close friend. It was perfect timing as I only had one egg left in my fridge. Having your own brood of hens has become a more widespread practice in suburban areas recently. I love it! It has always been something I wanted to do, but with all the neighborhood cats and my ‘not-so-private’ backyard, it’s just not in the cards right now.
Until that day when I can have my own farm, I will happily enjoy the eggs my friends offer me. Like a beautiful present, the eggs were a variety of blue, green and brown hues. I brought them home and put them in the carton next to my one white egg. The white egg looked sad and boring. Which made me question: what makes the eggs different colors and are they any different inside?
So, as usual, I did a little of my own research…
It turns out, the color is all in the genes and everything inside the egg is the same. (just like people) Leghorn chickens lay white eggs while Orpington chickens lay brown eggs. Ameraucana chickens produce blue eggs and Olive Egger chickens lay olive green eggs. Apparently, you can look at the chickens’ earlobe to determine what color egg they will create (do chickens have earlobes?) The different colored pigment is deposited on the eggs as they travel through the hen on a 26 hour journey. Whoa.
Why is it that we immediately assume that brown eggs are healthier? They usually cost more than white eggs, that’s for sure. Do we assume that if it costs more, it’s healthier? In this case, there is a logical explanation for why we pay more for the brown eggs. The hens that lay brown eggs are actually bigger than the hens that lay white eggs and thus, they eat more and are more expensive to care for. That’s it. Not better or worse.
So, the next time you shop for some eggs, remember that the color means nothing. What you should be paying attention to is the chickens diet and quality of life. I am definitely not knocking these beautiful blue-green-brown eggs! I know her hens have been well cared for and live a happy life. Thanks, friend.
Pretty eggs definitely do make me smile. Just look at all the photos I took.
So, when you get your well cared for happy hen eggs, make sure to cook up some amazing dishes! Here are just a few that look amazing – share yours too!