How to Get Instagram-Worthy Colorful Chicken Eggs
By Colleen Creamer
Let the hens do the coloring for you — just in time for Easter
There’s a growing trend among small chicken farms and backyard coop owners alike: Breeding flocks that lay an assortment of beautifully colored eggs. The pastel colors range from soft blues and greens to deep olive, rich browns, and burgundies.
Social media is likely a contributor to the trend. On Instagram, the hashtag #RainbowEggs has over 23,000 public posts as of January 2020.
“They look like jewels to me,” says Crystal Hill, who keeps 15 chickens in her yard in Great Meadows, New Jersey. Her hens provide enough eggs to feed Crystal and her husband, as well as her daughter’s young family. She recently added six young hens to her growing flock based on the hue of eggs they will produce.
“The colors I am aiming to have are olive green, pale blue, white, light brown, and very dark chocolate brown,” Crystal says.
A chicken called Easter eggers, as well as breeds such as Ameraucanas, barred rock, Welsummers, Marans, and leghorns, produce their own unique eggshell colors, and many are good layers, says Jeff Smith, director of sales and marketing at Cackle Hatchery, one of the largest hobby hatcheries in the country.
Cackle Hatchery offers a package of chicks called a “Rainbow Special,” a variety of Easter egger chicks and other breeds that will eventually produce colored eggs. The “rainbow” can consist of blue eggs and green eggs, brown and dark brown eggs, speckled eggs, cream eggs, and white eggs. Generally, 30% to 50% of the chicks in the package are Easter eggers, according to Jeff, who adds that the breed makes good moms, which is important for those who want to breed for chicks and not just use them for eggs.
“We also keep that strain of genetics in them so they will ultimately go brooding, so they are excellent mothers,” he says. “These are not necessarily a strict production bird.”