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Why are some eggs brown, and others white - What determines the color of chicken eggs?

Eggshells are mainly made of lime, lime is white, that's the basic color of the eggs. Whether a chicken lays white or pigmented eggs is entirely a question of genes. 

- The eggshell color is genetically predetermined and it depends on the individual breed of chicken.

- Brown eggs have different pigments, white eggs have no pigments.

Chicken laying eggs. Brown under it, and white next to the chicken

Photo: Pixabey...

The breakdown path of the hemoglobin runs in the hen's ovaries. Red pigments, together with yellow pigments of the bile pigment, are deposited on the lime shell of the chicken egg during the breakdown process. If the red and yellow color pigments mix, the eggshell turns brown. The eggs get their color very late: it takes about 24 hours for an egg to form in the chicken's body, but it only gets the pigments in the last 5 hours before it is laid.

In the case of eggs from chicken breeds that lack these coloring agents or are less concentrated, the shells remain white.

We often hear that brown chickens lay brown eggs and white chickens lay white eggs, but this is not always like this. There are also brown chickens that lay white eggs and vice versa.

Is the eggshell color related to diet?

A chicken's diet affects the color of the egg yolk. This can actually be influenced by adding corn or paprika to the chicken feed, for example, to give the yolk a more intense color. Depending on the culture, the yellow or orange yolk color is more in demand. However, the diet has nothing to do with the color of the eggshell.

Are brown eggs healthier?

Since most organic eggs in supermarkets are brown in color, many automatically associate brown eggshells with a healthier egg. However, this is a misconception, because the concentration of minerals and vitamins has nothing to do with the eggshell color. They don't taste any different either. The only difference is, the brown eggshells are a bit thicker and harder.


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