Does Chicken Egg Color Affect Taste?

Does chicken egg color affect taste? It's a common question. When people see green or blue eggs, they'll ask out loud if they taste different. Some people voice strong opinions by saying they like brown eggs better than white. Even seasoned chicken keepers venture into this question and say some of their chickens lay eggs that taste more creamy and better than others.

Let's face it. People associate egg taste with shell color. But do eggs with different colored shells taste different? No. Eggshell color has nothing to do with taste. Egg tastes only change because of a hen’s diet and the egg’s freshness.


Egg color is determined by chicken breed. Although don’t be too surprised if you find the same breed chickens in your flock laying slightly different egg colors. It just makes for a colorful egg collecting basket! Regardless of breed, all chicken eggs are made the same on the inside. 


How Are Chicken Eggs Formed?

Step 1

Egg formation takes around a day and starts with ovulation where the yolk (or oocyte) is produced by a hen's ovary.

Step 2

The yolk is then released into the oviduct where it can be fertilized if you've got a rooster. The egg formation process continues whether the egg is fertilized or not.

Step 3

The yolk moves down the oviduct where it is covered by the vitelline membrane, structural fibers (or chalazae) and egg white (or albumen). As the egg is moving, it's spinning and the chalazae twist and anchor the yolk to the white; one on each side of the egg.

Step 4

The eggshell, which is made of calcite, is formed around the egg. This is the last step in the egg formation before it is laid. 

No matter the egg color, all eggs go through this same process.


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How Is Chicken Egg Color Applied?


All eggs start out white because they are formed of calcite which is a crystallized form of calcium carbonate. If you've got a white egg laying chicken breed like Leghorns in your flock, then nothing else happens and the egg stays white.

chicken-egg-color

If you have brown egg-laying chicken breeds in your flock like Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshires, Barred Rocks, Brahmas or Australorps, then the process continues. The brown color or pigment is laid fairly late in shell formation and does not penetrate through the shell. That's why the inside of a brown egg is white.


If you have green or blue egg-laying chickens like Easter Eggers, the process is even more interesting. Blue pigment is applied fairly early in the process and sinks through the entire shell. If you've got a blue egg layer, then the process is done at this point. If you've got a green egg layer, then there's one more step. The brown pigment is actually applied after the blue pigment. It's late in the process so it doesn't sink through the eggshell, but it does mix with the blue on the surface to create green.

chicken-egg-color
Ameraucana sitting on nest of green eggs.

What Makes Eggs Taste Different?


Do some eggs taste different? Yes. But, it has nothing to do with the shell color. Egg taste depends on so many factors. Are your backyard chickens allowed to free-range and get as many bugs, small animals and greens as they can find? If so, the yolks of their eggs are going to be more colorful and taste more creamy than eggs from a bird that's only been allowed to eat commercial feed. Just what are your chickens eating when they free range? Some foods do affect the taste of an egg. Also, how fresh are your eggs? If they're going right from your coop to the frying pan, they're going to have a lot more flavor than something that's been in a refrigerator for a few weeks. 

Next time you hear someone say they like one egg color more than another, you'll know the reality behind that egg color.

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post on the basics of what really makes an egg, a better egg. I remember before I decided to learn more about food, and before I started caring for my own chickens, I too would think that brown-shelled eggs were somehow fancier, and better. And growing up I remember we rarely ever saw brown-shelled eggs (unless we were staying with more well-to-do family that would eat fancier things, they'd sometimes have brown-shelled eggs). The eggs I always saw were white-shelled, and had very light yellow yolks- and the whites would spread everywhere when you went to fry them. Now, I have chickens that lay many shades of brown, cream, green, blue, speckled, and even white. But what I really care about are those dark yellow or orange yolks, and the whites that don't run across the frying pan. A hot pan does help that though. Anyway- we sell eggs too and my customers really love seeing a dozen of something different than white-shelled eggs, although they always get a couple in their egg cartons. And personally... these days, I love seeing a perfectly clean snowy white fresh egg. I live where it gets really cold and many good white-shelled egg laying breeds have giant combs which are dangerous here in the winter. I did finally find brabanters though- no comb and they lay white eggs. :D

    Anyway, I ramble. Thanks again for this great post Pam. I wish you and your blog success- and I'll stop by often!

    -Anna

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