Does Chicken Egg Color Affect Taste?

This is a question I had when I first started raising backyard chickens and it's one I get a lot when people see our green eggs. I also hear people say they really like brown eggs better. And even seasoned chicken keepers will say some of their chickens lay eggs that taste more creamy and better than others. They associate egg taste with shell color. But do eggs with different colored shells taste different? The real answer to this question is no. Eggshell color has nothing to do with taste.

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.

Pin the image below to save this information for later. 

How Is Chicken Egg Color Applied?

I think this is the most interesting part of the process. 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.


If you have brown egg-laying chicken breeds in your flock like Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orpingtons Barred Rocks or Austrolorps, 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 chicken breeds like Ameraucanas or Olive 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.

Ameraucana sitting on nest of green eggs.

What Makes Eggs Taste Different?

I do agree that some eggs taste different. But, it really 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, their eggs yolks 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's nest 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. 

So, 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!



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