When people first start keeping chickens they usually choose breeds that they can easily source and are fairly cheap to buy. Hybrid breeds are a popular choice and often people will pick the same breed as the person who inspired them to keep chickens in the first place has.
However, as any poultry keeper will tell you, chicken keeping is an addictive hobby and it probably won’t be long before you’re looking to add to your flock!
Your average breed of chicken will lay brown eggs, ranging from a pale tan right through to a dark brown. But there are many other colours, in fact depending on the breeds you keep you could have a whole rainbow of eggs.
So, here are the best breeds of chicken if you want coloured eggs:
Ameraucana – blue eggs
You can now get the brilliant blue eggs that this bird lays in your local Tesco, but where’s the fun in that?
The Ameraucana is one of only three breeds that lay blue eggs (Cream Legbar and Araucana are the others) but blue egg laying chickens are reasonably popular so you shouldn’t have trouble finding them.
The breed was first developed in the 1970s in America and is an attractive breed with a “beard”. They’ll lay around 250 eggs per year so you’ll never run out of blue eggs!
Andalusian – white eggs
If you’re looking for pearly white eggs then the striking looking Andalusian is the breed for you.
Originating from Spain this breed is calm and active, so they prefer to free range and are good foragers.
They’ll lay around 160 eggs per year and usually continue to lay through the winter and blue-bred White hens are said to lay the biggest eggs.
Olive Egger – green eggs
This is more of a variety of chicken than a breed that were developed when birds containing the “blue egg gene” were crossed with a “brown egg gene” bird.
Olive Eggers produce green eggs that can range from having more of a blue tinge to more of a brown tinge as a result of the crossed colours. The birds themselves are bearded and don’t look dissimilar to the Araucana, Ameraucana, and Easter Egger which has led to some confusion among even the most expert chicken keepers.
Black Copper Maran – chocolate brown eggs
For a truly dark brown egg the Black Copper Maran is an ideal choice.
The breed is active, likes to forage, and prefers to free range or have a larger enclosure. They are also good in colder climates and a hardy breed so they’re perfect if you’re new to keeping chickens.
Their chocolate brown eggs are so popular that some unscrupulous breeders will sell birds called “Black Copper Marans” but if they don’t produce dark brown eggs they aren’t from a pure strain of the breed.
Plymouth Rock – pink eggs
If you want a hen that will lay you eggs with a pinky tinge then the Plymouth Rock is a great bird.
They’re one of the oldest and most popular breeds of chicken so you shouldn’t find it hard to purchase a few. They come in a variety of colours and should continue to lay throughout the winter, although production will slow down.