What Are Blue Eggs?

When I was a kid, we only had white eggs. Then these new fangled brown eggs started showing up. Now there’s blue eggs on grocery store shelves! What are blue eggs? What chickens lay blue eggs? Are blue eggs safe to eat? Let’s answer all of these egg-celent questions.

What are blue eggs?

Blue eggs are chicken eggs that have a light shade of blue on the shell. If you’ve been around a chicken farm, or have backyard chickens, or open up those fancy egg cartons at the store, you may have seen blue eggs, brown eggs, and even green eggs. Why so many different colors? Perhaps you’ve heard some wild rumors out there on the dark chicken web that egg color is determined by what a chicken eats and certain colored eggs are healthier than others. That’s all a bunch of chicken feed. A chicken’s diet can affect the richness of the yolk color, but as far as the shell color goes, that is determined by the breed of chicken. 

So why are some eggs blue?

Are you ready to learn about the reproductive process in chickens? Too bad, because you’re going to anyway! All eggs begin with a white shell. Before that, the yolk, or ovum, forms in the chicken’s ovaries. The fully formed yolk then heads over into the oviduct, an organ between the ovaries and tail. That’s where the shell forming process begins. A white shell is formed with calcium carbonate to protect the ovum. In chicken breeds that lay blue eggs, a pigment called oocyanin gets applied during the shell making process. This happens fairly early in the process so that blue hue penetrates the shell and is visible on the inside and outside. In hens that lay brown eggs, a pigment called protoporphyrin is applied late in the shell process. That color only is applied to the outer shell, so when you crack open a brown egg, the inside of the shell is still white.

Are blue eggs safe to eat?

Blue chicken eggs are natural. Blue eggs are perfectly safe to eat and blue eggs are no better for you than any other egg. The only reason they’re blue is because they come from certain breeds of chicken. 

What chickens lay blue eggs?

Ameraucanas, Araucanas and Cream Legbars are a few of the chicken breeds that lay blue eggs. Australorps, Brahmas, Delawares, Orpingtons, New Hampshire Reds, Rhode Island Reds, and Plymouth Rocks are the common brown egg layers. White egg-layers include Andalusians, Catalanas, Lakenvelders and Leghorns. Chickens that lay green eggs are cross-bred between blue egg breeds and brown egg breeds. In the end, the color of the shell doesn’t really matter. What matters is on the inside. And what’s on the inside is delicious yolk. 

Are blue eggs better for you?

All the different colored eggs have the same nutritional value. One is not better than the other. But one does complement your eyes better.

About the Author

Will Morgan

Will Morgan, a freelance contributor to Sporked, is an L.A. based writer, actor, and sketch comedy guy. Originally from Houston, TX, he strongly believes in the superiority of breakfast tacos to breakfast burritos. Will traveled the world as one of those people that did yoyo shows at elementary school assemblies, always making a point to find local and regional foods to explore in whatever place he was, even in rinky-dink towns like Tilsonberg, ON. Will spends his birthdays at Benihana’s. Let him know if can make it.

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