How do you tell what color egg a chicken will lay?

The answer is simple…. Check their ears!

Yes, you can tell what color eggs a chicken will lay from the color of their ears.  As with any generalization there are exceptions.  There are breeds that lay black eggs, multi colored eggs, green eggs, etc.  But as a general rule the ears tell the tale.

At Walnut Hill Farm we raise a heritage breed of chickens for our laying hens.  They are a black and white bird with “barred” markings on the feathers.  Hence the name; Barred Plymouth Rocks, or commonly called Barred Rocks.  Many ask if you have to have a rooster to have eggs, the answer to that is no, but to have fertilized eggs you do (think future baby chicks).  I have a rooster simply because I like to hear them crowing in the early morning hours.  The rooster we have is generally a pretty tame fellow, he is handsome and knows it, however, should you chase the hens he is not happy and liable to attack to protect his flock.

The broilers that you all enjoy on the dinner plate is a more modern bird called a Freedom Ranger, is has been breed to perform well in a pastured poultry operation unlike Cornish cross birds that are the industry standard.  Our broilers are ready to process in 10 weeks versus 6 weeks for the commercial bird.  The Freedom rangers do well on pasture, ranging freely foraging for bugs and grasses unlike Cornish crosses that are more suited to an enclosed poultry operation eating their feed from dispenser and not foraging at all.

But I digress, eggs I have to get back to eggs! 



Looking at the 3 pictures in this blog can you tell who is going to lay what color egg?  I will tell you probably, there is one that I’m not sure of and that is only because the rest of the breed has a different ear color.  OK, I know you’re city folk and don’t know where the chicken’s ear is, let alone that they had one!  Their ears are located behind the eyes, it’s a tuft of feathers shaped kind of like Spock’s ears, with a bit of a point to the top.  Can you find them?  Did I throw in a wild one to throw you off?  How many, if any, will lay white eggs?  How many, if any, will lay brown eggs?