Few things are more exciting than spotting a uniquely colored egg in the nesting box. If you frequent social media, you may have seen pictures of eggs that look faintly purple or plum or even pink. Now, you are wondering how you can liven up the egg basket with some of those beautiful looking eggs. If you want brightly colored eggs, you need to know which chicken breeds lay purple eggs.
There are plenty of breeds that lay white and brown eggs, but there are also a few that may produce eggs of another color, such as plum or lavender. Let’s check them out, so you can decide if they are right for your backyard or farm.
Can Chickens Lay Purple Eggs? They Are Not Just a Myth?
First off, you may have heard one thing or another through social media or on the internet about chickens laying purple eggs. What you need to know is that no breed is known to lay truly purple eggs. In other words, breeds with lavender in their name do not lay lavender-colored eggs. However, a distinct purple is indeed possible.
There are breeders out there who are attempting to alter the pigment in the bloom on the egg so that hens begin to lay eggs of lavender, violet, plum, and other purple shades consistently. Right now, however, there are some breeds that may produce a rare purple egg.
What is the Bloom of an Egg?
Before discussing which breeds have eggs that look purple, let’s discuss the bloom. The egg bloom, also known as the cuticle, is a natural protective coating that is secreted by the hen’s oviduct onto the surface of the eggshell before it is laid. The coating is made up of proteins and is deposited onto the eggshell in a liquid form, which then dries to form a protective layer.
The main purpose of the bloom is to protect the egg from bacteria and other pathogens by creating a barrier that prevents them from entering through the porous eggshell.
Additionally, the bloom helps to reduce moisture loss from the egg, which can help to extend its shelf life. The bloom can be washed off with water or other substances, so it is important to handle eggs carefully to avoid damaging this natural protective layer.
How Does the Bloom Influence Egg Color?
If you are looking to add some purple eggs to the batch, then you also need to know about how the egg bloom affects the shell’s color. A thicker bloom can create a more opaque egg, which may appear lighter in color, while a thinner bloom can result in a more translucent egg, which may appear darker in color. Additionally, the bloom can affect how the egg reacts to the dye used in the coloring process, resulting in variations in egg color.
More often than not, it is the presence of the bloom on an egg that causes it to look a shade of purple. Once the bloom is gone, the egg will no longer look that color but something else.
Which Breeds of Chickens Can Lay Purple Eggs?
Again, no breed has yet to lay a truly purple egg. Yet, if you are looking for eggs that are purple when a dried bloom is present, there are several breeds that can live up to your expectations.
Copper Marans are a breed of chicken known for their dark brown eggs, but some strains of this breed can lay eggs with a unique purple tint to them. This is due to the presence of a pigment called biliverdin in the eggshell. Biliverdin is a green pigment that is formed when red blood cells break down in the chicken’s body. In some strains of Copper Marans, this pigment is deposited along with brown pigment (protoporphyrin) in the eggshell, resulting in the distinctive purple color.
It’s worth noting that not all Copper Marans will lay purple-looking eggs, and even those that do may not produce eggs with the same intensity of color. The exact shade of the egg can also vary depending on factors such as the bird’s diet, age, and overall health.
Furthermore, the thickness of a hen’s bloom tends to be hereditary, so if you find a Copper Maran hen who deposits a thick, purple bloom on her eggs, try to raise her chicks. The female babies will go on to also produce purple-looking eggs.
English Croad Langshan
The English Croad Langshan is another chicken known for its pinkish-brown or dark brown eggshells. As you have learned with the Copper Maran, dark brown eggs sometimes end up with a purplish hue. The same is true when there is some pink present. Again, you can thank the presence of biliverdin in the eggshell, as well as protoporphyrin and zinc.
Again, not all English Croad Langshan hens are going to produce eggs that look purple.
Ameraucana chickens are known for laying blue eggs, but their genetics can also produce lavender eggs. This is due to a dilution gene that causes the blue pigment (known as oocyanin) to appear more muted, resulting in a lavender hue. However, even if you have Ameraucana chickens who do not produce purple-tinted eggs, you are not at a loss. You still get stunning blue eggs and friendly chickens. Ameraucanas can lay up to 200 eggs per year, on average. Plus, they are friendly and docile.
Easter Egger chickens are a mixed breed that have the blue egg-laying gene from the Araucana or Ameraucana chicken breeds. However, since Easter Eggers are not a standardized breed, their egg colors can vary widely. They can lay eggs in shades of blue, green, pink, or even brown. Some Easter Eggers may also produce eggs with speckles or spots. The exact color of the eggs can depend on factors such as the individual bird’s genetics, age, and diet.
Because Easter Eggers are a bit of a roulette table in terms of what color you will see on their eggs, you may find yourself surprised one day by a purple egg. Similar to Ameraucanas, the presence of a lavender-colored egg is due to the dilution of oocyanin. Sometimes, you can also attribute the purple color to the bloom.
Favaucana chickens are a hybrid breed created by crossing the Faverolles and Ameraucana breeds. They are known for their striking appearance, with fluffy beards, muffs, and ear tufts. Favaucanas also have a friendly and docile temperament, making them great for backyard flocks.
In terms of egg production, Favaucanas are known to lay blue (often periwinkle) or mint green eggs, but the exact shade can vary based on the individual bird’s genetics. While they are not known for laying purple eggs often, it is possible for some Favaucanas to produce eggs with a lavender or pink tint.
Not every chicken in these breeds will produce eggs that look purple. And chickens that lay eggs with the desired shade, may not produce eggs with the same intensity of color.
What Factors Influence the Development of Purple Eggs?
If you are interested in purple eggs, the next question you may ponder is whether your chickens could eat something that makes their eggs turn purple. Turns out, purple eggs may be the cause of internal and environmental factors.
For example, if your chickens are deficient in manganese and vitamin D3, eggshell formation tends to weaken, sometimes resulting in eggs that look more purple. Certain medications like Nicarbazin also impact the pigmentation of the bloom, sometimes resulting in eggs looking more purple than usual.
Other factors influencing the bloom include:
- Age: Younger chickens tend to lay larger eggs, which means that there is more egg and less pigment. This could cause eggs to look pinkish or purplish.
- Health: Certain infections disrupt colorization and mineralization, which could make a brown or blue egg look purple.
- Sunlight: During the summer, you may notice that the colors of the eggshells are stronger. Meanwhile, in the winter, eggs become more lightly colored. You may notice more eggs were a pink or purple tint during the autumn and winter months.
- Stress: When chickens are stressed, various abnormalities occur during egg production and laying. If you want your hens laying eggs with a thick purple bloom, ensure that they are calm, happy, and well fed.
You can watch this video report and see a whole basket of eggs with a purple tint:
Final Thoughts on Purple Eggs
Do chickens lay purple eggs? Unfortunately, no chicken breed can pop out a truly purple egg right yet, but there are breeds out there who can lay a purple bloom, such as Copper Marans and English Croad Langshans. You can also try breeds that produce blue or pink-tinted eggs, such as Easter Eggers. One day, you may be surprised to find a purple egg in the nesting box. And even if you don’t, you will still have plenty of eggs to feed your family or start a business.
Valerie has been content writing since 2016 for websites and companies all around the world. A traveler, dancer, martial artist, Valerie loves gathering experiences and wisdom. Her travels have taken her to over 20 countries, and she hopes to see more of the world soon.