What’s the difference between white and brown eggs?

When you go to the grocery store have you ever wondered, what’s the difference between white and brown eggs?

We used to only see white eggs, in the different sizes. Then they started adding the “natural” and “organic” eggs and those were brown.

I remember as a kid the chickens we had laid brown eggs. So I guess, back then, I thought the brown eggs were the healthy eggs and the white eggs were “store bought”.

A dozen colored eggs
Photo by Kelly Neil on Unsplashed

I’ve learned a few things since then.

The color of the egg is actually determined by the breed of the chicken.

The brown egg is actually a white egg up until just before it’s laid. It’s during the very last step of an egg being laid that the brown pigmentation is added to the white egg for those certain chickens that lay brown eggs.

The nutritional value of all eggs remain the same based on how the chicken is raised, it’s nutrition, stress level and other environmental factors that may effect the health of the chicken. However that nutritional value isn’t different based on the color of the egg.

Interestingly though, the brown color of a chicken’s eggs will become a lighter and lighter brown as the chicken ages. Again, the nutritional value isn’t changing, just the color.

The nutrition comes from the variety of food, the protein content, the exercise and sun the chicken gets and the amount of stress a chicken is or isn’t under during it’s lifetime.

Supplementing the light or not

Our chickens run free during the daylight hours enjoying all the sun, bugs and grass they can find. During the winter months, we supplement them with grains due to the lack of grass and bugs. We also give them extra protein to protect them from the winter cold.

We do NOT, however, supplement their light in the winter. Many farmers and companies add light to the coops to keep the hens laying more. We let our girls lay (or not) by their natural inclinations. In most cases, that means we will get less eggs during the winter, but that’s okay.

Other colors besides white & brown eggs

Brown isn’t the only color of egg a chicken can lay. The picture above doesn’t even show all the different colors of eggs.

We have some chickens who lay green and blue eggs as well. The coloring on those eggs are a little different.

Where the brown color is a process of a pigmentation being covered over the egg in the last part of the laying process. For the green and blue eggs, the color runs throughout the shell. That coloring is not a painted on color at the end of the egg laying process.

Moral of the story is, you can enjoy all colors of eggs, equally. There’s no nutritional difference based on color.

eggs arranged like a flower
I love the different hues of colors we get now.

Most of our hens lay the beautiful brown eggs. The chickens that lay those eggs are prolific egg layers and their pretty friendly hens, most of the time.

Now you know all there is about the differences between white and brown eggs, give us a call if you’d like some of your own farm fresh eggs.

2 Replies to “What’s the difference between white and brown eggs?”

  1. We love getting the delicious fresh eggs from Rustychain farm. Getting to come by and actually see your chickens free-ranging, let’s us know we are getting all the nutrients from your chickens eggs, that we should naturally be getting from eggs. Of course, they are quite scrumptious too! Thank you so much for raising these chickens & eggs as God intended and making them available for the rest of us.

    1. Thank you so much!! I’m so glad you enjoy them so much and it’s always so enjoyable to see you when you all come by. My furbabies all love it when you come by too. You spoil them so much.

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