What to Know: What Causes Different Types of Eggs?

When we first started selling at Farmer's Markets people would look at our display eggs and think they were fake.  There were so many colors and sizes that it doesn't look like they can be real eggs.  The cool part is, they are all real! We actually switched to recycled plastic egg cartons to show off the beautiful colors we are so proud to have.  So what makes an egg different?


The age of the hen can cause their eggs to be different color and size.  The younger a hen starts laying, the smaller the egg.  When our more recent set first started laying we sold "pullet" eggs, which is just a tinier egg that has all the characteristics of the more mature egg, besides it's size. After about a month of laying pullet eggs, the hens will start laying normal size eggs. 


Stress can also cause a difference in size of eggs.  If there are predators, weather extremes, not enough water or feed and disease or illness can all cause a hen to temporarily lay smaller than expected eggs. The only thing we really have to worry about are predators causing stress, but that unfortunately comes with pasture raised chickens.  We do our best to help protect them, but sometimes a predator can cause smaller eggs.  


The colors of the eggs come from the different chicken breeds.  Americauna's are chicken breeds that lay blue eggs, Easter eggers also lay blue (normally)  Olive Eggers lay green, Maran's lay the dark brown, Leghorn chickens lay white eggs, while Orpington’s lay brown eggs.  To be able to get our mix of egg colors we specifically buy different breeds.  

Farm Raised - NOT Commercial

The Leghorn (white eggs) are the best layers, with an average of 280 per year and sometimes reaching 300–320 eggs.  This is why many commercial farms sell white eggs, they are the highest producer.  There's not a nutritional difference between white eggs and brown eggs in the grocery store, that's a marketing ploy.  There is a difference between cage-free, pasture raised, and free range, but that's a topic for another blog post. 


Our eggs are different colors and sizes because we are not a commercial farm, and we love the diverse breeds and ages that help make our flock.  We take pride in how we raise the chickens, and you can literally taste the difference in the egg.