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Name: paul
Status: other
Grade: other
Location: TX
Country: N/A
Date: May 2006

Question:
Was just watching a show and they were talking about the color of eggs.. One of the guest said the color of the egg is related to the eye color of the hen. Could this be true???



Replies:
This is true - almost. Actually, it's not the eye color, but rather the skin around the sides of the face (known as "earlobes") that correlates with egg color. The egg color and the earlobe color do not match, rather it is possible to predict the color of a hen's eggs by looking at her earlobes. In general, the darker the earlobes, the darker the eggs. Hens with white earlobes usually produce white eggs. Hens with red, brown, or black earlobes usually lay brown eggs. There are many exceptions to this rule, though. For example, chickens of the Silkie breed often have blue or black earlobes and they generally lay white eggs. I once had a Silkie with blue earlobes and her eggs were very light beige - almost white.

As far as we know, there is no particularly good reason why there should be a correlation between earlobe color and egg color. A hen's body puts pigmentation into the outermost layer of the egg shell; some breeds pigment their eggs darkly and some less so. For some reason, those with light earlobes also tend to have lightly-pigmented eggs. Here is a web site with many good pictures of chicken breeds, giving you a good look at a chicken's "earlobes":

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/poultry/chickens/

Christopher Perkins



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