Chicken Eyes and Eggs
Date: May 2006
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???
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":
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Update: June 2012