Best Chicken Breeds That Lay Blue Eggs
If you would like to add some blue egg layers to your egg basket, you need to know the best chicken breeds that lay blue eggs.
Having a colorful egg basket is a lot of fun when you raise your own backyard chickens. And blue eggs are often the most coveted color of eggs since they aren’t usually sold in the store.
And while you may hear of breeds such as:
- Dongxiang chickens – a rare breed from China
- the Shetland Hen – a landrace from Scotland or
- Arkansas Blue – an experimental breed that is not available to the public yet
I’m not going to include those here. Those breeds listed above aren’t easy to locate as hatching eggs or baby chicks so I felt there is no need to include more about them.
Plus, most backyard chicken keepers want chickens that consistently lay lots of eggs and are easy to order from a hatchery or find at their local feed store.
But before we discuss the best chicken breeds that lay blue eggs, we need to answer the question…
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Are Blue Eggs Different Than Brown & White Eggs?
No, blue eggs don’t differ nutritionally from brown eggs or white eggs. The nutritional value of an egg depends on the hen’s diet.
Access to bugs and seeds through free-ranging along with a balanced layer feed will allow any backyard chicken egg, no matter the egg color, to be nutritionally superior to most store-bought eggs.
Best Breeds That Lay Blue Eggs
If you want to add some colorful eggs to your basket or carton, the following breeds will provide you with blue eggs from your backyard flock.
An Easter Egger chicken is really a mixed breed chicken. They can have many different features because of the way they are bred.
Usually, to make an Easter Egger, a blue egg layer is bred with a brown egg layer. The resulting chickens can lay eggs that may be blue, brown, green, yellow, or even pink. I was surprised when one of our Easter Eggers laid a pretty light pink egg with only a hint of brown.
The chickens may have pea combs or regular combs. Some have ear tufts and some don’t. The chickens can be any number of colors from gray, to white, to black, to a variety of colors.
Many have yellow feathers near their neck. Each individual hen is likely to look different, even if all the chicks were purchased at the same time. See some of the variety of colors below. All of these Easter Eggers have been in our flock.
Because the Easter Egger is a hybrid breed it isn’t recognized by the American Poultry Association as a real chicken breed.
Ameraucana chickens were developed in the 1970s as a cross between an Araucana and a brown to try and breed out a lethal gene. Ameraucanas are great foragers and tend to be fairly docile birds.
They have a unique appearance with their beards and muffs and since they have pea combs, they tolerate cold weather well. Each chicken will usually lay about 3-4 eggs a week (approximately 200 a year).
And unlike most blue egg layers where the blue pigment is on the outside of the shell only, Ameraucana eggs are a blue color on the inside of the shell too.
They are generally a quiet breed so they work well in a suburban setting. Since Ameraucanas are friendly birds, they are a good choice for families with small children.
They don’t tolerate confinement well so if you don’t have a large chicken run or room for them to free range, this may not be the breed for you. Don’t confuse Ameraucanas with Americanas or Americaunas which are usually just Easter Eggers being marketed under another name.
You can see a picture of an Ameraucana chicken here.
Cream Legbars aren’t a popular breed of blue egg layers, but they are becoming more widely known. This breed was developed by Professor R. C. Punnett and Michael Pease when he crossed a South American Araucana with a Gold Penciled Hamburg.
Most cream legbars have various shades of gray and white feathers and have crests on their heads. The barring is more obvious in the roosters than in the hens. Some hens will have a salmon color on their necks and wings.
This breed is auto-sexing meaning the sex of the chick can be determined at hatch. So you shouldn’t end up with a surprise rooster when buying cream legbar pullets.
They are very alert, which also means they can be flighty and the roosters can be quite aggressive. They enjoy foraging so they will be happiest if allowed to free range. You can expect about 4 eggs a week from a Cream Legbar hen (200 eggs a year).
The American Poultry Association doesn’t currently recognize this breed but there are organizations in Britain that do consider the Cream Legbar a real breed.
For more information on the cream legbar and to see pictures, check out this post.
What About Araucana Chickens?
Araucana chickens are a breed developed in Chile that lay beautiful blue eggs. A true Araucana chicken doesn’t have a tail but will have ear tufts that stick out from the side of its face.
Because of several genetic factors, most hatcheries in the U.S. don’t sell Araucanas. They are difficult to breed because of the lack of tail feathers.
And the gene that causes the tufts is lethal, causing many of the baby chicks to die in their shells. For these reasons, I can’t recommend Araucana’s as a chicken breed if you want blue eggs.
You can see a picture of a true Araucana on My Pet Chicken’s website.
Most of what is sold in the United States as Araucana chickens are usually Ameraucanas or Easter Eggers. If the baby chicks are being sold for $5 to $6 a piece, you can bet they aren’t Araucanas.
3 Best Blue Egg-Laying Breeds
So these 3 breeds are the best breeds if you want to add some blue egg-laying chickens to your flock.
- Easter Eggers
- Cream Legbar
You will have the easiest time finding Easter Eggers though you really won’t know exactly what they are going to look like until they grow up. Some will have muffs. Some won’t. And they can be any number of colors.
However, they are a great hybrid chicken for the backyard flock. They tend to be good foragers but also handle being cooped up without problems. We’ve always had some Easter Eggers in our flock (over 12 years now) and I wouldn’t be without them.
- Looking to add some white egg layers to your flock? These are the Best Chicken Breeds That Lay White Eggs.
- Do you want friendly chickens? You’ll find the Friendliest Chicken Breeds in this post.
- Need some chicken names for your backyard hens? What to Name Your Chickens will give you lots of ideas for naming both hens and roosters.
- This chart has lots of chicken breeds by the color of the eggs they lay.