The Color of the Shell of a Chicken Egg Does Not Affect Its Nutritional Value
When chicken eggs have different colors and shades. What does their color depend on? Does it affect the quality and taste of the egg?
White vs. Brown
The shell of chicken eggs is basically two colors: white and brown/beige (various shades of brown appear). There is a general belief that brown-shelled eggs are healthier and more natural, while white eggs are associated with industrial breeding. However, this belief is not true.
It All Depends on Genes
The color of the eggshell depends on the hen’s genes and the color of her feathers. Birds with white plumage will lay eggs with white shells. The darker the feathers, the darker the eggshells. The coloring of the shell is determined by the pigment protoporphyrin IX. Hens with brown feathers produce the most of it, while those with white feathers produce the least. In simpler words: it all depends on genes.
Of course, feed, type of breeding, and stress levels can also affect shell color. However, these factors are only able to cause the shell to lighten or darken slightly (they will not change the shell color completely).
It is known for sure that all eggs, regardless of shell color, are equally healthy and contain similar nutrients. The only difference may be in the hardness and strength of the shell. It is composed of magnesium, calcium carbonate and phosphorus carbonate. If the shell does not crack in your hands, it is a sign that the hen has had a balanced diet rich in calcium.
Interestingly, there are breeds of hens whose eggs have a green-blue shell. This is due to a pigment called biliverdin. Eggs in shades of blue and green are laid by Dongxiang and Lushi (both from China), as well as Araucana (South America) and Ameraucana (USA).
What kind of eggs do you buy most often?