Penedesenca egg color is a very dark brown. The eggs of this beautiful Spanish chicken breed are among the darkest brown you’ll find. Often referred to as a chocolate brown color, if you’re after a unique egg layer and a wonderful backyard chicken, Penedesencas fit the bill.
Here is a look at this rare, but interesting breed of chicken:
What Are Penedesenca Chickens Like?
If you've not heard or seen a lot about Penedesencas, you're not alone. Penedesencas are pretty rare, especially on backyards or homesteads across the US.
The Penedesenca is a Spanish breed of chicken, originating in Catalonia. They're most famous for their eggs, which are one of the darkest browns of any chicken breed.
There's a lot more to these chickens than their brown eggs though. They're interesting-looking chickens, they have white earlobes, carnation combs, and are active and social birds.
Having white earlobes and laying dark brown eggs is pretty unique. It's not a hard rule, but I'm sure you've heard that the color of a chicken's lobes is a good indication of the color of the eggs they lay.
Their combs are very unique, too. What looks like a large single comb at first, is actually split into several lobes, somewhat like a crown.
Being of Spanish descent, it will come as little surprise that they are much happier in warmer climates. Penedesencas look and act a lot like Mediterranean breeds in that respect.
Best of all, they're lively and curious birds and a lot of fun to keep in a backyard setting.
Related - Chicken’s earlobes turning white? (Explained)
Why Penedesencas’ Egg Color Is So Special
Most breeds of chicken lay brown or light brown eggs, and that's certainly what we’re used to seeing on the supermarket shelves.
Breeds that lay different colored eggs have always been in huge demand, and different colored eggs often sell for a much higher price despite tasting the same.
Dark brown eggs, like the really dark chocolate brown that Penedesencas lay, are the rarest egg color. As a result, they're often in demand, or at least the source of surprise when people see them.
This is why this breed is known for the color of its eggs. This is a shame because you rarely hear about all of the other wonderful characteristics of this chicken.
Another unique egg-color layer is easter eggers. Easter eggs lay anything from green to blue, and just about every shade in between. You can read more about easter eggers here!
If you’re looking for white egg-laying breeds, then I recommend checking out this post covering some of the most popular white egg-laying chickens.
Varieties of Penedesenca
The Penedesenca was close to being extinct in the '80s. Since then, some clubs and organizations have really played a big part in making sure that this breed comes back stronger.
There are currently four varieties that are recognized:
- Wheaten - A striking mix of browns and cream colors.
- Partridge - Describes the variation of colors and the pattern of their feathers.
- Black - A striking black color. (Here’s why black chickens do not lay black eggs)
- Crele - This color is made from a black-breasted red and barring pattern.
All varieties of Penedesenca play dark brown eggs. I've seen some owners say that the first few pullet eggs are almost black in color, which is interesting.
I have a friend who tells me that his Crele Penedesenca egg color varies a lot throughout the year, with the first eggs of each season being much darker. So, don’t be surprised to see varying shades of brown throughout the year.
How Many Eggs Do Penedesencas Lay?
Penedesencas lay around 3 eggs per week on average. So, you can expect somewhere in the range of 150/year.
Production varies throughout the year, they will lay more in the summer and fewer in the winter.
This puts Penedesencas somewhere in the middle in terms of laying ability. But, let's be honest, finding those dark brown eggs more than makes up for laying fewer eggs than prolific breeds like Rhode Island Reds and Sussex.
If you're interested to know how many eggs different breeds lay, you can check out the numbers for the following breeds here; Welsummer, Brahma, Delaware, and Barred Rock.
Chickens That Lay Dark Brown Eggs
Penedesencas are not the only breed of chicken to lay dark brown eggs. The other breeds that lay dark brown eggs - all varying in shade and color - are:
Marans - This French breed of chicken lays the darkest brown eggs of any breed.
Barnevelders - This docile, large chicken lays large chocolate brown eggs.
Welsummer - One of the more popular brown-laying backyard breeds, this hardy chicken lays dark brown eggs.
Empordanesa - A fairly rare Mediterranean breed of chicken that lays dark brown eggs.
Related - Here's a look at Marans and their dark chocolate colored eggs.
What Chicken Lays the Darkest Egg?
The shade will vary from breed to breed depending on the time of the year, and the individual chicken, but it's widely believed that Marans lay the darkest brown eggs.
So, if you're after the darkest brown eggs possible, I recommend getting some Marans.
Where to Buy Dark Brown Egg Laying Chickens?
I buy all of my chickens, hatching eggs, and other poultry-related stuff from Cackle Hatchery.
Cackle Hatchery is a family-owned business based in Missouri. They have the widest range (and best prices) for chicks I've seen online, they ship stuff out pretty quickly, and are always really helpful.
Looking at what they have available at the time of publishing this, you can buy various varieties of Marans like Cuckoo, Black, Copper, and Whetens starting at around $3.30/ea depending on the quantity.
They also had Barnevelders and Welsummers in stock if you want to check those out. Everything is subject to change, of course, so I recommend checking out what Cackle Hatchery has available right now by clicking here.
In this article, I introduced you to Penedesencas and other breeds of chicken that lay dark brown eggs.
I have to admit, I'm as impressed as anyone when I see dark chocolate-colored eggs and totally understand why they’re in demand.
If you are too and you've been looking for a dark brown layer, then Penedesencas will make a great addition to your flock - or Marans if you simply want the darkest color eggs!
Image credits - Own photos; copyright ChickenandChicksInfo.com