Wondering what kinds of chickens lay white eggs? It comes down to the breed of the chicken. The white eggs you see in the supermarket are most commonly laid by White Leghorns, although there are some other breeds that also produce white/cream-colored eggs.
What Chicken Breeds Lay White Eggs?
There’s something about white or cream-colored eggs that most people find a lot more appealing than regular brown eggs.
It’s probably because they are rarer, right? People tend to like things that are rarer, it feels more like a novelty.
Whatever the reason, if you’re after a white egg layer, here are 5 of the most popular breeds of chickens that lay white eggs:
Leghorns are one of the most popular and well-known breeds due to being one of the most prolific layers. They can lay almost one egg per day, and reach up to almost 300 in a good year.
That makes them an obvious choice for commercial purposes. Most of the eggs you see in shops and supermarkets are the produce of Leghorns. That goes for both brown and white eggs.
They aren’t the most popular backyard breed, and I’m really not sure why. I asked a few friends and all they could really come up with was the fact that they’re not the most colorful and social of breeds.
The California White is another prolific layer. They are actually a sex-link cross from a White Leghorn and a Gray California Rooster, so it’s no surprise they lay similar eggs to the White Leghorn.
They are more popular as a backyard choice, although they are one of the more flighty birds so you will need to clip their wings if you want to keep on the right side of your neighbors.
Polish chickens lay far fewer eggs per year and are a lot wackier looking and acting - so it’s no surprise that they are more popular than the two breeds I just mentioned!
They have a distinctive crest of feathers on their heads, which actually impairs their vision. There is a V-shaped comb under there somewhere, and they come in a wide range of colors.
Polish chicks are friendly and fun to keep as backyard pets. Not the best layers, they don’t enjoy the cold, but an all-around great breed for beginners and seasoned chicken enthusiasts.
The Ancona is another breed that (it’s believed as far as I can tell) was originally bred with Leghorns and carried on the white egg-laying gene.
They also lay upwards of 200 eggs per year with all the right conditions met. So, if you’re after a white layer of your own, and you want a less common breed, I’d check out Anconas.
Personality-wise, they are alert, friendly, chatty, and a load of fun to raise from chicks. Plus, I’m not the only person to think their deep black feathers with white tips is striking.
I’ve included Hamburg chickens in the top 5 because, in my opinion, they are one of the most impressive looking chickens.
It’s not just my opinion either. The Hamburg is a popular show breed, and although the colors and markings are usually the main focus - they also lay white eggs.
They have rose combs, white earlobes (see, it does work that means white eggs), and a magnificent black and white plumage.
What Different Colored Eggs Do Chickens Lay?
According to Michigan State University, the color egg a hen lays is determined by the genetics of the bird.
This means different breeds produce different colored eggs. It doesn’t come down to their diet, time of year, or any other random factors I’ve heard about.
The most common color of eggs is brown. The classic brown you commonly see on supermarket shelves, on TV, and so on.
Brown and white are not the only colors of eggs, however. Breeds like Marans lay chocolate brown colored eggs, Ameraucanas lay blue eggs, Easter Eggers lay olive/green colored eggs, and there are various shades in between.
If you’ve been involved in raising chickens for any time I’m sure you will have heard someone say that you can tell the color egg a chicken will lay by the color of their earlobes.
This can be used as a rough guide, but it’s not a hard fact. Not all red-lobed chickens lay brown eggs, just as not all chickens with white earlobes lay white eggs.
Most do, I’ll say that. But it’s not a genetic fact to be taken as 100%.
Why Are My Chickens Laying White Eggs?
If your hens are laying white eggs, the most likely explanation is that you have a white egg-laying breed.
The color of the egg a chicken lays is down to their genetics, which obviously doesn’t change during their lives.
What Is the Difference Between Brown and White Eggs?
Apart from the obvious - the color is different - there aren’t any other differences between white and brown eggs. Or any other color eggs for that matter.
According to BestFoodFacts, the nutritional content of brown, white, or any color eggs is the same.
What makes a difference to the taste and nutritional content of an egg is the diet of the chicken. Which, obviously can apply to any breed of chicken, regardless of the types of eggs they lay.
There is some debate about what to feed chickens to produce the best-tasting eggs. One thing almost everyone does agree on, however, is that free-range chickens that are able to forage for their own scraps produce better eggs.
Allowing some variation outside of just a commercial feed like high-protein bugs and plants makes a difference. As does being able to exercise and live a healthier, more stress-free life.
Related - Spotted blood in an egg? Read this.
Do Black Chickens Lay White Eggs?
It is possible for a black chicken to lay a white egg. Black leghorns come to mind. As mentioned earlier, Leghorns are available in various colors, some lay brown eggs and some lay white.
I believe black leghorns do, in fact, lay white eggs. It’s not the color of a chicken’s feathers that determines what color eggs they lay.
There is a connection between the color of their earlobes (that dangly flesh where their ears are) and the color of their eggs. But not their feathers.
Do White Hens Only Lay White Eggs?
The same answer applies here, too. Just because a hen is white, it doesn’t mean she will only lay white eggs.
There are lots of breeds that are white or mostly white, like White Sussex and Rhode Island Whites, and both of these breeds lay brown eggs.
Some white hens do lay white eggs. Just don't’ take it as fact or a given, or you’re going to be disappointed when you look in their nesting box when they start laying!
Now you know what kinds of chickens lay white eggs along with 5 of the most popular breeds.
The color eggs a chicken lays is determined by their genes. Not by any other factors. And, most importantly you now know that white eggs are the same as brown ones.
Although, I still want white eggs over brown and am willing to pay a little more for the privilege!
Image credits - Photo by Amelia Kartika on Unsplash
Why are chicken eggs different colors? - Michigan State University
Difference between white and brown eggs? - Best Food Facts.org