So far, no breeds produce true purple eggs, even though some eggs come out a distinctly purple color.
The purple color is due to the shade of the hen’s bloom; the purple color can be washed off.
Still, some breeders are currently hard at work, breeding purple bloom-producing hens in an attempt to consistently create lavender, plum, or deep purple shades for your colorful egg basket.
Do Any Chickens Lay True Purple Eggs?
No chicken lays a true purple egg.
All eggs that appear purple are because of a bloom that the chicken creates that surrounds the shell. This purple tint can be washed off. Interestingly enough, the chicken may lay purple eggs one day, but revert back to brown on another day.
Nearly every egg that appears purple is actually a cream or brown eggshell underneath.
What is a Bloom?
Blooms are a protective layer that surrounds the eggshell on an egg. Every egg has around 7,000 tiny pores in the shell; the bloom covers these.
This bloom is composed of egg proteins, glycoproteins, lipids, and calcium carbonate and is thought to help protect the egg against bacteria by forming an impenetrable barrier.
With that said, it takes a few minutes for the bloom to dry after exiting the hen. During this time, bacteria and other contaminants can enter the egg when it is vulnerable.
This is why keeping nesting boxes clean and free of manure is important.
Need to build a new nesting box? Here’s the Guide to Nesting Boxes 101, Plus 13 DIY Plans.
When viewed under a microscope, the bloom looks like tiny crystals which are made up of egg proteins and calcium carbonate.
These crystals act as an invisible shield that protects the egg from bacterial penetration. The thin layer of bloom also helps keep moisture in the egg so that it stays fresh for longer periods of time.
You can store fresh, unwashed eggs at room temperature for at least a month with no issue. If you leave that pretty pink (or whatever color it is) bloom on, then it will protect the egg from spoilage.
If you store unwashed eggs in the refrigerator, they should be safe to eat for six months.
Read more about egg storage here, How to Store Your Chickens’ Freshly Laid Eggs.
Interestingly, not all eggs will have a thick bloom on them – some eggs may have only faint traces or almost none.
Factors such as age, breed, diet, and environment play into whether or not an egg will develop its own bloom.
How Is the Egg Bloom Made?
The process of egg-blooming begins when a chicken creates an egg, and the egg forms a thin film of egg white which then reacts with calcium carbonate in the eggshell to form a protective coating around it.
The process typically occurs within 30-60 minutes before the egg is laid and can be seen as small, fine lines on the eggshell, also known as ‘fingerprints.’
The bloom is wet when laid and dries over the next few moments outside of her body. If you pick up a fresh egg, it may feel a bit sticky; that’s the drying bloom that you’re feeling.
Do Any Chickens Make a Purple Bloom?
Very little accredited research has been completed on purple bloom eggs.
Still, I have a hen who lays brown eggs with a light lavender bloom, and others have documented their backyard “purple” egg layers too.
If you are interested in raising hens who lay lavender eggs, either purchase a known egg layer (or a few of her fertilized eggs) and selectively breed from there. You want a brown egg that has a lightly pink hue to it.
The richer the brown eggshell, the deeper the purple bloom will appear to be.
Luckily for purple lovers, heavy blooms are inherited, so if a mama hen lays a heavy purple bloom, her female chicks will likely do the same, especially if she was bred to a dark egg rooster breed.
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Copper Marans are the most common purple egg layers. Copper Marans lay some of the most stunning dark brown chocolate-y eggs, so adding a few of these ladies to your flock will really add interest to your colorful egg basket. Even if they are unsuccessful at the purple bloom, you’ll be left with the darkest eggs you can possibly receive from a chicken.
English Croad Langshan
English Croad Langshans are sweet birds that lay large cream to brown eggs and occasionally produce thick blooms. These birds lay gorgeous pink to plum-colored eggs, or more so, their brown eggs have a plum-purple bloom.
Hens that don’t lay eggs with thick plum blooms produce light brown to cream to pink egg colors. We’ll cover other pink egg layer breeds below.
Any Brown Egg Layer Might Have A Purple Bloom
I had a Rhode Island Red hen who occasionally produced purple-ish eggs. Whenever she had a thicker bloom on the eggs, it would turn a very light shade of purple that was only visible when the egg was dry and in bright lighting.
Do Any Chickens Lay Pink Eggs?
Yes, some chickens may also lay pink eggs! Pink is not the ‘typical’ color, but it is a bloom, like the purple eggs. These pink-laying breeds are:
- Salmon Faverolles
- Buff Orpington
- Light Sussex
- Croad Langshan
- Barred Rock
- Mottled Java
- New Hampshire Red
- Rhode Island Red
Do Eggs of Different Colors Taste Different?
As long as the chickens are fed the same diet, and the eggs come from chickens and not other fowl, the differences in taste or texture should be inconsequential and insignificant.
Only a handful of people with a highly trained palette can discern the difference between eggs of different chicken breeds.
So chances are, you will not notice any difference in taste in eggs, no matter the eggshell color.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is The Rarest Color of a Chicken Egg?
The rarest chicken egg color comes from Favaucanas, which are a hybrid of Leghorns and Americaunas.
These eggs are bright mint green to a vivid periwinkle blue.
Are There Naturally Purple Eggs?
There are not any naturally purple eggs.
Still, plenty of hens lay dark brown eggs covered in a thick layer of purple bloom, making the eggs look lavender, purple, or plum in color.
Some naturally occurring purple eggs come from chickens, but this purple color can be washed or scrubbed away.
Do Some Chickens Lay Blue Eggs?
Although not common, some chicken breeds do indeed lay blue eggs!
For example, the Ameraucana, or “Easter Egger,” is a small chicken breed that lays light-blue eggs. This large fowl chicken originated in the United States and is typically very friendly.
Another breed, the Cream Legbar, is a hardy bird originating in Britain with a single comb and typically lays vibrant aqua-blue eggs.
Do Some Chickens Lay Green Eggs?
Olive Eggers, which are half Ameraucana, and half Maran, lay gorgeous green eggs.
Favaucanas also lay stunning green eggs. Isbar (Silverrudd blue), Ice Cream Bars (Isbar x Cream Legbar), and Ameracaunas produce attractive green eggs to spruce up your colorful egg basket.
How Many Eggs Do Chickens Lay?
Some chickens may lay as few as one hundred eggs a year, while others can lay an impressive three hundred and thirty eggs annually. It all depends on genetics, health, breed, protein intake, and overall living conditions.
Do Blooms Choose the Color of the Egg?
Blooms change the color of the egg’s shell, but the bloom does not determine the final color. Blooms can quickly be rinsed, washed, or scrubbed off of the egg.
How Long Do Eggs Last If Not Washed?
Unwashed eggs last for a month on the counter (at room temperature) and close to six months if stored in an appropriate cold refrigerator.
Which Chickens Lay Purple Eggs? Final Thoughts
While it may be disappointing to learn that no chicken breed lays a true purple egg, you should at least be excited to learn that several breeders are working hard to develop strains of chickens that consistently lay rich eggs with deep purple blooms on them.
You can begin your search for purple egg layers by reaching out to these skilled breeders or get started on your own breeding program.
How cool is that?!