Hen lays green eggs (no ham)

A Mexican hen named Rabanita has become quite an attraction in the village of Cuautitlan since she started laying green eggs last month. Apparently the hen, owned by Elvira Romero, eats a regular diet. From the Associated Press:
Scientists believe that shell colour - which does not affect the colour or flavour of the yolk or white - is determined by the genes, and say blue or green shells are frequently found in the Araucana chicken strain.

Green egg layers attract a premium in some parts of South America, where poultry breeders aim to produce chickens, which lay nothing else.


  1. Lots of hens lay green eggs. Roughly a quarter of our farmers market eggs are green. What makes this hen newsworthy?

  2. it’s *blessed* of course!
    it should try harder, they are not very green at all.

    Sam I am would be fine with these.

    now if the hen were green…….

  3. I’m with Gerta. Where’s the news story? Aracuna hens lay green or light-blue eggs all the time, and I can buy green eggs by the carton at the local health food store.

  4. I raised chickens as a kid for 4-h. Rusty, one of my hens, laid green eggs. I thought they tasted better, but I think it’s just ’cause I liked Rusty best.

  5. I don’t get it either. Growing up we had hens that layed all different colored eggs. Some blue, some green, some orange, and some pink.

  6. I agree with Gerta also; my father in law gave us eggs each month during 2004 and the predominant color was green. Blue, pink, brown, and variants of those were normal.

    This is ex-news.

  7. A co-worker keeps a dozen or so laying hens. He claims that their egg shell color matches the color of their exposed skin (on legs).

    He brings in the extras. Usually they go to paying customers who want fresh organic eggs. I’ve gotten a few dozen that were still around after a few days. As others have noted, they come in a variety of colors.

  8. @Invictus: It’s araucana, not aracuna.

    Here in Chile, it’s very common to see green eggs. They taste exactly like the blank eggs.

  9. I literally 5 minutes ago ate a hard-boiled green egg from one of our backyard chickens, who is, in fact, a hybrid form of the Auracana chicken from South America, called an Ameraucana. They lay eggs that are green, blue or even purple. Cool, and uncommon to most Americans, but not a real newsworthy item.

  10. Like Atomicon, I just ate a green egg five minutes ago. We have an Araucana hen in our backyard that lays a green egg every other day–not sure why this is news, as araucanas are very common chickens.

    The factory farms that supply our supermarket eggs use hormone-pumped hybrid hens that crank out many more eggs in their short, unhappy lives. The reason you don’t see green and blue Auracana or Ameraucana eggs in the supermarket is that they are not as productive.

  11. darnit, everyone else beat me to the know-it-all punch…I was just coming here to post all about the fact that green eggs are not a big deal…Aracuna and Americuna chickens lay them all the time.

    Now, show me a chicken who lays eggs with green YOLKS (as the green eggs of Seussian fame had), and I promise I won’t post any snarky comments about it.

    For realsies!

  12. Hey, you all may know about colored eggs, but this is the first I’ve ever heard of them.

    Why are all the eggs in supermarkets white? (Or brown, if they’re whole wheat.)

  13. T,

    We used to buy them at the flea market in Petaluma (the chicken capital of America!) in the 70s. They were novelty items. Maybe people have an aversion to animal products being green or blue. Blue, at least, is supposed to be a warn-off color in the food world.

  14. #13: Maybe something to do with missing nutrients, or a miserable life in a sunless box?

    Or maybe factory hens are bred to produce consistent product?

  15. Here’s a tip: my uncle has an egg farm and yes, we’ve seen many colored eggs (blue, green, pink) and they do seem to match the color of the flap of skin the hen has under the “ear” so to speak. (Don’t know about the legs, #8)

  16. #13 and #15 – it’s genetics. For instance, Leghorns lay white eggs, while Rhode Island Reds lay brown.

    Yolk color is a more interesting question and has nothing to do with the color of the shell. Hens that have access to pasture (i.e. grass and greens) produce a darker, more nutritious yolk. Note that supermarket eggs labeled “free range” probably do not have access to grass. You’ve got to have your own flock or go to a farmer’s market to get pastured eggs. They taste better too.

    For those who want even more information on Auracana eggs there’s a British poultry fanatic on ebay who sells an amazing Auracana egg color chart showing a range of possible colors from green to blue.

  17. #13, the reason for white eggs in the supermarkets is in fact due to genetics ultimately, but the reason they are popular is because of our weird sense of purity. I heard it started in the 50s but I haven’t verified it. White eggs aren’t communist eggs I guess, it’s really just an invention of industrialized society. My mom raises chickens and her eggs are wonderful, but very few are actually white. Duck eggs are my favorite and are generally white and have more protein, turkey eggs are generally speckled with a meatier taste.

    It could be that white eggs come from hens with really large breasts that reach egg laying faster than their un-industrialized brethren.

  18. eggs come from chickens? Blasphemists! Next you’ll be saying my hamburger comes from those cow things, not the giant plastic box in the backroom of the supermarket.

    Yeah, green eggs are far from newsworthy, even if they suddenly pop up in some little village in the middle of nowhere.

    Now if they were giant Golden Eggs..time to Hail Eris!

  19. Hodur@9: Thanks, I stand corrected.

    TNH@13: I’m too late to answer the actual question, so for bonus points I’ll ask: Do you know why bottom of the barrel supermarket cheese is orange?

  20. I’d never heard of chicken eggs being anything other than brown or white either, so I’m finding this totally exciting–waaay more exciting than the original story. One chicken’s greenish eggs is nothing compared to finding out that there’s a whole world of eggs out there that I knew nothing about. That colour chart on ebay is awesome. Bright pink eggs! Blueberry blue eggs! Strawberry red eggs! SO. FREAKING. AWESOME. Now I’m off to see if we have any Ontario Araucana egg farmers…if not, perhaps I’ll give it a shot…

  21. I raised Araucana when I was a kid. The eggs are cool, but they aren’t very good commercial egg layers because the hens only lay a dozen or so eggs and then begin to brood (stop laying for a month and try to hatch eggs).

    We used them as much to raise chicks as for their eggs. They made very good mothers.

    I was told that besides their color, Araucana eggs had little or no cholesterol… I have no idea if that’s true or not.

  22. The article states that the chicken started to lay green eggs. Maybe Rabanita used to lay other color eggs, or her breed doesn’t usually lay colored eggs? That might make it a news story.

  23. Im very late to the party but I wanted to be on the list as yet another person who had green egg laying Aracunas at a time. No Big Deal.

  24. Here in China, green eggs are becoming popular. I have 1000 green egg chicken at home. If somebody want green eggs, I can make a delivery.
    My phone is ********** Mr Pettey

  25. I have Aracauna chickens. They do lay green,blue,orange,or pink eggs. I am 100% sure there is not any nutritional difference between these eggs or the normal white or brown eggs.
    Also like a few people have said before, the Araucana also known as the Ameraucana, is not a very good egg layer but is a dual purpose bird, and they make good mothers. The Araucana only lays in the seasons of spring and summer.
    I think they are a cool bird because of their egg and feather differientation in color. I enjoy my Araucana’s as a backyard farm chicken.

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