What Chickens Lay White Eggs?

By Chicken Pets on
What Chickens Lay White Eggs?

Are you curious about which chickens lay white eggs? In this post, we’ll explore the breeds that do so and the factors that determine egg color – all to help you make the best choices for your backyard flock!

What Chickens Lay White Eggs?

Chickens that lay white eggs include Leghorns, Anconas, and Hamburgs, among others. These breeds have a unique genetic makeup that leads to white eggshell production, giving them their signature appearance.

Why Some Chickens Lay White Eggs

Before diving into the list of chickens that lay white eggs, it’s essential to understand why these chickens produce this eggshell color. The reason lies in their genetic makeup. Porphyrin pigments, such as oocyanin and protoporphyrin, control and influence eggshell color. Chickens that primarily use protoporphyrin create brown eggshells, while those utilizing mainly oocyanin create blue ones. Chickens that lay white eggs have low pigmentation levels, resulting in no color being deposited on the shell.

White-Egg-Laying Chicken Breeds

Now that we know why some chickens lay white eggs, let’s explore various breeds known for this unique characteristic. Remember that each breed comes with distinct traits, behaviors, and needs that might influence your decision on which one to raise.


Leghorns are the most well-known white egg-laying breed. They are of Italian origin and are considered highly efficient egg layers, producing around 280-320 large white eggs per year. Leghorns are also non-sitters, which means they are less likely to go broody. These chickens are active, energetic, and enjoy foraging. Although they can be somewhat flighty, they are relatively low-maintenance with fairly good tolerance to heat and cold.


Anconas are originally from Italy, too, and are known for their striking black and white feather pattern. These active and hardy birds lay approximately 220-240 white eggs per year, depending on the individual bird’s age and condition. They are also good foragers, making them ideal for free-range setups.


Hamburgs are a small-sized chicken breed, often referred to as the “living jewels” of the chicken world due to their stunning feather patterns. They lay small to medium-sized white eggs, with an average annual production of around 150-200 eggs. While they are not the best layers, their friendly temperament and low maintenance needs make them a popular choice for backyard chicken keepers.

California White

California Whites are a hybrid breed, created by crossing the White Leghorn and California Gray. These chickens are prolific layers of large white eggs, producing around 300 eggs per year. California Whites are friendly, easy to handle, and adapt well to different environments, making them a great addition to a diverse flock.


Polish chickens are most famous for their unique head feathers, which resemble a stylish headdress. They are classified as an ornamental breed yet manage to lay approximately 150 white eggs per year. These friendly birds enjoy human interaction and are excellent choices for families with kids due to their gentle and sociable nature.


Originating from Spain, Andalusian chickens are known for their beautiful slate-blue feathers. They lay medium to large white eggs and have an average annual production of around 150 eggs. They are strong and hardy birds, suitable for a variety of weather conditions, but they can be a bit skittish compared to other breeds.

Factors That Determine Egg Color

Aside from genetics, other factors can affect the color of a chicken’s eggs. Let’s delve into a few:


A balanced and nutritious diet is crucial to maintaining consistent eggshell color. Insufficient calcium or an imbalanced diet can lead to lighter or irregularly pigmented eggs.


As hens age, their egg color might change slightly. This could be due to reduced efficiency in pigment deposition on the shells over time, so older hens might lay slightly lighter eggs compared to when they were younger.


A chicken’s health status can also affect eggshell color. Sick or stressed hens may temporarily produce fewer or paler eggs, which usually returns to normal once the bird recovers.

External Factors

External factors such as abrupt changes in weather, sudden loud noises, or stressful situations can impact egg color as well. Hens in these situations might lay eggs with different color tones, and this can last until the situation is resolved.

Benefits of White Eggs

While there’s no significant difference in taste or nutritional content between white and colored eggs, there are a few benefits to raising chickens that lay white eggs:

  • Egg Production: White egg-laying chicken breeds are often high egg producers, ensuring a steady supply for your household.
  • Aesthetics: If you are fond of uniformity, having a coop full of white egg layers can provide a clean and consistent basket of eggs.
  • Breed Traits: Many of the white egg-laying chicken breeds are hardy, adaptable, and low maintenance, making them easier to care for in a backyard setting.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Breed

Before you decide on which breed to add to your flock, keep these factors in mind:


Some breeds fare better in colder or warmer climates, so select a breed that is known to tolerate the weather conditions in your area.

Roaming Space

Different chicken breeds require varying amounts of space to roam and forage. Understanding their activity levels will ensure you provide a suitable environment for your flock to thrive.


Selecting breeds that suit your preferences and household is an essential factor to consider. Some chickens are more active and friendly, while others may be shy or skittish.

Egg-laying Frequency

Consider how many eggs you expect or desire from your chickens. Some breeds lay more frequently than others, influencing their appeal for backyard chicken keepers.

Caring for chickens is a rewarding experience, and having a coop full of white egg layers can add an exciting element to your backyard flock. While there are many breeds to choose from, ensure that your selection is based on your preferences, climate, and available space so your chickens stay healthy and happy throughout their lives.

Managing a Mixed Flock

If you’re interested in having more variety in your flock, consider mixing different breeds. This approach can lead to many benefits, such as increased egg diversity and improved flock dynamics. However, managing a mixed flock requires extra consideration and care to ensure all birds get along well and thrive in their environment.


Consider the size, temperament, and behavior of each breed when selecting the birds for your mixed flock. It’s essential to combine breeds that have similar characteristics, ensuring no bird becomes overly dominant or aggressive toward others.

Living Space

When creating a diverse flock, it’s important to modify the living space according to the various breeds’ needs. Chickens that enjoy roosting at different heights, for example, will need an adjusted perching arrangement.

Feeding Requirements

Different breeds may have different dietary needs, so it’s essential to plan for sufficient and appropriate nourishment. This might mean providing separate feeding areas for larger and smaller birds to ensure easy access for all flock members.

Common Misconceptions about Egg Colors

Many people believe that certain egg colors are inherently healthier or superior to others, leading to some misconceptions:

White Eggs vs. Brown Eggs

There is a common belief that brown eggs are healthier and tastier than white eggs. However, the nutritional content and taste of an egg are determined by factors like diet, environment, and freshness, not shell color.

Blue and Green Eggs

Some believe that blue or green eggs are more nutritious due to their unique shell color. While these eggs are indeed beautiful, they do not have any significant difference in nutrient content compared to white or brown eggs.

Preserving White Eggshell Color

If you’re keen on keeping your white eggs clean and spotless, here are a few tips:

  • Clean nest boxes: To avoid dirt and smudges on the eggs, make sure to keep the nest boxes clean and provide fresh bedding regularly.
  • Timely collection: Regularly collect eggs to prevent dirt build-up and potential breakage.
  • Proper washing: If needed, gently clean the eggshells with warm water and a soft cloth, avoiding the use of harsh chemicals. However, it’s essential to note that washing removes the natural protective layer from the eggshell called the “bloom,” which can reduce its shelf life.

Egg Candling and Storage

Whether you have a flock of white egg layers or mixed breeds, proper egg cleaning, candling, and storage are crucial to maintain freshness and quality:

Egg Candling

Egg candling is the process of carefully inspecting an egg using a bright light to reveal its internal development or the presence of cracks. For those interested in hatching chicks, this method is essential in determining an egg’s viability. For those collecting eggs for consumption, candling can help detect cracks that might not be visible to the naked eye.


Fresh eggs should be stored in a clean, cool, and dark environment. Store them pointy-end-down in an egg carton and avoid constant fluctuations in temperatures, as this can shorten their shelf life. Properly stored, fresh eggs can last for 3-5 weeks in the refrigerator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s a list of common questions related to white egg-laying chickens and related topics. We hope that these answers help clarify any uncertainties and provide useful information as you care for your backyard flock.

1. What is the difference between white and brown eggs?

White and brown eggs differ in their eggshell color, which is determined by the chickens’ genetics. There’s no notable difference in taste, nutritional content, or quality between the two.

2. Are white eggs less nutritious than other egg colors?

No, white eggs have the same nutritional content as eggs with colored shells. Nutrient levels are affected by factors like a chicken’s diet and age, rather than eggshell color.

3. Can different breeds of white egg layers be kept together?

Yes, different breeds of white egg layers can be kept together, provided they have compatible sizes, temperaments, and needs. It’s essential to ensure a peaceful and harmonious environment for your entire flock.

4. Do I need a rooster for my hens to lay eggs?

No, hens can lay eggs without a rooster. However, only fertilized eggs (which require a rooster) can develop into chicks.

5. How often do white egg-laying chickens lay eggs?

The frequency of egg-laying depends on the breed. Some prolific layers like Leghorns can lay up to 280-320 eggs a year, while other breeds may have a lower annual egg production.

6. How do I know if my hen is a white egg layer?

You can usually identify white egg layers by researching the breed’s characteristics and comparing them with your hen’s appearance, size, and temperament. Alternatively, you can wait and observe the egg color your hen lays to confirm its classification.

7. When do hens start laying eggs?

Most hens start laying eggs between 5-7 months of age. However, some breeds might begin earlier or later, so it’s essential to research the specific breed’s information.

8. Why did my white egg layer suddenly lay a colored egg?

This occurrence is unusual, as egg color is typically consistent throughout a hen’s life. However, external factors such as stress or illness can temporarily alter the eggshell color. If a hen’s health and environment are stable, egg color should return to normal soon.

9. How long do chickens lay eggs?

A hen’s egg-laying efficiency declines as it ages, usually after two to three years. Although older hens might continue to lay eggs, the frequency and quality of these eggs may decrease over time.

10. Do all white egg layers have white feathers?

No, the color of a chicken’s feathers is not always indicative of the egg color they lay. White egg-laying breeds can have various plumage colors and patterns.

11. Are white egg layers aggressive or noisy?

Temperament varies among breeds, so individual chickens within a breed can exhibit different behaviors. Generally, white egg-laying breeds tend to be active and energetic, but not necessarily aggressive or noisy.

12. How do I store white eggs properly?

To properly store white eggs, place them pointy-end-down in an egg carton and store them in a clean, cool, and dark environment. Avoid temperature fluctuations, and aim to consume fresh eggs within 3-5 weeks if kept in the refrigerator.

13. How can I improve the quality and taste of my white eggs?

Providing your chickens with a healthy, balanced diet, clean water, and a safe living environment can help improve the quality and taste of their eggs. Supplementing their feed with additional nutrients such as calcium and ensuring their foraging area is pesticide-free can positively impact the flavor and overall quality of the produced eggs.

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