Some chickens lay speckled eggs by accident, a mishap in the egg production process. But, there are some chicken breeds that regularly lay speckled eggs as their normal eggs!
Among all those that love receiving a rainbow array of eggs on their daily collection – and other chicken-lovers, these speckled eggs can be highly sought after.
So, for all those who are looking for these specific chicken breeds, or those who are simply curious, here we go through what causes chickens to lay speckled eggs and which chicken breeds are known to lay speckled eggs regularly.
What Causes Chickens To Lay Speckled Eggs?
There are actually two main reasons which cause chickens to lay speckled eggs.
Either you’ve got specific chicken breeds that lay speckled eggs as their normal eggs, or there has been a mishap in the egg-forming process.
For these abnormal eggs: if your chickens lay brown or tan colored eggs, these speckles will appear as little spots on the outer eggshell, either all over it or in just some places.
It’s said that too much calcium in a hen’s diet can cause white or brown speckled eggs.
Otherwise, there are several known chicken breeds that reliably and regularly lay speckled eggs, all with varying colors and styles.
What Types Of Chickens Lay Speckled Eggs?
So, putting aside any egg abnormalities, let’s focus on those chickens who regularly lay speckled eggs as a part of their normal egg production. After all, it’s really the only way to get speckled eggs reliably!
Although there are many breeds that may lay speckled eggs from time to time, the main breeds of chicken that are known to lay speckled eggs are Marans, Welsummers, Easter Eggers, and Penedesenca.
Of course, Easter eggers are hybrids, so it will depend on what their parent breeds are, but they will often lay speckled eggs.
You might also find other hybrid breeds with Marans or Welsummers who regularly lay speckled eggs too!
Here’s a bit about each of these chicken breeds and their specific speckled egg qualities!
Marans, or “chocolate eggers” are best known for their dark brown eggs. They’ve been around since the 1200s too, and to date have over 14 different varieties, including Black Copper Marans, and other Cuckoo Marans.
They are kind and gentle, which makes them perfect additions to existing flocks, or for new flocks alike!
They’re somewhat larger than standard chicken breeds and lay roughly 3 eggs per week on average, all year round.
What makes Marans truly unique is their dark brown eggs, which have some even darker speckles all over them. Not every egg will have speckles, but the vast majority will.
Welsummers are a reasonably “new” chicken breed. Although Welsummer’s origins can be traced back to Welsum in Holland, their origination story is somewhat debated.
Welsummers are most common in the UK and Australia, but can still be found all across the U.S.
They’re docile and friendly, and are known for their intelligence too!
In terms of color, these fluffy companions have different shades of brown on their bodies. Most of their body is dark brown with light brown feathers scattered randomly. Their necks and napes, however, have a shiny, golden brownish-orangish color.
Like the Marans, Welsummers also lay dark brown eggs, but just not as dark and deep as the Maran’s eggs. Still, the speckles on them are as dark as the Maran’s eggs, and they lay these speckled eggs very regularly – almost without fail!
Easter Eggers are all the craze, given they are one of the very few types of chickens which regularly lay blue and green eggs!
Easter Eggers aren’t actually a true breed of chicken but are a hybrid instead. Namely, Easter Eggers are hybrids with one parent being an Ameraucana or Araucana, which also lay blue and green eggs.
Although they can occasionally lay light blue and green speckled eggs, they will only regularly lay speckled eggs if they’ve been crossed with other “speckled-egg layers’ like Marans or Welsummers!
Still, there’s something special about a speckled green or blue egg!
For more information about Easter Eggers, check out all the characteristics of Easter Egger Roosters & Hens.
The Penedesenca is certainly one of the rarer-chicken breeds, especially in the U.S.
Said to have originated from Spain, they have been through a few cycles of popularity, but a few cycles of near extinction too, due to external factors from the Spanish Civil War.
To this day they still haven’t been recognized as a true breed by the American Poultry Association.
Still, these chickens are known to be beautiful backyard companions, and consistently lay speckled eggs – Although you may not find them easily in the U.S!
Can All Chickens Lay Speckled Eggs?
All chickens are capable of laying some kind of “speckled egg”. How glamorous and beautiful they are depends on the breed and color of the eggs too.
Of course, you don’t want to celebrate speckled eggs from just any old chicken breed though, as it’s often a sign something has gone wrong in the cycle, namely during the pigmenting stage.
Still, it’s possible to get some speckles whether your chickens lay blue, green, brown, tan, or white eggs — they’ll just appear a little different!
Sure, it’s common for chicken fanatics to go crazy for pink, green, or blue eggs. But, something just as SPECK-tacular are speckled eggs.
If you’re wanting that full array of beautiful eggs on your daily collection routine, look no further. Marans and Welsummers are the most common speckled-egg layers, both being relatively easy to source and great additions to any backyard farm.
Easter Eggers can lay speckled eggs too, but it depends on what their parent breeds are!
Penedesenca chickens are a much less common breed, but they will too lay speckled eggs reliably.
Which is your favorite?