The Science Behind Egg Color
Fun facts about Marans eggs — the fewer eggs a Marans hen lays, the darker the color those eggs will be. If your hen is a good layer, you will probably not be getting those super dark hues ♥️
That's because the brown pigment (protoporphyrin) gets deposited onto a pure white eggshell in the final stages just before being laid, so the longer your hen takes to lay her egg, the darker it should be. As the laying season progresses, those eggs will also lighten up a bit. Just wait until your hen molts in the Fall — when she starts laying again, the cycle starts over and you'll be back in dark eggs.
Marans don't just come in Black Copper (or "French Black Copper", which by the way, is not actually a real thing in the US - it's just more of that marketing we're always being bombarded with).
In general though, the darker your hen, the darker your eggs will be. Blue Copper Marans will lay some pretty dark eggs, as well as some Cuckoo Marans lines.
But maybe French Wheaten Marans are more your style - the White or Splash Marans varieties 🐓
Blue eggs have a blue pigment called oocyanin that permeates through the white shell of the egg - so the shell is actually blue inside and out! Blue eggshell color is controlled by an autosomal dominant gene: eggs produced by homozygote chickens are darker blue than those from heterozygotes.
How are green eggs formed?
First, the pigment responsible for blue eggs — called OOCYANIN — permeates through the eggshell. If you crack open one of these eggs you'll see that the shell is blue on the inside!
Next, the pigment responsible for brown eggs — called PROTOPORHYRIN — gets deposited onto the outside of the shell. This combination of pigments results in that elusive green (or OLIVE) colored egg.