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Difference Between White and Brown Eggs

Find Out What the Main Difference Between White and Brown Eggs Is

Ever wondered what's the difference between white eggs and brown eggs? If not, let's find it out now.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Last Updated: Sep 25, 2017
Brown eggs are just as popular as white eggs. Most people think that brown eggs are more nutritious than white eggs, since they are more expensive. However, this is far from truth. The most obvious difference between white and brown eggs, is their shell color.
What Determines the Shell Color of an Egg?
The color of the shell of an egg is determined by the color of the hen that lays it. The rule of thumb is, that a hen with white feathers and white earlobes lays a white egg, whereas a hen with dark feathers and red earlobes lays a brown egg. Now, if you are wondering about what egg color does a hen with creamish-brown feathers lay, then the answer is pretty simple. All you have to do is, look at her earlobes, if it's white you'll get a white egg, if it's red, you'll get a brown egg. Color of the earlobe is the determining factor when it comes to shell color. However, this is just a rule of thumb, which applies in most cases. Ultimately, it is the genetic composition that truly determines the shell color.
Chicken Breeds and the Shell Color of an Egg
White leghorn is the chicken breed that is most popular for eggs. As the name suggests, these hens are white and lay white eggs. The other popular breeds are Rhode Island Red and Plymouth Rock, both of which lay brown eggs. Besides, there are other rare breeds such as Aracauna and Americauna which lay blue or green eggs. Some wild breeds like Red Junglefowl lay cream eggs. However, these unusual colors do nothing more than add to the color spectrum. The variation in color is due to the type of feed that poultry owners have fed these breeds for centuries.
Nutritional Difference Between White and Brown Eggs
As mentioned above, most people believe that the nutritional value of brown eggs is more than white eggs. This, however, is a misconception, since all the nutrition experts believe that there is absolutely no difference between the nutritional value of white and brown eggs. The nutrient content is identical for both the egg types. Whatever the difference in yolk color you notice, is due to the feed type and has nothing to do with the nutritional value of the egg.
Cost Variation in the Two Types of Eggs
You must be thinking that why brown eggs are more expensive than white eggs, if both have the same nutritional value. However, the answer lies in the fact that, the hen breeds that lay brown eggs are larger than white hen breeds. Naturally, they need more food than the hens that lay white eggs. The cost and quality of feed are the major factors that determine the cost of eggs.
Consumer Preferences
Most people go for white eggs as they appear cleaner and fresher. Restaurateurs pick brown eggs for their dark shell color, which is easier to spot in the food. Other people may also go for brown eggs for the same reason. However, never buy brown eggs in the hope that they'll taste better than white ones, because you'll be disappointed, as both have the same taste.