8 Best Blue Egg Laying Breeds of Chickens (with pictures)

Of all the different breeds of chicken I currently keep on my homestead, I think it is my blue egg-laying Cream Legbars that are my favorites. These chickens are friendly, and active, and lay around 200 to 250 blue eggs per year.

Blue eggs are something of a novelty, and whenever someone visits us for the first time and sees the multitude of different color eggs we have on the egg-skelter, they are always fascinated.

In this article, I look at my top 8 blue egg-laying breeds of chickens.

Best Blue Laying Breeds of Chickens

Below I have listed my 8 favorite blue egg-laying breeds of chickens. Over the years I have kept almost all of them.

Some, like the Cream Legbars, make fantastic pets and they are heavy layers, laying maybe 4 or 5 eggs per week. Others, like the Lushi from China, only lay 1 to 2 eggs per week.

  • Cream Legbar
  • Ameraucana
  • Araucana
  • Arkansas Blue
  • Easter Egger
  • Whiting True Blue
  • Dongxiang
  • Lushi

Why Do Some Chickens Lay Blue Eggs?

Before we get into the detail about which chickens lay the best blue eggs, we should first discuss why some chickens lay blue eggs in the first place.

When eggs are first created in the chicken’s reproductive ducts, they start off white. Almost all egg shells are naturally white and then, as they pass through the various stages of development, still inside the chicken, brown color is added to the eggs of some breeds of chicken, whereas they stay white in other breeds.

The amount of brown coloration (or protoporphyrin to give its correct name) is dictated by the genetic makeup of the breed of chicken. This is why some breeds lay very pale eggs whereas others lay them in an almost chocolate brown color.

So, none of this explains why some eggs are blue!

A recent study by the School of Biology in Nottingham has shown that several hundred years ago, a virus infected the Araucana breed of chicken. This virus (which was actually a retrovirus) changed small parts of the DNA of the Araucana chicken.

The effect of these DNA changes was to trigger an accumulation of a green-blue bile pigment called biliverdin in the eggshell as the egg develops inside the chicken.

Are blue eggs healthier?

I have had a number of people ask me recently if blue eggs are healthier than other eggs. The truth is, that studies have shown that eggshell color has no effect on the egg itself.

Blue-shelled eggs have exactly the same nutritional value as eggs from other colored shells.

1. Cream Legbar

Over the last few years, I have written countless articles proclaiming Cream Legbars to be one of my favorite breeds of chicken.

Not only do these guys lay tons of blue eggs (anywhere between 200 and 250 per year), but they also have huge personalities.

Cream Legbars make proper ‘pet’ chickens. They very quickly become hand tame, they will happily free-range, and then come back home when you shake the treats tin, and they get on well with just about every other breed of chicken you could hope to keep them with.

The Cream Legbar seems to be far more popular in Britain and parts of Europe than it is in the US.

Cream Legbers were actually developed in Great Britain at Cambridge University in England. A group of professors at the university were actually working with chicken genetics to try and create an ‘auto-sexing’ breed of chickens (which is where males hatch out one color and females another), which they succeeded with because the Cream Legbar IS an auto-sexing breed.

During the 1970s the breed fell out of favor and almost became extinct. Fortunately, a renewed interest in different colored eggs saved the breed.

One of the breeds the university used to create the Cream Legbar was the Araucana, hence the blue eggs.

If you plan to keep Cream Legbars, you may be pleased to hear they are perfect for free-ranging and they will spend much of their days searching for food. They are also highly aware of predators, and the roosters are especially good at giving a strong alarm single when predators are around, especially ariel predators like hawks.

2. Ameraucana

The Ameraucana is a breed of chicken that was developed in the US during the 1970s, and the breed is largely based on the Araucana with a number of other breeds mixed in for good measure.

The breeders working to develop the Ameraucana wanted to retain many of the good traits of the Araucana, like its ability to lay blue eggs, but remove some of the less desirable traits like the lethal genes the Araucana carried.

Ameraucana was finally accepted into the Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Association in 1984.

The Standard of Perfection recognizes 8 different color forms of the Ameraucana, and these are black, blue, blue wheaten, brown red, buff, silver, wheaten, and white.

In my experience, the Ameraucana is a friendly bird that tames fairly quickly. They have a mild temperament and generally fit well into most flocks of mixed breeds.

I have found that Ameraucanas love to free-range and they are active foragers. They are also fairly smart (for a chicken), quickly recognizing when treats are forthcoming.

These chickens will lay around 180 to 200 blue eggs per year.

If you are hoping to keep a flock of these friendly birds, do be aware that some sources will sell the less desirable Easter Egger chicken under the name Americana (clearly spelled differently, but possibly meant to be a little misleading).

True Ameraucanas will set you back between $15 and $20 per chick, whereas an Easter Egger being sold under the name Americana will probably cost you between $3 and $5 per chick. If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is!

3. Araucana

The Araucana is believed to be one of the earliest breeds of blue egg-laying chicken.

Although the exact history of these birds is still a little murky, it does appear the Araucana was developed by Dr. Ruben Bustos in the 1880s.

Reports suggest he cross-bred the Colloncas chicken (which laid blue eggs and had no tail feathers) with the Quetros chicken which had a pea comb and tufted ears.

A true Araucana is a fairly rare chicken that usually has to be sourced from a specialist breeder. Unfortunately, this breed carries a lethal gene, and if both parents are carrying the gene, their chicks have a high mortality rate.

To breed this chicken successfully you have to ensure that only one of the parents is carrying the lethal gene.

In my experience, Araucanas do not make the best choice of chickens if you are hoping to keep them as a pet. I did not find them to be very interested in interacting with me and they never really settled down or became especially tame.

Araucanas are good egg layers, laying around 200 to 250 blue eggs per year.

In North America, to be considered a true Araucana they must have no tail feathers and long ear tufts, however different poultry societies around the world have varying standards. In Australia, the Araucana must have a tail, whereas in the UK they are accepted with or without tail feathers.

4. Arkansas Blue

The Arkansas Blue is not a chicken you are likely to come across without some serious searching.

It is said this breed was developed by Dr. R. Keith Bramwell at the University of Arkansas. To create the bred he breed an Araucana with a White Leghorn. The resulting strain is a supreme layer, with some saying they lay 300+ eggs per year.

However, this bird is frequently described as ‘flighty’, ‘unfriendly’, and ‘not suitable for a domestic keeper’.

Although I have read extensively about the Arkansas Blue I have not had the pleasure of keeping any on my homestead yet.

Descriptions I have read about these birds describe them as having a pea comb and yellow legs but have no tufts, muffs, or beards.

5. Easter Egger

The Easter Egger chicken is one of the most popular breeds of chickens at the moment. However, it should be pointed out that Easter Eggers are in fact not a recognized breed. There are no breed standards and it isn’t recognized by any of the major poultry associations.

Truth be told, Easter Eggers are so variable that not all of them lay blue eggs. The Easter Egger is essentially a ‘mutt’ chicken.

In some places, the Easter Egger is so variable that it is referred to as the Rainbow Layer due to the fact they can lay almost any colors eggs, and even hens from the same brood may lay different colored eggs to one another.

With all that said, Easter Eggers are normally very good layers and they are almost always friendly, laid-back chickens that will quickly become part of the family.

My own Easter Eggers will happily take food from your hands, and they will usually be more than happy to take food from the hands of people they have never met before.

Easter Eggers lay around 200 eggs per year (although that number is highly variable too).

When it comes to feather color, almost anything goes with Easter Eggers. They should however sport a pea comb and ear muffs.

My own Easter Eggers love to free-range and they will wander fairly large distances from their coop in the search of tasty treats. These chickens are active foragers that will spend much of the day scratching at the floor looking for seeds, bugs, and worms to eat.

If you are looking for a chicken that will lay lots of (hopefully blue) eggs, has bundles of personality, and is comfortable around children, then the Easter Egger may be the one for you.

6. Whiting True Blue

I think we can all agree we have heard of breeds of chickens being developed to lay more eggs or to have tastier meat. Some breeds were even developed to be tasty and lay lots of eggs.

However, how many of us are aware of a breed of chicken that was developed to improve fly fishing?

The Whiting True Blue was developed by Dr. Tom Whiting of Colorado. Dr. Whiting was a poultry geneticist and he worked closely with Henry Hoffman who was an avid fly fisherman.

Mr. Hoffman was looking for the best heckle feathers for his fishing flys, and between them, they developed the Whiting True Blue.

These chickens are generally regarded as friendly and fantastic at free-ranging around the homestead. They are also heat tolerant, making them an ideal choice for any living in warmer parts of the country.

Although the Whiting True Blue can have highly variable feather colors, they only ever lay blue eggs.

The Whiting True Blue will lay around 200 medium to large blue eggs each year. In my experience, these birds are very consistent layers and rarely go broody and end up sitting on their eggs.

Some sources suggest these birds can be expensive, costing $20 to $30 a bird. However, I recently picked up a group of female chicks for just over $5 per bird, which I thought was a good price.

7. Dongxiang

There seems to be little reliable information about the Dongxiang chicken except for the fact it has black skin, bones, and muscles (known as a fibromelanistic bird) and it lays blues eggs.

These birds are generally only found in certain regions of southern China, including Dongxiang town which is in the Jiangxi province, where they are considered to be both healthy to eat and offer healing properties.

These birds are small and they have a fairly distinctive black plumage. Even their comb and wattles are black.

The Dongxiand is a dual-purpose bird, generally bred for both eggs and meat.

I understand from my research that the Dongxiang chicken will lay 100 to 150 blue eggs per year.

8. Lushi

Much like Dongxiang chicken, the Lushi comes from select parts of China, and they are rarely seen elsewhere. Lushi town is in the Henan province of China.

The Lushi does lay blue eggs, although much like our own much loved Easter Egger, egg color from the Lushi is highly variable.

The plumage color of the Lushi is also highly variable. These are small birds that only lay perhaps 100 small to medium-sized blue eggs each year.

In Conclusion

On my own homestead, I currently have several breeds of chickens that lay blue eggs. Whenever we give eggs away to friends and relatives I try and include at least a few blue ones, and if it is the first time that person is seeing a blue egg, they almost can not believe it.

Blue egg-laying breeds bring a bit of variety to your flock, and in the case of the Cream Legbar or the Easter Egger, they are typically calm, friendly birds that get along well with everyone.

If you found this article helpful, why not check out another one I wrote recently titled ‘Scaly Leg Mites in Chickens’.

Aaron Homewood

Aaron Homewood is HomesteadSavvy.com‘s poultry editor. Arron has spent over 20 years keeping, breeding, and showing different poultry breeds, including chickens, ducks, geese, and quail.​
Poultry Editor

Article Sources:

  1. Endogenous Retrovirus EAV-HP Linked to Blue Egg Phenotype in Mapuche Fowl National Library of Medicine
  2. Science Answers Question: Where Did Blue Eggs Come From? Food Safety News
  3. A retrovirus makes chicken eggshells blue Virology Blog
  4. Unscrambling the genetics of the chicken’s ‘blue’ egg University of Nottingham
  5. The History of the Araucana Aviculture-Europe.nl
  6. What Is Fibromelanosis In Chickens? Meyer Hatchery