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Old 03-12-2020, 01:08 PM
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Brown eggs vs white eggs


While signing in today someone had posed this very question. Their bottom line answer was there is no difference other than shell color. This is complete bullshit . The research department must have spent about 5 minutes researching this subject. My in-laws raised chickens for years and there is no comparison of taste between a brown and white shelled egg. I won't eat white shelled eggs. My in-laws are now very old and and long past fighting off snakes, owls and hawks to save their hens. So, now I only buy cage free range fed eggs and they are quite a delight. The yolks are a brilliant gold, yet very fragile. So you had better be careful frying one. Cecil and his cronies don't always know what they're talking about.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:18 PM
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Nope. No difference that I could tell. Depends on the breed. My grandmother in Poland lived on a farm with free range hens. White shelled eggs, brown shelled eggs -- it didn't matter. All were delicious and very "eggy."

And I've bought eggs from farmer's markets (and have friends who raise chickens) with various colors of shells. The shell color tells me nothing about the taste of the egg.

Last edited by pulykamell; 03-12-2020 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:21 PM
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There is no difference as to which is more healthy. Difference in taste can be attributed to diet.

I'll take Cecil and his cronie's opinion. And there are a lot of experts who have the same opinion.

Like this article:

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition...-eggs#section3
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by TheCuse View Post
Difference in taste can be attributed to diet.
This is the biggest factor, in my experience. At any grocery store, you can find both brown and white shelled eggs. I don't believe for a second you can taste the difference between one or the other given a blind taste test. They taste exactly the same: the same ol' bland factory-farmed eggs you're used to.

Last edited by pulykamell; 03-12-2020 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:29 PM
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You gentlemen don't know your eggs.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:30 PM
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From the SD Archives: https://www.straightdope.com/columns...nd-brown-eggs/
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:35 PM
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We've raised chickens and found no difference in taste in our eggs, and they were all kept together so had identical diets. Shell color simply came down to the breed.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:37 PM
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It's not really a question of color, but of diet. This is my fault. I didn't explain the difference. Free range eggs are much better. Don't believe me, try it for yourself.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:41 PM
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It's not really a question of color, but of diet. This is my fault. I didn't explain the difference. Free range eggs are much better. Don't believe me, try it for yourself.
This seems like quite a turnaround from "I won't eat white shelled eggs"?
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:43 PM
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You gentlemen don't know your eggs.
Your experience is tricking you. Different feeds and different breeds give different quality eggs. Because the premier fast laying, efficient feed converter chicken lays white eggs, that is the color of cheap supermarket eggs, and because of this again a lot of "cage free range fed" egg producers will stay away from even quality egg producing hens if they have white eggs.

So someone with experience with only a limited range off egg producers can fool themselves into thinking there's a one to one correspondence between shell color and quality, when in reality it's only a slight correlation due to market perception.

I just had some absolutely great eggs with a white shell from free range animals. Those where duck eggs though, but I wouldn't have much trouble getting a top notch white chicken egg if I wanted to. Just find some from a good breed.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:43 PM
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You gentlemen don't know your eggs.
Yes. Yes, we do.

And now you're backtracking to say "it's not really a question of color, but of diet"? That's not at all what you said in the title or the OP. And that is exactly what the first two respondents to your posts said: it's not egg color, but diet. Yet you respond with "you gentlemen don't know your eggs."
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:52 PM
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^^Beat me to it.
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Old 03-12-2020, 01:55 PM
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I wish poster pullet was still here, as our resident veterinarian who specialized in chickens.

Having raised chickens at times and consumed both free range and factory eggs all my life, I too found flavor and color of the yolk to be due to diet, and to have nothing to do with shell coloration. I've had tasteless brown eggs and delicious white ones over the decades.

The recent authoritative summary of all things eggy, Egg Science & Technology, 4th edition 2017 states in its section about "shell quality" that there is no correlation between shell color and interior quality characteristics. That, combined with my own experience, settles the question for me.

Last edited by Qadgop the Mercotan; 03-12-2020 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:09 PM
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They're a lot harder to color for Easter
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:15 PM
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They're a lot harder to color for Easter
Nonsense. They're pre-colored, as long as you're OK with pastel shades of beige and taupe.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:15 PM
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The OP is expressing eggism, pure and simple.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:16 PM
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Nonsense. They're pre-colored, as long as you're OK with pastel shades of beige and taupe.
I actually do remember dying white eggs brown with onion skins for Easter as a kid.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:16 PM
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Now duck eggs, on the other hand, are miles ahead of chicken eggs in taste no matter what the color. The success of a trip to my local farmers market is always determined by the (increasingly infrequent) availability of duck eggs.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:18 PM
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The organic eggs my wife gets certainly have thinker shells that the mass market white eggs. I think that tells me something about their diet and how they're treated. Not sure I notice a taste difference though.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:26 PM
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OK, OK. I've been shamed. I made the mistake of equating brown eggs to free range fed eggs. In my experience, free range eggs have all been brown or green, never white. But there is a difference between white store bought eggs and brown free range eggs.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:31 PM
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The organic eggs my wife gets certainly have thinker shells that the mass market white eggs. I think that tells me something about their diet and how they're treated. Not sure I notice a taste difference though.
thinker shells? The rare impossible to determine 50/50 typo.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:35 PM
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When I get eggs from an amateur hen keeper, the shells are usually thinner than store bought. Taste better too.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:44 PM
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OK, OK. I've been shamed...
Eh, we've all been caught with egg on our face at some point.


mmm
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:46 PM
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I lived in China for two years and all chicken eggs were brown.

I noticed ZERO difference from what white eggs had tasted like growing up.

Milk was a lot different, though. Much worse in my opinion.
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:46 PM
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OK, OK. I've been shamed. I made the mistake of equating brown eggs to free range fed eggs. In my experience, free range eggs have all been brown or green, never white. But there is a difference between white store bought eggs and brown free range eggs.
Is there, however, a difference between white free range eggs and brown free range eggs? Or white store bought eggs and brown store bought eggs?
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Old 03-12-2020, 02:48 PM
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The only time I've noticed a distinct difference in the taste of eggs is when I've been able to get really fresh eggs from a roadside stand or from a neighbor who has hens. The yolks were more orange than yellow (probably from diet) and the flavor seemed richer.
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Old 03-12-2020, 03:00 PM
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Even then, if you do something like use the eggs in a cake or something else, you're probably not going to notice the difference. If you're going to the trouble and expense of getting free-range or organic or backyard eggs, you probably should do something to let the taste of the eggs show.
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Old 03-12-2020, 03:07 PM
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You gentlemen don't know your eggs.
Nope, it just so happens that people with years of finding out that "common sense items" like: different parts of your tongue detects different tastes (False), People use just 10 per cent of their brain (False), Handling a baby bird will make its mother reject it (False) All statues and buildings in Ancient Greece and Rome where plain white (nope, very colorful in ancient times) and many others are many times shot down by evidence that a lot of people do miss.

The color of eggs thing has also been looked at by researchers before:

https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/br...ference-743350
Quote:
Brown and white eggs taste different! Yes, they do. But that has nothing to do with quality or nutritional profile of the egg but more with the diet of the chicken that laid it. The chickens are fed a different kind of diet which impacts the quality and taste of the egg. So if you were to feed a brown chicken and a white chicken the same kind of food, the difference in taste would go unnoticed. The colour of the yolk in brown eggs is much darker, yes. But that's because brown hens are fed a lot of corn at times.
So, the color is not a sure way to know. Then what about the apparent color differences inside the eggs? Even on that there is a lot of personal bias that is a part of the apparent taste differences.

The experiments at the Labs at Serious Eats, point that even the taste thing is a subjective thing, so in reality there is not a significant difference between brown or white eggs (or the slight color differences inside too) taste. Just look for how fresh the eggs are and how better chickens are treated and fed.

https://www.seriouseats.com/2010/08/...-food-lab.html

Last edited by GIGObuster; 03-12-2020 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 03-12-2020, 03:15 PM
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[Moderating]

Since this appears to have been prompted by a column, let's move it to the Comments forum.

[Not moderating]

My mom raises chickens. When she gets a new batch every year or two, she always alternates brown and white breeds, so she can tell which ones are laying. Her hens aren't completely free-range, but they're close (an enclosed outdoor area), and their eggs, no matter the color, are delicious.

I don't think you'll get much argument that eggs from well-treated hens (diet, lifestyle, etc) are much better than factory-farmed supermarket eggs. It's just that that has no relation to color.
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Old 03-12-2020, 03:35 PM
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I buy free-range organic blue eggs from roadside stands when I’m in Maine. I’m not sure what the breed is; maybe they’re just extremely large robins.
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Old 03-12-2020, 03:41 PM
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Had eggs that were swiped out from under a chicken just before breakfast. They were great, I never saw the shells. Turns out my friend felt that she needed to let the eggs "rest" a few days before using them for baking. She said they took forever to set up, and stuff would fall flat. Eggs from egg factories are sometime four or five months old when they get to the store. That seems to be changing, except in the summer, when chickens lay less.
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Old 03-12-2020, 03:49 PM
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I actually do remember dying white eggs brown with onion skins for Easter as a kid.
Pola...I mean, person with ancestry from Central Europe!

Did you draw patterns with wax that wouldn't take the dye? I remember that in Scholastic magazine, or whatever the Catholic version was. There was a recipe for a beautiful maroon dye made from beets, but I didn't mention it lest dropmom (German/Bohemian) thought I wanted to eat beets.
  #33  
Old 03-12-2020, 04:10 PM
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Pola...I mean, person with ancestry from Central Europe!

Did you draw patterns with wax that wouldn't take the dye? I remember that in Scholastic magazine, or whatever the Catholic version was. There was a recipe for a beautiful maroon dye made from beets, but I didn't mention it lest dropmom (German/Bohemian) thought I wanted to eat beets.
Yep, you got it. Didn't quite come out as nicely as real pisanki made with beeswax as the dye resist and a pin head or similar application tool, but, hey, for a little kid it was good enough.
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Old 03-12-2020, 04:41 PM
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Eggs are routinely brown in the UK. White's not unheard of, but it's not at all common. Basically, an egg is a brown thing to me. I know white used to be marginally more available than that here, but not for decades. I think of white eggs as being a pretty exclusively North American thing...but last week I picked up a box of white eggs from a supermarket. They look so weird! Like...i don't know, like you met someone whose skin was coloured like the Simpsons'. Something you've seen thousands of times on TV, but freakish in real life.

They taste pretty unremarkable though. Just eggs.

Last edited by Yorkshire Pudding; 03-12-2020 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 03-12-2020, 05:23 PM
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Since Science has spoken already, I will just say that my free range (truly free, they'd come into the kitchen if I didn't have a screen door) hens, always lay eggs with much harder thicker shells than market eggs, even organic "free range" omega-3-infused brown market eggs. This is because they eat a lot of small creeping things which add calcium to their diets. Even supplementing with oyster shell like most home flock-keepers doesn't have the same effect. Brown or white they make the best psyanky bases because they are so sturdy.

We made psyanky eggs during Lent for years, gave them away at the Easter Vigil Mass. It was fun.
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Old 03-12-2020, 11:17 PM
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When I was a kid in Maine in the 50s, eggs were brown, period. White eggs were to be found only in strange, far-off lands like Brooklyn.
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Old 03-13-2020, 04:13 AM
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Some of the posts mention greater prevalence of brown eggs, which is in line with my experience. According to Cecil’s column, brown-egg-laying hens are costlier to maintain because they eat more. Seems contradictory.
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Old 03-13-2020, 06:15 AM
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In my experience, free range eggs have all been brown or green, never white.
Y'all were just going to let this bit slide? Where, outside a Dr. Suess book or Easter egg hunt, are you getting green eggs?
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Old 03-13-2020, 06:30 AM
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Y'all were just going to let this bit slide? Where, outside a Dr. Suess book or Easter egg hunt, are you getting green eggs?
From here.
Quote:
This isn't a flour or rice situation. Brown eggs are not more "natural," and white eggs have not been decolored with bleach. Both varieties occur completely naturally, as do bluish-green chicken eggs. But really, all chicken eggs are the same on the inside. So what causes different egg colors among the same type of bird?
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Old 03-13-2020, 08:05 AM
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When I was in the egg wholesale business here in Peru, there was a big difference between white and brown eggs and that was shell strength. Brown eggs were much tougher that whites. As to taste, I agree on the breed-and-diet-rather-than-shell-color idea.
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Old 03-13-2020, 08:13 AM
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No noticable difference at all. The thing is, eggs from entirely different species taste pretty similar to chicken eggs. Quail and ostrich eggs taste pretty similar to chicken eggs.

American commerical eggs have a pretty big disadvantage, though: they're washed and demand refrigeration. Farm eggs (or just typical market eggs in, say, Mexico), aren't washed, and don't demand refrigeration as long as you consume them within approximately a week. As they age, their flavor becomes better and better. This is a fact, and it doesn't matter what color the bloody damned shell is, only that it not be washed.
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Old 03-13-2020, 08:21 AM
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Some of the posts mention greater prevalence of brown eggs, which is in line with my experience. According to Cecil’s column, brown-egg-laying hens are costlier to maintain because they eat more. Seems contradictory.
The color of egg shells is a matter of breed of chicken, and what color appears in the market is a matter of cultural taste. The feed conversion ratio (how many eggs per pound of feed, hence how economical it is to produce eggs) is also a matter of the breed of chicken.

There are two major classes of chicken breeds (I am simplifying here).

White eggs are laid by Mediterranean class breeds -- originally developed in Italy and Spain, these are flighty, light-built birds which do well in hot weather and lay a whole lot of big white eggs (the bird's feathers do not have to be white for white eggs, but their skin does). They don't have a lot of meat on them. They have a high feed conversion ratio. Leghorns (from Livorno, and always pronounced Legurn in the US) are the type bird. It was this class that was taken up by the commercial egg industry and refined via breeding into the industrial-strength egg-laying machine used today. They lay for a year, are then 'spent' and are ground up for animal feed.

Brown eggs are laid by what are known as the American class. These were developed mostly from British breeds, which were bred for both eggs and meat, so called "dual purpose". These breeds, such as the Rhode Island Red and Plymouth Rock, were the typical farm chicken for most of American history. The cockerels were eaten as soon as they reached full size, and the hens provided eggs until their production fell at age four or five at which point they were stew birds. They have yellow skin, are beefier more phlegmatic birds, are heavily feathered (do better in cold winters).

More recent breeding has produced brown egg layers with the same traits as the commercial white egg layers. Generally called "Production Reds" or a commercial brand name like "Red Star Layers".

Blueish, greenish, and olive-cast eggs are laid by crosses developed from a blue-egg laying primitive Chilean breed called the Aurucana discovered I believe in the 1960's. Mostly called "Amerucanas", they are usually home-flock birds, there is no commercial variety.
  #43  
Old 03-13-2020, 09:08 AM
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When I was a kid in Maine in the 50s, eggs were brown, period. White eggs were to be found only in strange, far-off lands like Brooklyn.
"Brown eggs are local eggs and local eggs are fresh" - New England Egg Council jingle
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Old 03-13-2020, 09:13 AM
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"Brown eggs are local eggs and local eggs are fresh" - New England Egg Council jingle
What comfortably believable p.r. bullshit.
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Old 03-13-2020, 09:15 AM
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"Brown eggs are local eggs and local eggs are fresh" - New England Egg Council jingle
Egg-zactly.
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Old 03-13-2020, 09:19 AM
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Quoth Ulfreida:

Leghorns (from Livorno, and always pronounced Legurn in the US)...
So if leghorns are always pronounced "legurn" in the US, what's the name of the breed that's usually pronounced "leghorn" in the US?
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Old 03-13-2020, 10:17 AM
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We've had hens that lay brown, white, and greenish colored eggs. The only difference related to shell color is that the eggs laid by the Aracunas (the greenish shells) have much thicker/viscous albumen.

Our main decision making on which breed to have is mostly centered on how well they handle cold temperatures and how ell they lay without supplemental lighting.

Current favorite breed is the Golden Comet. They lay brown shell eggs, start laying young, and during mild winters sometimes produce year round.
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Old 03-13-2020, 11:10 AM
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So if leghorns are always pronounced "legurn" in the US, what's the name of the breed that's usually pronounced "leghorn" in the US?
There isn't one. There are just people who don't know how to pronounce Leghorn. Do you say Boh Log Nah?
  #49  
Old 03-13-2020, 11:12 AM
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We've had hens that lay brown, white, and greenish colored eggs. The only difference related to shell color is that the eggs laid by the Aracunas (the greenish shells) have much thicker/viscous albumen.

Our main decision making on which breed to have is mostly centered on how well they handle cold temperatures and how ell they lay without supplemental lighting.

Current favorite breed is the Golden Comet. They lay brown shell eggs, start laying young, and during mild winters sometimes produce year round.
Golden Comet is one of the commercial brown-egg hybrids. I've had them, they are aces.

In my new much colder weather digs I went with some old heritage brown egg layers, Speckled Sussex and Dominique. They don't lay quite as well as the modern hybrids but are super hardy, and amazingly friendly.

Last edited by Ulfreida; 03-13-2020 at 11:14 AM.
  #50  
Old 03-13-2020, 11:30 AM
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There isn't one. There are just people who don't know how to pronounce Leghorn.
Foghorn would like a word with you.
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