Mirjam Guesgen

Freelance Science Writer

I am a freelance science writer currently based in Toronto, Canada, with a particular interest in animal welfare.

I love communicating complex, scientific ideas in an engaging, balanced, thought-out and informative way.

Eggs are all-white

Colouring eggs for Easter is a pass time that I not only enjoyed as a kid, but still enjoy now! A question that always plagued my mind though was: why are some eggs brown and some white?

The answer is actually way simpler than I thought. White eggs come from hens with white feathers and brown eggs come from hens with ‘other’ coloured feathers. Examples of coloured breeds include: Barred Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red, Australorp and New Hampshire. A common white breed is the White Leghorn.

In terms of nutrition, there is an underlying perception that brown eggs are healthier or than white ones. This is usually measured by albumen quality (the amount of white stuff in the egg). Generally, brown eggs have a higher albumen quality and thinner shell than white eggs. This doesn’t mean to say that brown eggs are better quality because they are brown. Rather, it has to do with the genetic origins of the hen. 

From a egg-eater’s perspective, I’d rather have a higher yolk:white ratio so maybe white eggs are for me. Also, white eggs are easier to paint…