Skip to Content

What color are the eggs in the f2 olive egger?

The olive egger chicken is a popular backyard chicken breed that lays unique olive-colored eggs. It is a cross between a hen from a brown egg laying breed like a Marans, and a rooster from a blue egg laying breed like an Ameraucana or Easter Egger. The olive egger is not an officially recognized breed, but rather a hybrid mix that results in the beautiful olive egg coloration.

When it comes to the F2 generation of olive eggers (the offspring from crossing two F1 olive egger chickens), there can be some variation in egg color. However, most F2 olive egger eggs will still display the distinctive olive green color that makes this hybrid popular. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what causes the olive egg color and what to expect from F2 olive egger eggs.

What Causes the Olive Egg Color

The olive color of eggs from olive egger chickens is caused by a combination of brown pigment and blue pigment being deposited on the eggshell as it develops within the hen. Here’s a quick overview:

– Brown egg color comes from deposition of a pigment called protoporphyrin onto the eggshell late in development. The more protoporphyrin, the darker brown the egg color will be.

– Blue or green egg color is caused by deposition of a pigment called biliverdin early in eggshell development. More biliverdin leads to a more intense green/blue color.

– In olive eggers, both pigments are deposited onto the shell as it forms. The combination results in an olive green color. The exact shade can range from deep green to brownish-green.

Egg Color in F1 vs. F2 Olive Eggers

When breeding two true olive egger chickens (F1 generation) together, their offspring (F2 generation) will show more variety in egg color. Here’s why:

F1 Olive Egger Eggs

– The first generation (F1) of olive eggers from crossing a brown egg layer and a blue egg layer will lay eggs that are pretty uniformly olive colored.

– This is because the F1 hen inherits the brown egg gene from her father and the blue egg gene from her mother.

– When only one copy of each color gene is present, the olive color appears reliably.

F2 Olive Egger Eggs

– In F2 olive eggers, greater variety is seen because of the random assortment of the color genes inherited from their F1 parents.

– Each F1 parent has one brown egg gene and one blue egg gene. They can pass on either color gene to their offspring.

– Some F2 chicks will inherit two brown genes and lay brown eggs. Others will inherit two blue genes and lay blue eggs. Most will get one of each and lay olive eggs.

– But because both color genes are present in F2 birds, there can be darker or lighter olive shades depending on the specific gene combinations inherited.

Expected Egg Colors from F2 Olive Eggers

While there will be some diversity, here are the likely egg color possibilities from an F2 olive egger chicken:

Most common:

– Olive green – Ranging from deep green to brownish-green. This will be the most common egg color from F2 olive eggers. The specific olive shade can vary bird-to-bird.

Less common:

– Brown – Darker brown indicates higher protoporphyrin deposition. Lighter brown means less was deposited.

– Blue or green – Paler colors happen if biliverdin deposition is very high relative to protoporphyrin amounts. The greenish-blue color will be variable.

– Pinkish or cream – These very light eggs indicate low amounts of both brown and blue pigment.


– Dark olive green approaching black – This very dark olive color only occurs if both color genes are strongly expressed. It is uncommon.

– White – True white only occurs if there is zero deposition of brown and blue pigments. Very rare in the F2 generation.

Factors Affecting F2 Olive Egger Egg Color

A few key factors influence the specific olive egg color in F2 generation olive eggers:

1. Genetic Luck of the Draw

Each F2 chick inherits a random assortment of color genes from their parents. Even siblings can end up with different color genetics and lay slightly different egg shades. It’s the genetic luck of the draw.

2. Strength of Color Gene Expression

Some color genes are strongly expressed while others are weaker. A bird with two strong brown color genes will lay darker eggs than one with only weak brown genes. Strength of expression impacts the color.

3. Diet and Environment

Factors like diet, stress levels, and season can all impact how strongly the color genes are turned on. A poor diet or stressful environment may result in paler egg color.

Examples of F2 Olive Egger Egg Colors

To give you a better visual idea of the range of F2 olive egger egg colors, here is a chart with some examples:

Egg Color Description
Deep olive green Dark green egg with brown undertones
Greenish-brown Mostly brown egg with hints of green
Light green Soft pastel green shell
Medium brown Rich chocolate brown color
Pale blue Bluish-green with little brown pigment
Cream Very light brown, almost white

As you can see, F2 olive eggers display a diverse palette of egg shell colors. But the most common is still that beautiful olive green with shades ranging from bright green to darker muted olive tones.

Expect Some Variety in F2 Generations

While the F1 generation of olive eggers reliably produces the characteristic olive egg color this hybrid is known for, there will be greater diversity seen when breeding two F1 birds together to produce the F2 offspring.

Each F2 chick receives a random combination of the brown and blue egg color genes carried by their parents. This leads to olive shades ranging from light green to dark olive, along with occasional very light or very dark eggs.

Despite some variation, the majority of F2 olive egger eggs will still display the unique and stunning olive green color these chickens are loved for. Hatching F2 offspring allows olive egger keepers to continue breeding this hybrid mix while still largely maintaining that beautiful egg color. So don’t let F2 generations deter you from breeding your olive eggers!

Tips for the Darkest Olive Egger Eggs

If you want to increase your chances of getting darker, more olive colored eggs from your F2 olive eggers, here are a few tips:

– Select F1 parents with very dark olive egg color to breed the F2 chicks. This indicates strong expression of brown and blue color genes.

– Supplement with extra omega-3s like flaxseed. These enhance color gene expression.

– Avoid stressors and predator threats that could pale the shell color.

– Culled any F2 hens consistently laying light colored eggs.

– Incubate eggs from your darkest F2 layers to produce the next generation.

Following this strategy over multiple generations can help intensify and stabilize that beautiful olive green egg color. With each generation focus on your darkest olive layers to selectively breed for that trait.

The Appeal of Olive Egger Chickens

Backyard chicken keepers love olive eggers for their unique egg color, excellent laying abilities, and hardy mixed breed health. By understanding what to expect from F2 generations, olive egger fans can keep breeding this popular hybrid while still enjoying most of those gorgeous olive eggs.

The diversity seen in F2 offspring is part of the fun and charm of these beautiful birds! You never know exactly what color egg you’ll collect next from the nest box. As long as you aren’t strictly breeding for exhibitions, the variation in olive shades can be a delightful part of raising this special cross.


F2 olive egger chickens will display a range of egg shell colors from light green to dark olive, along with occasional blue or brown eggs. This variation is a result of the mixed color genetics carried by F1 parents. But the most common color remains the unique olive green these hybrids are loved for.

With each successive generation focus on breeding from your darkest olive layers to select for that trait over time. Understanding what to expect from F2 offspring allows olive egger keepers to continue enjoying this popular hybrid chicken. The diversity and surprise of olive egg colors keeps backyard chicken-keeping fun and exciting!