We adopted a chicken about five years ago that lays a blue egg. Our egg customers would always open the cartons to hope they selected one with “the” blue egg. The rest of the eggs were brown.
(We have always had brown egg layers although we are not aware of brown eggs being better than any other colored or white eggs. It really comes down to how the chickens are treated and what they eat. And our chickens are free range during the day getting fresh air, sun and exercise and eat a wide variety of all bugs and greens as well as whey and cheese failures and scraps.)
So when we purchased day old chicks from Murray McMurry Hatchery last February as replacement layers this fall, we decided on “Rainbow Layers” so that we could provide our customers with a striking color pattern in the egg carton. We envisioned pink eggs, green eggs, blue eggs and all shades of brown. Well, we should have read the description from Murray McMurry Hatchery a little more closely.
Murry McMurry Hatchery stated:
“If you aren’t set on a particular breed, here is your chance to get a variety of layers that all lay well. Chickens which lay white, tinted, and brown eggs will be supplied in this beautiful assortment. At least 5 different varieties of our choice are included in Rainbow Layers from these groups of chicks: White Egg Layers, Heavy Breeds, Araucanas, and Rare and Unusual Varieties. We cannot guarantee that breeds from all groups will be included. If you’re looking for good layers and want a discount price, our Rainbow Layers will fit the bill.”
We did end up with five different varieties of chickens:
White Pearl Leghorns
Silver Spangled Hamburgs
Unfortunately, they are ALL from Murray McMurray Hatchery’s WHITE EGG LAYERS group! And now that the pullets are old enough to lay, we are getting two dozen white eggs a day. And our customers wrinkle their noses when they open the carton and see all white eggs except a token brown egg or two.
We e-mailed Murray McMurray Hatchery and complained. They refunded us half of my chick cost (none of my shipping, none of our expense of raising the pullets and none for the of loss of customer goodwill). We left a warning comment under Rainbow Layers on their website. They deleted it.
Boo Hiss Murry McMurray Hatchery!