4 Chicken Breeds That Lay Dark Red Eggs

Have you ever found red eggs at the grocery store? It is possible that you have come across it, but you do not know if it is the one we are talking about. The dark brown eggs are usually referred to as red eggs.

There are indeed chicken strains that lay red eggs, but it is not the usual bright red color like blood or roses, it is a degree of brown that tends to be dark red. The color of the eggs depends 100% on the genetic fairies and has nothing to do with the chicken’s food or any other factors.

So you can easily predict the color of the eggs your chickens will produce based on the chickens’ genetic history regarding the color of their eggs.

Also, the chicken does not change the color of its eggs during its productive life. If it starts laying red eggs, it will remain like this throughout its life, and you will never find it laying blue or green eggs!

Although these colors do exist and there are some breeds of chicken that lay them. So the best way to ensure that you will get a certain egg color is to choose an egg breed that is known for laying eggs of that color.

Let’s talk about red eggs so if you want to ensure that you get red eggs from your chickens follow us in the next lines, where we will present to you the most important breeds of chickens that lay red eggs and the most important thing related to each breed. Let’s go.

What Chickens Lay Dark Red Eggs?

There are 4 chicken breeds that lay dark red eggs:

  1. Penedesenca Chicken.
  2. Welsummer Chicken.
  3. Barnevelder Chicken.
  4. Marans Chicken.

Let’s talk about each one of them in more details:

1. Penedesenca Chicken

Chickens With Amazing Colors

Penedesenca chicken was first discovered in 1921 and originated in Spain in the region of Catalonia. It was one of the famous local breeds, but with the spread of foreign breeds in the region, the Penedesenca chicken began to become extinct.

Farmers went on breeding imported chicken breeds at the expense of the local Penedesenca breed. But that didn’t last long as Penedesenca customs again.

The most important factors that encouraged the return of the Penedesenca chickens were their unique appearance and the distinctive red color of their eggs.

This breed differs in its appearance from other chickens in many ways, they have individual combs spread out at the back, unlike other types of chickens. This comb is called the king’s comb. In addition to that, their earlobes are either red or white, and their pendants are red.

Penedesencas is a medium-sized breed with roosters weighing around 5 to 6 pounds and hens weighing around 4.5 pounds.

Penedesenca Egg

The color of the egg is one of the most unique features that distinguish it, as it lays dark red-brown eggs. This is exceptional as it is known that chickens with white earlobes always lay white eggs, but the Penedesenca chicken is the exception as it lays red eggs even though it has white earlobes.

You can expect your Penedesenca to lay about 4 medium to large eggs per week, at a rate of about 200 eggs per year per chicken.

Despite their aggressive nature and dislike of dealing with others, you will find them rushing to sit on their eggs, and they are wonderful mothers who care for the chicks and take good care of them.


Penedesencas are not quiet, but they are somewhat aggressive. You will find roosters attacking children! Where you find them active and alert constantly. They also do not like cuddling and touching unless you raise them while they are chicks and train them for that.

It can also not get along well with other chicken breeds as it is aggressive towards them. You can reduce their aggression by providing comfortable conditions for them to reduce their stress and distress.

The Penedesencas chicken breed loves free range and does not do well with confinement. Being in a confined space makes them feel frustrated and upset. It also has a great ability to fly, as it is one of the most flighty birds.

So, you have to provide a safe enough space for them to move and search for food. They are able to get most of their food from foraging if they are allowed to do so.

The good thing about their strict personalities is that they are able to defend themselves well and not be a victim of predators, but rather they are efficient in defending themselves.

Confinement is completely unhealthy for chickens, as it reduces their egg production as a result of anxiety and stress, and it also exposes them to cannibalism.

Health issues 

Penedesencas chickens have a strong build, enjoy a healthy life, and do not have any specific health problems. But it must be monitored, as it is not safe from common chicken diseases such as parasites and Marek’s disease. It should also be vaccinated with appropriate vaccinations in the event of any prevalent threatening diseases.

Penedesencas chickens tolerate heat, so you will find them working well in hot weather, but they do not adapt to the same extent to the cold.

Their large comb is susceptible to frostbite, which inhibits their productive functions and distorts parts of their body, so a warm shelter must be provided for them and cared for in frosty weather. If kept and cared for in a suitable and healthy environment, Bendis chickens will live up to 5-8 years!

2. Welsummer Chicken

Welsummer Chicken

The most common Welsummer is the red partridge pattern. Their head has a single comb, red pendants, and red earlobes as well. Her eyes are a reddish bay color. It stands very upright as its back is long and broad and its tail is high.

Its neck is covered with a golden to brown feather, while the feathers that cover its body are brown. It has a short, stout beak. Their legs are unfeathered and yellow-skinned. Roosters weigh about 7-8 pounds, while hens weigh 5-6 pounds. As for their bantams, it is 34 ounces for cocks and 30 ounces for hens.

Welsummer Egg 

You can expect a hen to lay about 4 eggs per week, which equates to about 200 eggs annually. Their eggs are large, distinguished by their deep red color, and may also contain spots.

Hens rarely breed and don’t go brooding, so they lay eggs almost regularly throughout the year. Their egg song is somewhat noisy, so it is not preferable to farm them in a crowded place with nearby neighbors.


Welsummer-friendly chicken breed with a docile nature. They are not known to be aggressive at all, either with humans or other chicken breeds. They go along with their owners. you will find them receiving you and waiting for gifts and rewards, and they do not mind taking them.

They will not do any aggressive behavior towards you if they realize that you are not a threat to them and they are smart enough to be able to do so.

The roosters may be a bit rowdy especially if they feel threatened, they will stand their ground and deter any bully around them. However, they really prefer a peaceful life in general.

Children should not be kept alone with them as they may not tolerate close contact or tugging on the feathers and may peck back. But overall Welsummer will be a good choice for families and beginners.

Their noise level is medium, they can raise their voice if something bothers them to tell you or when they greet you, but they quickly calm down if you respond to them.

Health issues 

Welsummer is largely healthy except for the usual bird parasites. So you should monitor and check them regularly to check for any lice or mites. You can do a chicken dust bath twice a year as a preventative routine to prevent parasites. Or treat them if they appear. It’s up to you, there is no fixed standard.

Also, check the worms by conducting a stool sample and analyzing it to determine the health of the chickens.

3. Barnevelder Chicken

Barnevelder Chicken

Barnefelder chickens are distinguished by their beautiful regular black feathers, which are embossed with a brown pattern that looks amazing. Its plumage is narrow and closely spaced. The male has a melanistic black-breasted red color, not like hens. Many people try double lacing on the males’ chest, but it has never happened.

Barnevelder have oblong and compressed bodies. The shape of its back is described as U-shaped. It has a tail that descends at an angle of 50 degrees. Its neck is slightly curved, and its wings are different, as it is high on the body, and this explains the weak ability of this strain to fly.[1]

Barnevelder Egg

Barnevelder hen lays about 4 large brown eggs each week. The eggs can be dark chocolate or sometimes mottled. They adapt to the cold and continue to lay eggs in the winter, which makes them very popular with many breeders.

This strain has developed over the past years which affected the quality of the color of the egg, as it diminished from chocolate to dark brown or even light brown at times.

Barnevelder Temperament 

Barnevelder is a bird with a docile and friendly nature. They are also social and love interacting with and talking to humans. You will find them meeting you with smiles, and they will try to welcome you with chatter, but it is low-level and not annoying, as their voice is low and quiet, not annoying as in other strains.

You can easily tame this breed as it is characterized by its calm and docile personality.

They do not fight with anyone, nor with other chickens. Its rooster is also known for its calmness, so it would be an ideal choice if you have children who want a pet to keep them entertained.

Barnevelders are very active birds, so they love the freedom of range and show a great advantage as they get most of their food on their own.

Health issues

In general, Barnevelders are hardy birds and can tolerate health problems. However, they are highly susceptible to Marek’s disease, so they must be protected from it by taking precautionary measures and adhering to vaccinations at birth.

It is not exposed to other specific diseases, as it resists diseases to a large extent other than the usual chicken diseases such as insects such as lice and mites.

They also tolerate a wide variety of climates, but the high heat and humidity make them suffer. But they will do well and adapt if they have shade and cool, clean water.

4. Marans Chicken

Marans is characterized by its trapezoidal body. Their eyes are orange and they have a single comb with red flaps and red earlobes.

Marans have very thick plumage underneath with a lot of muscle on their chest and thighs. This gives them the strength to withstand the cold in the winter months. Its legs may be feathered or clean without feathers.

It is a medium to large breed with roosters weighing 6.5-8.5 lbs., while hens weigh around 5.5-6.5 lbs. There are bantam types, the cocks weigh 17.5-19.5 ounces, and the females weigh 14-15.8 ounces.

There are many approved varieties of Maran, including Birchen, Black, Black Tailed Buff, Black Copper Marans, Columbian, Cuckoo, and Golden Cuckoo.

Marans Egg

Maran has gained great fame due to the beautiful color of its eggs, as it lays deep brown or chocolate eggs, as it is said.

They are medium egg layers where they lay about 150-200 eggs each year. The more eggs Marn lays,  The lighter its eggs color gets. The pigment responsible for the darker color of the eggs is not depleted, so they become lighter.

Marans temperament 

Marans are docile, friendly, and social chickens that will interact with you and you will find them following you for gifts. But they do not like to be touched and hugged.

They are not aggressive and get along well with other breeds, so you rarely find them bullying other birds. However, they defend themselves in case of danger and do not allow themselves to be bullied or hunted.

Roosters are not as quiet as hens. They have a lot of Gamecock genes. You will find them sometimes reckless behavior, especially in the mating season, so children should not be left with them.

Health issues 

Fortunately, Marans have high immunity and are often in good health. There are no specific diseases threatened, except for the usual chicken problems with parasites such as lice, ticks, and mites.

You can prevent these parasites by using poultry dust twice a year to control them. Some may prefer to use the dust as needed if they find parasites already.

Worm prevention can also be done regularly deworming preventatively or therapeutically as needed. Bearing in mind changing the wormers every time, as the worms develop immunity against the types of wormers and become resistant to them.

Doaa Salah Profile Picture
Doaa Salah
The shy one (too shy to put her photo) and the only girl in our team! Doaa is a veterinarian who is passionate about writing content. She knows a lot about animals and birds, as she has been studying them for many years now. Her goal? She is researching and learning to convey to you all the knowledge she have and what's new about farming.