So, What Color are Emu Eggs Typically?

If you keep poultry, be they ducks or chickens, you already know that you get eggs in every color of the rainbow depending on what breed you have.

emu eggs
emu eggs

You’ll get white and off-white, pale yellow, taupe, tan, blue, green, and every shade of brown. It’s a wonderful sight to see when you are collecting eggs from your mixed flock in the morning.

But I’ll tell you about another bird species that is making major headway with American farmers and homesteaders: emus. And emus also lay huge, edible eggs. Since we are on the topic, just what color is an emu egg?

Emu eggs are always a uniform, deep green color. They start out closer to an emerald green, and darken to an avocado green during incubation.

Not much variation when it comes to eating eggs, but there are not really any variations in emus, either.

Compared to domestic ducks and chickens which might have been descended from countless other wild strains selectively bred over the years, we don’t have that kind of variety with emus yet, and so we only get one color of egg. But what an egg they are!

Keep reading and I’ll tell you more about them…

Are Emu Eggs Always Green?

Yes, assuming there isn’t something wrong with the emu. And the exact shade of green depends on the diet and health of the female that laid it. Also, genetics, environmental factors, and other circumstances might slightly influence the exact shade of green.

Why are Emu Eggs Green?

We can’t say for certain, but scientists assert and it’s commonly accepted that emu eggs are green for purposes of camouflage.

Emus prefer to lay their eggs, which are quite large, in grass to help camouflage them even though the male and the pair will be sitting on them to incubate them and protect them at all times.

This might be seen as a holdover of evolutionary strategy for reproductive success, or as a kind of backup plan just in case both parents must leave the eggs or even a short time.

Nonetheless, these eggs are always green no matter where they are laid, even when an emu is away from its native environment in Australia.

Emu Eggs Tend to Darken with Incubation

Another curious quirk of emu eggs is that they tend to darken with incubation, whether they’re being brooded by the male or kept in an incubator.

Most of the eggs are laid in a bright emerald-green color, and they are truly something to see! They’ll also have noticeable, dark green speckling all over.

With time and incubation, this base green color will darken slowly but surely over time into an avocado color. This is why emu eggs are often said to resemble avocado fruits in shape, color, and texture!

Once this darkening process is complete, you won’t really be able to see the darker speckles anymore though you can feel them because emu eggs are textured.

What’s the Texture of Emu Eggs Like?

Rough and pebbly. The darker speckles that cover emu eggs have physical dimension, and running your hands over the outside of these massive eggs they will feel grainy and bumpy, but not unpleasantly so, and decidedly different from chicken or duck eggs.

This texture is the result of mineralization deposit during the formation of the eggshell. Like the rest of the shell itself, these speckled bumps will always be a dark green color.

headshot of an emu bird
headshot of an emu bird

Are Emu Eggs Shiny or Dull?

Emu eggs are decidedly matte-finished. Compared to chicken eggs and other eggs with a satiny or even semi-gloss sheen, emu eggs are dull, another indicator that this green coloration is for camouflage.

Their eggshells don’t really reflect light, even when wiped completely clean, a factor that is assisted by the bumpy texture. Looking at the eggshell under a microscope, you’ll see that it is intensely porous and looks like sandpaper under high magnification.

These nooks and crannies aid in moisture transfer but also help to prevent light from reflecting which might draw the attention of predators looking for an easy, and quite abundant, meal!

What Color is the Inside of an Emu Egg?

No surprise here, an emu egg looks very much like a chicken or duck egg on the inside with a huge and deep yellow yolk and clear white that will actually turn white during cooking.

But compared to chicken and even duck eggs, emu eggs are extremely voluminous and show a bold, intense color.

What Should You Do if Your Emu Lays a Different Color Egg?

If you own emus and they ever lay an egg of a different color, either one that is very pale, extremely dark, or mottled in color, it’s worth contacting a veterinarian or giving your bird a checkup yourself.

A pronounced lack of pigment or other oddities in size or appearance could be indications of nutritional imbalance or other problems, specifically a lack of vital minerals, proteins, or other needed nutrients like biliverdin; the compound that gives emu eggs and other blue-green bird eggs their signature color.

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