Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hen lays green eggs

A chicken in the Mexican town of Cuautitian has achieved celebrity status, thanks to her special green-shelled eggs. Rabanita, an ordinary-looking brown hen, has had locals scrambling to see her since she began laying at the start of December.

Her owner, Elvira Romero, was given the bird as part of a government aid package to help villagers. "Well, my children say 'Oh Mummy, God looks favourably on you so that you were given as a prize a chicken that lays green eggs'," said Mrs Romero.

She said Rabanita has a diet of corn, tortillas and chicken feed - no different from the rest of the henhouse.

Scientists believe that shell colour - which does not affect the colour or flavour of the egg - is determined by the genes, and say blue or green shells are frequently found in the Araucana chicken strain.

Green egg layers attract a premium in some parts of South America, where poultry breeders aim to produce chickens which lay nothing else.

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