The earlobes of a chicken are noticeable areas of colored skin on the sides of the head. In general, breed earlobe color correlates with the breed's egg color. Chickens with white earlobes may lay white eggs and red earlobes may lay brown or tinted eggs. There is no genetic correlation between red earlobe color and white earlobe color. There are chicken breeds that have red earlobes and produce white eggs and vise versa. Earlobe color is a polygenic trait and is therefore caused by more than one gene. Chickens that have white ear lobes carry the genes that express white earlobes and if they lay a white egg, they also carry genes that express a white egg shell. If a white earlobed chicken carries the genes that express brown egg shell color, they will lay a brown egg. White ear lobes are caused by a pigment callled a purine while red ear lobes are red due to pigments in the blood found in the tissues; there are no other pigments in the skin to cause the red color in the earlobes.
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