If you are a seasoned chicken owner you may know by now that no two eggs are the same. They range in size, color and shape, and at times you might even encounter what we like to call an ‘egg oddity’, which will often leave you scratching your head.
However, these seemingly strange occurrences can be explained, so continue reading below to solve the puzzle of your extraordinary egg.
Body-checked eggs are those that are wrinkled or assessed in appearance. This is due to them previously being damaged while in the shell gland pouch, often from stress or pressure put on them. They are then repaired before lay, which is what gives them their somewhat rippled appearance.
While this sort of egg may appear alarming, a shell-less egg is a seemingly common occurrence, especially in young layers, because their systems are still warming up to the laying process and their shell gland is still maturing. However, if shell-less eggs are occurring in your older hens, it might be a symptom of calcium deficiency (and overall poor nutrition), stress, infectious bronchitis, or EDS (egg drop syndrome). If it becomes a repeat issue, make sure that your cows are comfortable and eating a well-balanced, calcium rich diet. A quick visit to the vet to test for any further health issues will not hurt either!
Also known as”slab-sided”, these eggs appear to have a somewhat flattened side with wrinkled edging, and are more common in young layers. It gets its misshapen appearance from being kept too long in the shell gland, or in certain cases when a mis-timed egg proceeds down the oviduct and ends up resting alongside it.
Rough Shelled or Pimpled Eggs
Eggs that have differing textures can be due to a range of things. Little bead like growths on an egg (can be in a cluster or larger mole shapes), are known as calcified substance and may be a result of excess calcium intake, disease, or defective shell glands. If these kinds of eggs are only found infrequently, there’s absolutely not any cause for concern, however reducing calcium consumption over winter can help keep pimpled eggs at bay.
Uneven shell colouring are simply the result of uneven pigmentation while at the shell gland pouch-no cause for alarm!
Egg Within an Egg
Theres nothing more alarming than cracking an egg into your frypan and seeing there’s another whole egg inside of it! But consider yourself lucky if this happens to you, as it is a remarkably rare occurrence! Known as counter-peristalsis contraction, this bizarre event results from the early launch of a new yolk while a present egg remains in the formation stage and not yet been laid. This then causes a contraction where two eggs meet up in the reproductive tract and provided a layer of albumin, membranes and a shell surrounding them both prior to being laid! While this might seem disturbing to some, it doesn’t in any way mean your chicken is unhealthy.
Blood spots can appear on the surface of an egg yolk and is the direct result of a blood vessel breaking in the gut as the yolk has been discharged, or in the oviduct as the yolk travels through it. They occur more so in older hens that have a genetic predisposition, are deficient in Vitamin A, or can also be a completely random occurrence!
Also known as”rooster eggs” or”wind eggs”, super small and yolkless eggs are often produced by young layers using an immature or non-synchronized reproductive system. Or in an older hen, as the result of a piece of tissue in the reproductive tract breaking off and being treated as an egg. They have the exact look of an egg, complete with a shell, but without a yolk-what a joke!
Double Yolk Eggs
Our favourite sort of eggs-double yolkers occur when two separate egg yolks are discharged into our hen’s oviduct too close together, and so end up becoming encased in one shell. This can be due to a hormonal change or imbalance which releases the yolk too early. Double-yolked eggs are more commonly produced by new layers, or those nearing the end of their laying life, and is often a hereditary characteristic. These eggs are usually much physically larger than eggs to accommodate two yolks, and doubly yum!
These are simply a few of the well known ‘egg oddities’, if you’ve encountered any extraordinary eggs we’d like to hear from the comments!
If you’re worried about continual or replicate problems with your eggs, it is ideal to go to your local vet to check about your chickens’ health.
They may not look very appealing to me or you, but from a chickens point of view mealworms seem as yummy as a home cooked meal prepared by someone you love. Even though they have the feel of crumbly corn chips, these tasty little morsels will drive your flock wild with temptation. Only a small part of these previously wiggly wonders is enough to enhance your chickens’ health and well-being so that they can live life in their flip-flappity best! Stick your beak into this easy to digest article with the top 7 reasons to feed mealworms to your hungry feathered friends.
1. Just a couple mealworms goes a long way.
Be sure to don’t create an entire meal from your mealworms alone. Generally speaking, adult laying hens should have a diet of approximately 16% protein. Younger chicks and pullets of course have additional protein in their chicken feed, or extra mealworms in their diet for that matter, to help them as they grow big and strong. Your laying hens will obviously eat the entire bag if you allow them, but make sure you limit their intake to the recommended serving size. Moreover, do not go overboard when you feed your hens with mealworms.
2. Power your hens with protein.
Protein is a vital part of any living creature’s diet, especially chickens. Not to mention chickens will need to have plenty of protein so that they can develop lustrous plumage to keep them warm in winter. Therefore, it only makes sense that any poultry owner needs to make certain that her hens have loads of protein in their diet. Mealworms are usually the natural choice, as every meal worm is nearly 50% protein — HOLY HEN!
3. Mealworms will help your hens through moulting season.
During moulting season, which generally occurs throughout autumn and spring, it’s essential that each and every chicken owner boosts their flock’s protein intake in 1 way or another. Mealworms are an especially good option, as they are a dense source of protein, which will aid your chickens grow their feathers back in no time. It’s also important to be aware that your flock’s immune system will be reduced throughout moulting season, so it is critical that you fortify their diet with a few tasty mealworms, to help them through this challenging season.
4. Bulk up your eggs with mealworms.
Naturally, when your chicken has enough protein in their diet, they’ll have the ability to produce eggs at their best. There have been many accounts of chicken owners noticing an improvement in size and flavour of their eggs after they began to feed their flock the recommended serving size of mealworms. Remember, eggs are almost entirely protein, so mealworm are the perfect extra treat in any laying hens diet.
5. Will help to flip the bedding in a deep litter system.
This may seem slightly left of focus but anyone who uses a deep litter system is always looking out for a simpler way to turn the bedding. Let me clarify, chickens absolutely love mealworms — actually it sends them a little loopy with enthusiasm. By scattering an appropriate serving size of mealworms blended in with feed within the deep litter system, your chickens will start to scratch and peck in the bedding, consequentially mixing it through. Long story short, you won’t have to get out the scoop and blend that hot and heavy bedding through.
6. You will love watching your chickens munching on the mealworms.
You think your hens are excited when they lay an egg just wait until you see how they act when they find out they’re having mealworms for dinner. Like many chicken enthusiast has stated before,”if my hens are happy, I am happy”.
7. Your chickens will love you for it.
As many poultry owners already know, chickens are very responsive to food. There are countless anecdotes of chickens charging across the backyard when their doting owner comes out of the house holding a feeder full of poultry feed, with maybe a few mealworms blended through. Food is just one of the great joys in any chickens’ life, so it’s only right that any chicken lover should provide a few snacks and variety in their diet. Mealworms are simply something that all chickens will love. Do not be a scrooge. Be sure you treat your hens to mealworms every now and then.
A lot of poultry owners feel worried and distressed when they open up their nesting containers to find out not a single egg has been actually laid. What have I done? Why have my chickens stopped laying eggs?!” Some committed chicken lovers find this moment so distressing that they temporarily develop hostile or contemptuous thoughts for their laying hens, but others put this perceived failure upon themselves and agonise over what they may have to cause this mockery! The wisest chicken owners know that this is all part of the natural cycle of a laying hens life and no eggs now does not always mean no eggs tomorrow. So, instead of tear yourself apart with shame and frustration, read this short article that will explain eight reasons which may be causing your laying hens to dry up.
1.The natural pattern of moulting will postpone egg development
It’s quite natural for chickens to moult throughout the autumn months, for example March through to May in Australia. This is a natural process that leads to all chickens to shed their feathers, because their body prepares itself to grow much more full and gorgeous plumage. Over these months your laying hens will appear slightly haggard and world-weary, however let me assure you that this is an entirely natural and essential part of being a chicken. One of the important point to note is that during this time you need to be vigilant and ensure that your laying hens have a balanced diet of protein (chicken feed) and calcium (shell grit). Other snacks, like yoghurt, berries and porridge won’t go astray either, as they often contain helpful vitamins and nutrients that will help your laying hens through this sometimes difficult moment. The upside is if your laying hens continue to put after their moult it’s very likely that your chickens with lay larger eggs. So, don’t despair when your laying hens start to moult, just look at it like your chickens are updating their egg maker.
2. Excess of bad food in their feeds
There’s the false perception between some well-meaning chicken lovers that a fat and happy chicken may in fact produce larger and more scrumptious eggs, but this is a total fallacy. Overweight laying hens, broadly speaking, are very unhealthy and their bodies won’t have the ability to function as they would if they were at the correct weight level. So, be certain that you only provide your laying hens the ideal types of treats, in addition to maintaining a balanced diet of chicken feed, shell grit and lots of water.
3. Not enough time in Sunlight
Not all first time chicken owners understand that laying hens need lots of time out in sunlight, otherwise they are unable to produce their eggs. This is due to the fact that there’s a gland that exists behind their eyes, which in response to sunlight produces certain types of hormones which cues the chicken’s body to begin egg production- that’s a really simple way of explaining it. The Automatic Door Opener is a perfect solution if you’re someone who prefers to stay in bed at six in the morning. Naturally, during seasons like winter and autumn when there are reduced daylight hours, chickens may begin to put less or stop entirely. Some breeders rectify this by introducing heat lamps and artificial light simulators, however that is left to the discretion of the owner, as some more organic farmers don’t feel comfortable playing the chicken’s biorhythms.
4. Your hens might be getting a bit old
Average laying hens will begin to produce fewer eggs once they are 72 months old. At the end of the day there’s absolutely no way from quitting laying hens from getting older but that doesn’t mean you must stop loving them.
5. Broody Hens
There comes a time in each chicken’s life when they feel pressured to be a mother. As most chicken owners do not let their laying hens to spend some quality time with a rooster, some chickens get really confused and believe that their eggs may be fertilised. This is usually referred to as broodiness and it often effect hens for five to ten weeks.
6. Stress can divert your chickens from laying
Chickens may look like tranquil creatures but through the laying season they are delicate and neurotic artists who need total concentration, otherwise they won’t be able to create their eggs. There are things which could cause your laying hens to feel distressed and distracted, such as untamed dogs, over-excitable kids, predators and enthusiastic owners who might be sticking their beaks to the nesting boxes too regularly. Additionally, transferring your laying hens to a new coop or introducing new chickens to the flock can also stress your chickens out, which in turn will inhibit them from laying. It is actually an excellent idea to put off any sort of significant modifications that will alarm your laying chickens to a time of the year when you don’t expect them to be laying anyway.
7. It may be a signal your chickens are suffering with lice and fleas
If you’re still unsure what may be causing your chickens to prevent laying you might wish to consider taking your laying hens for a check-up at the VET. Firstly however, check to see if there are any mites or lice within that dermis or on their skin which might be causing them distress. If you do find some mites or lice just clean out the coop and think about giving your chickens a wash, otherwise the fleas will continue to torment your poor hens and you won’t be able to enjoy their scrumptious eggs.
8. Disease and discomfort will stop eggs in their paths
There are a plethora of disease that laying hens can capture will often result in some terrible symptoms, which normally comprises a reduction in egg production. Most disease will often result in your chicken experiencing a period of diarrhoea, which can be characterised by excess mess around the poultry’s port. Once more, in the event you notice any typical signs of symptoms, which may include uncharacteristic reduction in eggs, please contact your local VET.
Most of the time laying hens cease to make eggs permanently or temporarily for a number of natural motives, such as age, season or moulting. Though a lot of us wish our laying hens would cook up tasty eggs for us for many, many years, this unfortunately is seldom true. The best thing you can do is relax, accept the facts and show gratitude to your laying hens, which have worked very tough for you for 72 weeks or more to prepare fantastic, nutritious and delicious eggs to you.