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.
Despite the most attentive chicken keeping, one of your birds will get sick sooner or later. It’s essential to have the ability to recognise the signs of illness and act fast — chickens are good at hiding their symptoms, so by the time you notice, they are generally very sick indeed.
If you believe that your chicken is ill…
A veterinarian always gets the best possible way of helping your birds and will have the ability to diagnose any issues with far greater details than any online source.
This article is a useful guide, but merely just guide — your vet is your best solution!
Diagnosing chickens is a huge challenge: they hide their symptoms, and could not let you know what’s wrong even if they wanted to. Furthermore, lots of the external symptoms aren’t specific to any one illness.
–Not drinking or eating
-Weakness or lethargy
-Pale comb or wattles
-Diarrhea or abnormal droppings
-Fluffed up feathers
-Other unnatural behaviour
If any combination of the above describes your chicken, she might be sick, and you need to take her into the vet ASAP to get specific diagnosis and treatment.
Symptoms of respiratory disease
Respiratory illnesses manifest unique symptoms in contrast to most other ailments.
Again, it’s practically impossible to get a backyard keeper to recognize the specific illness in question. You have to take your chicken to the vet for diagnosis and treatment. This will often involve antibiotics that your vet may prescribe.
General treatment choices
If, for some reason, you can’t bring your chicken to the vet immediately, then there are a few simple things which you can do to improve her probability of recovery.
–Isolate her from the rest of the flock to avoid any possible spread of illness and decrease bullying from healthy chickens.
-Keep her in a well ventilated and dry location.
-Provide a lot of water and food. Give treats if she will not eat her normal food-eating anything is better than nothing.
-Give a teaspoon of yoghurt for a few additional probiotics. Do not overdo it as this may lead to diarrhoea.
At times, a little TLC might be a chicken wants, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. After you’ve gone to the vet, it could be worth checking your coop setup — windy dust and loopholes are a common cause of illness, and repairing these issues will help keep your flock healthy.
Some disorders have particular symptoms (in addition to those described above) which can help with home identification.
Coryza: [respiratory] Extremely swollen eyes, and a very rancid odour.
Coccidiosis: Occasionally leads to bloody faeces.
Avian flu: [respiratory] Dark, reddish spots on legs and comb, and sudden death. This disease can infect people, so be extremely cautious if you suspect it. Report any cases to the community government immediately.
Impacted harvest: Swollen crop (a pouch in the front of the body), which is very tough to the touch.
Sour harvest: Swollen harvest, which can be mushy to the touch, and a rotten odor from the mouth.
Botulism: Tremors of increasing intensity, end in death.
Bumblefoot: Infected wound .
Egg binding: The bulge of a stuck egg at the exit to the port.
Frostbite: Pale, slightly blue comb or thighs.
Pasty butt/vent gleet: Droppings caked over the buttocks.
Mites or lice: Pale comb (from blood loss), and compact insects among feathers.
Worms: Proof of worms in droppings.
If your chicken is acting strangely, but does not appear to be showing signs of illness, they might just be broody.
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.