© Chicken Coop Chatter
November 18, 2014 : As published at http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/odd-eggscauses-remedies/
Odd-shaped eggs are not uncommon, and when we understand how the eggs are formed, it makes sense why there are times we may see a wrinkled, misshapen egg or one that is bumpy or warty looking.
If we were to dissect a hen, we would find the ovary. Within the ovary there are nodules. Those nodules are actually eggs in various stages of development. The photograph shows some of those eggs that were forming when the hen was processed. There is no albumen (white of the egg) and no shell on these developing eggs. The albumen and shell forms 24 to 26 hours before an egg is laid. This is why a hen can never lay more than one egg a day. But an unformed egg may get dislodged and laid along with the daily egg. Or an egg that is still developing can become part of the egg that is being laid, and you may find an egg within an egg. You may also find a multiple yolk egg.
As an egg is being formed, a hen may be stressed or strain when laying, at which time you may find blood inside the egg. This doesn’t alter the edibility of the egg, and can easily be lifted off with the tine of a fork.
A nubby or warty egg is the result of calcium deposits on the egg shell. Calcium is not easily absorbed into the body by humans or chickens, and will at times form on the egg shell as it is being developed. With a good well-balanced layer feed this is less apt to happen. However, it is nothing to be alarmed about and if it continues you can provide supplemental vitamin D to help with absorption.
A wrinkled or misshapen egg happens during development of the egg. This may be caused by stress or strainor because it’s a new laying pullet.
A tiny egg is typically laid by a retiring hen or new laying pullet. If she’s a full-sized breed pullet, those eggs will get larger as she develops more. Those eggs often have no yolk and are called wind eggs.
A very large egg may be laid by any size hen and typically that egg has multiple yolks. If the egg is extremely large, keep an eye on that hen to make sure she has not developed a vent gleet or prolapsed vent, and if you see any inflammation, odd looking vent or bleeding, you must treat that or risk losing that hen. It must be noted that some hens are prone to vent issues. If you have one with a chronic problem, it is best to cull her from the flock.
At times there may be a soft-shelled egg, or even an egg without a shell, this usually means your hens need more calcium in their diet. An easy way to add calcium is to boil some eggs, reserve that water, allow it to cool and give that back to the chickens as part of their daily water ration. That water is rich in calcium and easy to administer to your flock. Also, provide self-serve calcium in the form of crushed egg shells or oyster shells. With a good layer feed, there should be a proper balance in all nutrients including calcium, so above all do not scrimp on your laying feed or at least make sure you provide supplements so the chickens are getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need.
As with all things in nature, there are times when what we imagine as perfect is altered by some other factor. There is generally nothing to be alarmed about and the oddities are simple ways for nature to keep us alert to our environment.
Thank you to Elizabeth C. for providing the photo for the developing eggs from the ovary. Thank you to Ann I for providing the dark yolk photo and thank you to Meaghan P for providing the double shelless egg photos.
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