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Hen laying way too big of eggs - How to help?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have a much loved Easter Egger hen who lays VERY big pink-toned eggs, and for the longest time I always wondered, how does she do it? She's really not built to do such, and her walking is kinda duck-like, but it is only today that her egg-laying conditions have just been too worrisome.

In the past couple weeks, her eggs have been so hard for her to spit out that they come out rugged, mountainous, and lumpy looking. Yesterday, her egg even had deep scratch marks going down it as if the egg was being scraped up by whatever was in her vent. Her vent itself has always been sooo dirty and disgusting looking ever since she began laying late Summer. . . But today, I noticed her standing up in her nesting box, ready to lay an egg. I left her be as she was hunched and her vent was open, and came back 3 hours later. She was still there and still hunched, with a lot of viscous, nasty looking fluid coming out of her vent. I carefully picked her up, and put her next to the waterer. She drank and drank and drank, and finally a long, thin strip of crushed up egg shell came out of her, a long with some more watery stuff.

An hour later, she was feeling a little better, but obviously not happy. For the first few months, I was amazed at how big of eggs she laid (they were as big as my other hen's double yolkers!! But they weren't double yolkers. . . I'd be scared to see what one would like look from her. . . ) but now I think that they are just FAR too big for her to handle! th

Is there a way I could perhaps change her diet or something to downsize the size of eggs she lays? Is this possible, or is she just going to have to go through this again sometime?

currently breeding Araucanas, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos --- occasionally Olive Eggers
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currently breeding Araucanas, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos --- occasionally Olive Eggers
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post #2 of 7

Keep her well watered.

Make certain she is getting sufficient oyster shell.

Does she get greens regularly?  I believe that chickens need greens.

Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

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Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

All of my chickens are allowed 5 acres of whatever grows around here, but I'm not entirely sure about her. She often stays within 100 feet from her coop, and goes back to her perch with her buddy Brahma at about 12, soo. . . She shortens her day quite a bit. (I don't blame her, it rains almost every day and gets dark at 3)

She's a pretty mellow girl, and eats whatever is in front of her, but not whatever everyone runs to (example, if I feed them something she stays where she is and eats whatever is around her) A lot of her diet is probably the layer pellets, would it help to reduce that? (since from my understanding that stuff increases the strength and production of eggs, something I'm unsure she should need right now)

I'll post pics of her different eggs probably tomorrow. She goes through odd stages - From simply gigantic eggs to gigantic eggs with bumps, and then there are the ones with bumps, mountains, and long scratch marks. Reminds me so much of meteors.

currently breeding Araucanas, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos --- occasionally Olive Eggers
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currently breeding Araucanas, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos --- occasionally Olive Eggers
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post #4 of 7

The large eggs are produced by too much protein.  If it's very cold out she is probably eating a lot to keep warm and taking in too much protein.  Try adding some scratch to her diet to give her the energy needed for the winter months while cutting back her protein.

The malformed eggs may be caused by the eggs being too big and getting cracked and repaired as they move through her system.  Very wrinkly eggs can also be a sign of a respiratory infection.

post #5 of 7

smile  good info.. i dunno why, but my amerucanas eggs were large when she was 1st laying, and after that 1st season, returned to a more reg. size, i've ofter heard younger hens lay the biggest egss, as well as the double yolkers???  hmm

I was COUNTRY when country wasn't COOL! Born and raised the only girl on the southern Virginia farm.Now married, Realtor, mother,small farm hobbiest...and now owner of CountryChics Hatchery. We have horses, cattle, 1 donkey, emu, white pekins, black cayugas, rhode islands, bantams galore?? runner ducks, easter eggers, buff cochins,etc. we sell and ship fertile hatching eggs and day old babies.
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I was COUNTRY when country wasn't COOL! Born and raised the only girl on the southern Virginia farm.Now married, Realtor, mother,small farm hobbiest...and now owner of CountryChics Hatchery. We have horses, cattle, 1 donkey, emu, white pekins, black cayugas, rhode islands, bantams galore?? runner ducks, easter eggers, buff cochins,etc. we sell and ship fertile hatching eggs and day old babies.
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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Yeah I've heard a lot of stories of Ameraucana and Easter Egger eggs being quite large, especially on the first year, but hers are scary. I thought scratch had a lot of protein in it?

Well, I'm going to cut back on the layer pellets and try and aim her more to the grass and stuff out in the pasture. Eventually I'm going to close off the pasture so that is all they have, but for now they are allowed anywhere, and for her it is mainly in front of the coop where it is mucky, sparse, and warm. We'll see how today's egg comes out.

currently breeding Araucanas, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos --- occasionally Olive Eggers
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currently breeding Araucanas, Tolbunt Polish, and Shamos --- occasionally Olive Eggers
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post #7 of 7

I read somewhere that giving them black oil sunflower seeds helps with egg laying as the oil helps pass the egg.

Buff,blue,black and splash orpingtons,and silkies.One sheltie, boarder collie mix dog                                       

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Buff,blue,black and splash orpingtons,and silkies.One sheltie, boarder collie mix dog                                       

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