What is Wrong With My Egg?
I will teach you about the different types of shells, yolks, and how an egg is laid!
Eggs can take many shapes or forms. Usually, we see the traditional oval-shaped egg. White, brown, green, blue, pink... what color don't chickens lay?
The 'egg song' chickens sing while laying an egg, or after, means that they have accompished something great.
How are Eggs Laid?Let's start with how eggs are laid. When a female pullet reaches maturity, the yolk (or ovum) reaches it's full, matured size. The part that is holding the ovum (follicle) breaks, then the yolk is on its way to the funnel of the oviduct. If the pullet has been mounted by a rooster (and it was successful), the yolk will become fertile. If not, the yolk will be unfertile. The chalazae (which are two white cords holding the yolk in the center of the egg) starts to form. Next comes the egg white (albumen), and the egg is on its way to the magnum. The shell membrane is formed in the isthmus, then the shell itself is formed in the uterus. This whole process takes about 20 hours to finish. The egg is rotated from the small end to the larger end, and while this is happening a fluid (bloom, or cuticle) coats the egg. Because the egg is coated, it makes it easy for the egg to come out of the vent.
Now, young layers sometimes may not get this process correct. With time, comes perfection. Now onto the different types of eggs your pullet (or hen) could lay.
Different Types of Egg Shells-
-Soft, or no shell
This means something is not going right with the shell gland. This can happen with stress, or lack of Vitamin D/calcium. Usually young layers will have more of a problem with this.
If you are to rough with your hens, a second yolk can be released prematurely,so it bumps the first egg. Also, this could be formed when a pullet or hen has a respiratory infection, or if she lacks calcium.
This is caused when the shell is not formed properly. This is usually seen in young layers or old hens. This means that there is excess vitamin D. Do NOT incubate these eggs!
Now onto the different types of yolks:
Different Types of Yolks-Orange, Dark Yellow-
These yolks form most likely because of the diet. Many foods can affect the yolk's color including leafy greens, carrots, marigolds, whole corn, calendula flowers... etc.
Blackish-Green, Olive Green, Reddish-
These yolks form mostly because of diet. Acorns, green grass, and other greens can affect the color of the yolk.
Not enough free-range, lack of corn/feed.
No yolks, how is this even possible? Well, this is common when new layers lay their first egg. Since they're just getting used to their new system, it isn't perfected yet. With time, the pullet will perfect the eggs.
Not the same as a developing embryo!!!! These eggs are produced when a small tissue from the pullet or hen is released before the shell is formed. This can be caused by an inherited genetic defect, or lack of vitamin A. These eggs are safe to eat, but they may not look appealing.
Now my favorite kind of yolk...Double-Yolk-
This often occurs in large birds or older hens. This happens when two yolks combine before the shell is formed. After the two yolks are together, the shell is formed. In my experience, the eggs are usually larger than the regular one-yolked egg. Sometimes, you can get a triple yolk, or more!
Did you know the most yolks found in a chicken egg was 9?
Sometimes(if you have a matured male chicken), your eggs could be fertile. If you'd like, you could incubate them or set them under a broody! 21 days later you might see little faces looking at you!
Thank you for reading, and I hope you learned something! If you have any questions, please contact me, I would happily answer!
Pictures by Chicken Frenzie. In the book "The Joy of Keeping Chickens The ultimate guide to raising poultry for fun or project" written by Jennifer Megyesi has this information, also other information. Have a great day!
Have a wonderful day!