6 hens-none of the eggs are as they should be!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mertel, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. mertel

    mertel Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2013
    I guess this is more of a "rant" or warning for new chicken owners.

    This is my first flock and I bought my eggs from a feed store with a good reputation.
    I bought 3 Marrans and 3 Arucanas. I figured I would just be getting EE's and I was ok with that-so no big deal.

    BUT-I seriously have NO idea what I actually got! So far my "marrans" lay brown eggs that are just barely darker than regular brown eggs and it seems like my EE's are also laying brown eggs. One egg that comes out is slightly lighter and could maybe be called pink, but that is kind of a stretch!

    It is winter here and I do not add light. None of them started laying before the cold and long nights came so we aren't even close to full production I would think. At this point out of the 6 I get about 1 egg a day as long as it stays above freezing (in the Seattle area) Some days I do get 2 eggs, but that is more like someone forgot to bring an egg in the day before.

    Maybe the EE's aren't really laying yet? I've given up on the Marrans being that-they don't really look like anything else, but I'm sure they are a mix of something.

    Anyone else have EE's that lay brown eggs?
     
  2. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Yes I have had several that lay a brown egg but here is a trick
    I learned from a rancher about eight years ago and it has an
    effect on egg color and that is the Rooster ,, funny ha .....
    Could you put up some picks as Marrans tend to have a different
    shape to the egg shell then other chickens and can lay from
    a 4 to a 9 on the chocolate color scale and the darkest come in
    the spring and lighten in color with age ..........

    [​IMG] and have fun with your flock and lets some photos
    of the egg's and chickens I am sure someone will say something ..


    gander007 [​IMG]
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I understand your frustration but the breeds don’t mean a whole lot unless whoever is selecting the breeding hens and roosters is selecting for the traits you want. Each hatchery has different people selecting the breeding birds. The different people will select different birds. Each breeder is different. Some are just better than others and some have different goals than others.

    With chicken genetics, unless the person selecting the breeding birds purposely selects for a specific trait, that trait can be lost in a very few generations. Take the Marans for example. If a breeder is breeding Marans for show, they may just be looking at the traits the judge sees. The judge is going to see the colors and conformation of the bird, not the color of the egg the hen lays. Roosters don’t lay eggs so the color of the egg that rooster hatched out of may really not be important. In a few generations of selecting for “show” qualities as opposed to egg shell colors, those eggs can get fairly light. If someone is selecting for dark egg color, the show qualities may not be as good. Some breeders are going to select for show qualities as well as production and behavioral traits the breed should have.

    Hatcheries can be just as varied. Just based on how they do their breeding, using the pen breeding method, the results are never going to be real consistent. While a breeder will probably carefully control which rooster breeds with which hen mast hatcheries may put 20 roosters in a pen with 200 hens and let the mating take place randomly. Even if they do a really good job of selecting the breeding hens and roosters the results are going to be pretty inconsistent.

    I don’t know where that feed store got the chicks, probably a well-established hatchery. Hatcheries are in the business of mass producing chicks, not breeding show champions or meeting all the breed requirements. If they try to buy chicks from a breeder doing a really good job in producing top quality chicks in accordance to what the breed is supposed to be, well I couldn’t afford it and you probably would question the cost too.

    EE’s are not a breed, just mixes that really don’t have any standards. Many will lay blue or green eggs, but plenty also lay brown, pink, or white eggs. There is no consistency at all there.

    With you only getting one or two eggs a day, most of those are not laying. Hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised when some of the others start laying. I do wish you luck with it, but yes, there is some luck involved.
     
  4. mertel

    mertel Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2013
    Thank you both for your kind responses! I am so thankful I am able to keep chickens for so many reasons and it has been a great experience thus far.
    I'm not sure why it bothered me so much today. I knew the EE's were going to be a question but I didn't realize until today that brown was even an option. Now I get it [​IMG]

    I did research the Marrans and before it got colder, one of them was laying a much darker brown egg than the others, and I did read that different times of the year will produce different colors. I will for sure post some pics as all 3 look slightly different. I'm guessing at some point they may have been crossed with something as I have also read that the Marrans aren't consistent layers, but mine seem to be! (Good news!)

    In the end clearly these birds aren't for show and I'm thankful I get eggs at all! Plus this has been a great experience for our children. My son who is 4 will spend hours by watching the birds, feeding them, helping me clean the coop etc. It just would have been fun to get at least one interesting egg [​IMG]
     
  5. mertel

    mertel Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2013
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    Here are my girls! These were taken at dusk this past fall so it's not the best lighting.
    The Brown EE is Lucy and she has the best personality. The orange EE is Peach and she is a curious fun bird as well. The white EE Pearl is not nearly as outgoing as the others, but she is pretty tame nonetheless.
    The Black ones started off pretty nervous, but they will come when I call them and they love to sit and "talk" to me in the morning.
     
  6. RoostersCrow HensDeliver!

    RoostersCrow HensDeliver! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Even if you buy chicks from a breeder, you are not guaranteed anything. For instance, I bought half a dozen Black Copper Marans chicks from a local breeder that had posted a picture of hatching eggs that were # 5-7 on the scale and my ONLY girl layed six # 5s and then faded to being indistinguishable from my other layers. I haven't gotten a "chocolate" egg in more than a month and a half [​IMG]. At least she is pretty to look at. Its a buyer beware world out there.
     
  7. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Your interesting egg is yet to come you just need to wait and give
    it time spring is just around the corner and this is the darkest
    egg's you will get .......
    The EE's will lay a blue, green, brown, pink color and for Easter
    I have separated them in their own cage just to lay and collect
    egg's and put some beer in the water just to get the hen to
    give a rainbow effect to the egg's color and this some time works
    to a funny effect but to each their own ........


    gander007 [​IMG]
     
  8. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

     
  9. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Fritz farm and poultry do put out some chickens with some dark eggs but you do pay ($) for what you get
    and this is no feed store chicken ,,,, I got several from them and I was more than happy till a bobcat
    got to them this last year so I have already contacted them about getting more this spring ........
    It is really, really true most sellers/breeders advertise the darkest egg's they have or can find ........


    gander007 [​IMG]
     
  10. mertel

    mertel Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2013
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    The egg in my hand was our first egg ever and the other two were from early in the fall.
     

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