A Little Old for First Egg, Ya Think?

BigBlueHen53

Love one another ❤️
Mar 5, 2019
21,102
80,436
1,287
SE Missouri, USA
Hi, BYC, thought this was odd enough to throw out there and see what y'all think. So I have 8 Black Australorps in my mixed flock of 20 hens (and one BJG rooster). These hens were a year old in March, 2021, making them 17 months old. In the last week I've gotten three "pullet eggs," or what appear to be. These are quite small and lightly smeared with blood. Is it possible one of these hens is just beginning to lay, at this age? - or could something else be going on?

I have never gotten 8 eggs in a single day from these ladies; the most I have ever gotten is 6. I always assumed all were laying, just not on the same day. Finally, I know these are BA eggs, they are my only brown egg layers.

We normally feed all-flock crumbles, 18%, with a little handful of scratch morning and evening. Within the last week we switched to 20% feather fixer, as some appear to be going into molt. They free-range for a couple hours every afternoon, and have both grit and oyster shell available 24/7. Kitchen scraps are a rare treat.

TIA for any and all suggestions. All hens look and act happy and healthy.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,256
23,447
907
Southeast Louisiana
I'll give you these links so you can see what they say. The EQH is more for commercial operations so some of that won't apply.

Egg Quality Handbook

https://thepoultrysite.com/publications/egg-quality-handbook

Sumi – Egg Quality

https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/common-egg-quality-problems.65923/

Three small blood smeared eggs in a week. I'm stumped. A hen that old should not lay a pullet egg. Her internal egg making factory should have matured enough so the eggs aren't that small, even if it is her first egg. Have you opened those eggs, do they have yolks and whites? How thick were the shells?

An occasional glitch is not a big deal but three in a week is not occasional. I can't think of any link between small eggs and bloody eggs. They all look and act healthy. That usually means they are. I just don't know.
 

BigBlueHen53

Love one another ❤️
Mar 5, 2019
21,102
80,436
1,287
SE Missouri, USA
Hi, @Ridgerunner, thanks. Attaching two photos. First compares her three small eggs to othr eggs from her flockmates. Her eggs from 8/19 and 8/21 were the bloodiest. The one from 8/22 was clean.

The second pic is the egg from 8/19, cracked into a bowl. As you can see, it looks perfectly normal, and the shell seems about the same as other eggs to me.

I'll read those articles, thanks. If YOU'RE stumped, I don't feel so bad about finding it to be a real head scratcher!
 

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