Brown eggs from Barred Rocks turning white... why would this happen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by UrbanFarmerGirl, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. UrbanFarmerGirl

    UrbanFarmerGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2010
    Western Washington
    I know there is natural variety in egg size, color, productivity etc. I have 2 Barred Rocks and 1 Buff Orpington who are about 1 year old. Their production has dropped quite a bit in the past month- even though days are long, feed is good, and they should be at the height of production. I used to get 2-3 eggs per day from the girls. Now I am getting 1-2. I chalked this up to stress- a few new birds added to flock, temps have been very warm (90+), and they are spending less time free in yard than before.

    Now I am questioning if something else could be going on. The eggs were always an even tan color previously, and were medium sized. Now, if I get eggs, the shells are almost white. I haven't had a brown egg in several weeks. They are not light tan- almost white. The general quality has also been poor- a few with meat spots, discolored whites, and oblong shells.

    Is this typical, or could something else be going on? Also, is there a specific disease or vitamin deficiency or pathogen that is known to bleach out the shells in this way? Thanks for any input!
  2. choidle

    choidle Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2007
    Below is a link to an article from the Extension staff of the University of Florida concerning the subject matter. The article provides educated insight about the loss of shell pigment (color) in brown eggs. Hope this helps.
  3. Whittni

    Whittni Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Southern Utah
    That link mentioned encounters with bronchitis in hens, then it goes and says that's not the case its the hens being spooked. You might have a predator larking around that tried to get your hens. It also mentions age and the pigment chemicals for the shells defecting. Good Luck.
  4. UrbanFarmerGirl

    UrbanFarmerGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2010
    Western Washington
    That link is very informative. Thank you. I would not be surprised if stress was a factor- we came to find that there was a nest of fledgling coopers hawks in a tree just outside of our fence, maybe 25 yards from the coop. We had also added new hens, so exposure to some kind of pathogen from those birds would have been possible- although no other symptoms showed up and everyone is still alive and appears very healthy. I also found out after about a week that I had made a mistake in switching to a metal waterer and continuing to add apple cider vinegar as I used to do in the plastic waterer- I did not realize this was corrosive, so some metal/chemical exposure through water may have had an effect on quality. With so many variables I will never know for sure- but now the hawks are gone, no vinegar in the water, the flock is happy and healthy, so hopefully it is resolved. The girls mentioned in this post all started a big molt in November and have started laying again. I am very curious about how the eggs will appear when they begin to lay this Spring. Those were some very very odd eggs we got when I posted originally.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  5. frick01

    frick01 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 22, 2015
    My hen who has been battling Wry neck disease stopped laying for a few months. She is laying again but her normally brown eggs have turned off white. She also cries a lot and had done so since birth. Given her problems, I am glad she is still alive. She had two bouts of Wry neck and is very scrappy. I did stop the vitamin E as the three girls are now in a shed. It is 10 degrees out, and hard to isolate one girl.

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