consistently small eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by relizabethcole, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. relizabethcole

    relizabethcole Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2014
    We have 2 Orpingtons who lay HUGE eggs. Then we got a golden laced wynadotte who always lays tiny little eggs (through one season so far.) We thought it was just what she was like. However, we now have an austrolorp who has been laying for a week and laying tiny eggs. I realize she could increase her egg size, but because we have another tiny layer I wonder if it could it be something we are doing? the orpingtons were older when we got them. They all eat lay crumbles with supplemented calcium, a little scratch at night and very occasional veggie scraps.
     
  2. ClucksAndPeeps

    ClucksAndPeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How old are the two? Age may be a factor, as pullets lay tiny eggs at first and they gradually get bigger as then hens ages.
     
  3. relizabethcole

    relizabethcole Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2014
    The orpingtons are 3 years old. The wynadotte is about one and a half (she's already layed for a while, gone through a molt and I think laying again.) The austrolorp just started laying. not sure how old she is, maybe 6-8 months. but she's large in size.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There could be a few different things going on. The basic size of an egg the hen will lay is inherited. Some breeds were developed to lay large eggs, some medium, and some breeds lay small eggs. But even within the breed, each hen is an individual. Some are going to lay eggs smaller than the breed average, some larger. A lot of that can depend on the flock they come from. If the person selecting which breeders to keep doesn’t select the breeders for egg size, you can get some pretty big swings on egg size and they may not follow the breed tendency after a few generations.

    When a pullet starts laying, she normally lays a fairly small egg compared to what it will eventually be. As she lays the egg gets larger, some fairly quickly, some pretty slowly.

    A really noticeable change in egg size comes after an adult molt. The first adult molt caused the most change, but there is an increase in size after each one. That’s why commercial operations often force a molt not that long after their flock starts laying, to get the egg size up to a more profitable size.

    Diet makes a difference too. Of course a hen needs a balanced diet to lay well, but the higher her protein intake the larger her egg, within reason. I suggest you don’t go overboard on the protein because a larger egg than her body is made to handle can cause medical problems, but a higher protein diet can and will affect the egg size.

    According to Henderson’s Breed Chart:

    http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html

    Australorp are supposed to lay an average sized egg. Mine normally lay a bit larger than average
    Orpington should lay average to above average. Mine tend to a little under average
    Wyandotte should be above average. I don’t have those.

    I don’t have a lot of each breed. You don’t either. We’d have to have enough for the averages to mean much and we don’t. It’s that individual between hens.
     
  5. relizabethcole

    relizabethcole Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 20, 2014
    I thought I would post an update for anyone who is having the same problem and wondering what we did. As was suggested, both our chickens increased their egg size over time. However, the wynodotte always layed smaller eggs than the others, even though she was a big fat hen! Her eggs stayed tiny for a long time and then eventually became just small eggs. the australorp graduated to normal sized eggs more quickly. I guess the lesson really is that all chickens are individuals and it wasn't anything we were doing. Those tiny eggs were pretty cute.
     

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