Could these really all be from the same chicken?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Christabean, Dec 13, 2016.

  1. Christabean

    Christabean Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2016
    California
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    If I saw these in someone else's picture I would assume they had at least three different chickens laying, but I am really pretty sure they are all from my Cuckoo Maran, Hewegg. She is the only one I ever see in the coop during the day, she lays almost daily but I get some skip days and never two eggs in one day, and she is the oldest of my flock. She's been laying almost a month and her eggs still have so much variation, does anyone else have birds like this?

    If you look really close the lighter egg has tiny dark-brown freckles, the ones at right have a nearly even coating of tiny dark speckles, and then we've had a few eggs like the one at left with big speckles. Anybody know what causes variations in the pigmentation? I know it's a more surface color than, say, easter eggers, and in fact I found out when I had a poopy egg I had to clean that the darker speckle color wipes right off a fresh egg.

    On the bright side, Hewegg is a wonderful chicken. She was actually an accidental purchase an employee mistook for a Polish chicken (due to the white spot Cuckoo Marans have on their head as chicks) but has turned out to have a great personality and is a good pet. It's kind of fun guessing what funky kind of egg she'll have each day, I just think it's weird!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Hens tend to lay similar eggs each day, the same general size, shape, and color. But you don’t have a hen, you have a pullet. The internal egg making factory is a pretty complicated piece of machinery. Sometimes it takes pullets a while to get all the kinks worked out. And occasionally even a grown hen has an “oops” day.

    An egg takes about 25 hours to go through the internal factory. Most of that time in in the shell gland where several things happen. The last half hour is generally when the hen is putting on that brown layer on top of the white shell. If you crack one of those, remove the membrane, and look inside you’ll see the color she starts working on, usually really white.

    If something happens to cause her to lay the egg a little earlier than normal the shell can be fairly light. If something delays her from laying the egg on time it can be dark or get extra calcium on it. Other things can happen too. This poster and the other link talk about them. There is nothing wrong with the eggs, they may just not be as attractive if you are selling them commercially.

    Egg Shell Defects
    https://www.alltech.com/sites/default/files/alltech-egg-shell-quality-poster.pdf

    Egg Quality Handbook
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/ourbooks/1/egg-quality-handbook/

    I agree with you, that’s a lot of variation, even for a pullet. But from what you said they are probably all hers. Give her more time and see if they stabilize.
     
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  3. Christabean

    Christabean Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 21, 2016
    California
    Thank you, very interesting and informative! She has a good diet and comfortable conditions, but we have had some bad weather (by coastal California standards -- just a little rain!) and we've had to come up with better doorstop options for the coop after they kept knocking it closed, so it makes sense she would maybe have timing issues affecting egg coloration.
     

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