Does anyone know why my pullet's eggs are getting smaller and smaller?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Bowserella, Jan 17, 2015.

  1. Bowserella

    Bowserella In the Brooder

    Jul 1, 2014
    I have a young EE who started laying early December 2014. She only lays about an egg a week. I have yet to find one that has a yolk and just recently they have gotten much smaller, a little larger than a marble. I have another pullet who started laying at the same time and her eggs are perfect and getting larger every day. They eat the same food. I can't find anything online about why this might be happening. Do any of you more experienced chicken owners have any ideas or advice for me? Here is a photo of her eggs - the darker brown one is from my more experienced hen, the lighter brown is from my other pullet of the same age, and the bluish ones are from my EE in the order they were laid.
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Crossing the Road

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    If you say they don't contain yolks, then that is certainly an abnormality. Wait and maybe she will shake it out. I don't think there is an easy cure for this. WISHING YOU BEST
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Crowing

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    It is normal for a newly laying pullet to take some time to "get it right" as her system comes on line. That means her egg sizes can vary and she can do some rather odd things like lay yolk-less eggs (often called fairy eggs), and yes, they are very small, like a marble. She may also lay shell-less eggs or odd shaped eggs until her system becomes fully mature.

    EE's generally mature more slowly than many of the popular commercial brown egg layers (for example Red Sex Links and Barred Rocks who both mature faster and come into full laying power faster). This can account for the difference in the laying ability of the other pullets as they are a different breed who likely are maturing more quickly and ramping up faster (having been bred selectively by the industry to do so).

    EE's are a breed mainly valued for the unusual egg color. I do think that the rapid increase in popularity of EE's has caused the commercial industry to churn them out so quickly to meet demand that overall quality has suffered...and that can show up in egg quality.

    My EE's came into lay at about 6 months, and for the first six months laid poor eggs. Truly, I was not impressed with their size or quality...they were very chalky on the outside however I did not have them on different feed than the others, and no one else was having problems. I suspect it simply was their feed store hatchery quality. They have just finished their first molt and have begun to lay again. Their eggs are much larger and much better quality, albeit not prolific...but EE's are not known for being prolific, they are known for the ability to lay green or blue eggs (most of them...some lay brown).

    Another possibility for your bird is that she has a defect in her egg tract wherein she will never lay properly. As long as she does not become egg bound, and she remains healthy, you may decide to keep her as a pet and value her for that rather than her ability to lay eggs.

    One other possibility is disease such as Infectious Bronchitis...but that is unlikely and I hesitate to tell you about it as I don't want you to worry...but on the odd chance that it could be something more and you should know the signs....IB is a viral illness that can cause egg defects, most notably a sudden lightening in the color (ie you suddenly are getting almost white eggs from what is normally a brown egg layer) with sandy or wrinkled looking shells as well as the "mis-fires." Typically if one bird in the flock has IB most of the others catch it too, and other symptoms include sneezing/nicking, runny eyes/noses,coughing, and ruffled appearance. Some IB is mild and only affects the egg production, so the biggest symptom is the sudden drop in eggs and poor/odd quality. Most birds recover to full production after a few weeks to a few months. Some never fully recover to full production. Fortunately IB does not stay in the environment for long and is susceptible to disinfectants, sunshine, and once it has run its course in your flock, general consensus is after a few months life is normal again. (Unlike some diseases which permanently infect a flock and environment.)

    This article can help with further information about causes of poor egg quality if you would like further information.

    HOWEVER...I wouldn't worry.... chances are, since she has only been laying a month, her system is slowly maturing and will take a bit of time to come into production, especially as she is an EE (I am assuming she is hatchery/feed store quality).

    Lady of McCamley

    EDITED TO ADD: keep it simple I said breed...but before someone astutely corrects me, I should more correctly state EE's are a hybrid mixture created to lay green eggs (typically but they can lay blue or brown or even white depending on the genetics of the parents used...but most are a hybrid between a blue egg laying breed and a brown egg laying breed to produce green eggs...the result of the brown tint over the blue shell.) ...and of course Red Sex Links are not a breed either but a hybrid created to sex at hatch and provide prolific eggs.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
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