Easiest way to mark eggs from hens?

My2butterflies

Crowing
Apr 14, 2020
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What is the best method to collect eggs from select hens?

I have a variety of hens but only want to collect eggs from my Turkens, 3 out of 4 EEs, and slw.
Nearly all my breeds are brown layers so I can’t tell the eggs apart. And one EE has a deformed scull so I don’t want to hatch her eggs.

Ive heard of using food coloring and lipstick. Are these reliable? When do you put it on to make sure it marks the egg?
 

The Kooky Kiwi

Songster
Dec 23, 2017
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Perhaps there are some methods that others know of - but I would imagine the only foolproof way to guarantee to you collect from your desired selection of hens is:

To only have those hens in the pen. If there is only *one* hen you do not want to hatch from can you remove her from the pen for the collection period??
 

Weeg

Free Ranging
Jul 1, 2020
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I think I have heard that you can rub a bit of food coloring on the edges of the vent, and then when they lay the egg the coloring will smear on the shell? I am not a pro so someone correct me if it is a bad idea.
 
Last edited:

The Kooky Kiwi

Songster
Dec 23, 2017
374
1,135
226
New Zealand, Golden Bay
I think I have heard that you can rub a bit of food coloring inside the vent, and then when they lay the egg the coloring will smear on the shell? I am not a pro so someone correct me if it is a bad idea.
I understand the intention of how that should work - in theory.

But then you get into the question of whether its really advisable to put things where things don't normally go!

Plus.. I wonder about the possibility of the food coloring will be expelled with pooping and running out before the egg is laid - risking an unmarked egg??

Have to admit though - I'm curious to see if anyone has actually used the method and how well it worked.
 

My2butterflies

Crowing
Apr 14, 2020
905
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Minnesota
Perhaps there are some methods that others know of - but I would imagine the only foolproof way to guarantee to you collect from your desired selection of hens is:

To only have those hens in the pen. If there is only *one* hen you do not want to hatch from can you remove her from the pen for the collection period??
I have 11 other hens I don’t want to collect from.
I do have a brooder box in the coop I could pen some hens in. Likely not all the ones I want to collect from though. There are 8 hens and the brooder is only 4’x3’*i think*
Would they even lay still if I confine them to small quarters?

My plan is to collect eggs next week and start incubation on the 30th.

I think I have heard that you can rub a bit of food coloring inside the vent, and then when they lay the egg the coloring will smear on the shell? I am not a pro so someone correct me if it is a bad idea.

Inside the vent😳 I thought it went right around the outside rim. 🤔
 

Weeg

Free Ranging
Jul 1, 2020
4,898
9,811
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Small town in Washington
I understand the intention of how that should work - in theory. But then you get into the question of whether its really advisable to put things where things don't normally go! plus.. possibility the food colouring will be expelled with pooping??

Have to admit though - I'm curious to see if anyone has actually used the method and how well it worked.
I didn't do any backup research on it or anything, but I am pretty sure that someone else on here did it with no problems? I really don't know, but thought I would throw it out there! You probably wouldn't' want to put it to much inside the vent, or up the vent, but maybe just around the edges.
 

My2butterflies

Crowing
Apr 14, 2020
905
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Minnesota
Ya, that is what I meant, like around the rim I am going to change that. Don't want anyone sticking a finger of food coloring up the vent! Lol!
Haha, yeah. I wasn’t really mentally prepared to be putting anything in my hens vents. Around the rim seems plenty invasive 😬
 
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