Egg deformity in hens


8 Years
Mar 2, 2011
I have a very nice (at one point) looking Hatchery Production-Type Red hen (breed unknown). I have been raising and breeding chickens for 15 years and have never seen this many body-checked eggs from one hen in this short amount of time.

She is very friendly but moves quite slowly like she is stiff. I have no idea how old she is because she is a rescue and came from a very bad environment. Like most of my chickens, rescues are hard to ID age because they usually have health issues. She appears to be somewhat healthy at the moment but my very large RIR rooster over-bred her about a month and a half ago and her feathers/skin still haven't healed. However she is very fat and maybe even overweight (9.8 lbs on the scales today). The fact that she is healing slowly is a classic sign that I am dealing with a older girl who is likely ready to stop laying all together.

That fact does not bother me, as I could care less if she ever lays an egg. I wanted to provide her a better home than the one she had and I intend to do so with or without eggs. I separated her from the main flock and she free-ranges with some American Gamefowl Bantams (also rescues) in my yard and roosts on a small pole next to a Standard American Gamefowl. She still lays daily and is the most dependable egg layer I have on my farm. She has very few wing feathers left but she is not being bred so I am hoping she will help with the soluble antibiotics I am providing her. Her feathers are very brittle and coarse but she is beginning to show signs of molting. This makes me hopeful that she will feather back out correctly if she remains separated from the rooster.

Any idea on how to tell if this disease related or just age. She has no symptoms other than a bit of a wheeze but nothing too major (likely from age as well). The disease that causes this is a form of bronchitis but she has not one of the symptoms. This disease, however, is sometimes docile and the hen will show no signs therefore a blood test is required to detect it's presence.

I am not very good at estimating the age of a hen based on sight alone. I have had her for almost a year and am only just now beginning to see an improve then this happened. As I said I only want her to have a better life than before and if I can help her I will. On the other hand, I have around 40 Chickens here that are rescues and some of them would likely not survive disease of any kind simply because I only got them last month. I want to help her but I want to protect them as well. Not a single other chicken on my property is showing any sign of illness or laying these type eggs. In short, I am very confused and concerned.

Any advice or input about the cause of this or even the age of the hen could be vital to preventing another chicken dying in this world that didn't have to. If you have ANY ideas please respond. Thank you in advance!

Here is a picture of the hen:

Last month (newest pics I have of her)

She is blue legged for some reason which makes her a mystery breed.....

Again Thank you!

Timothy in KY


Barefoot Bantams
9 Years
Sep 22, 2010
Upstate South Carolina
I did not see much mentioned about the egg deformity.....

Have you checked for lice & mites? That too can cause feather loss.

I would think, if she is healthy otherwise, it could also be a vitamin deficiency.

If she was over-bred by a rooster, maybe her feathers will not come back in until she molts, if she is an older hen.

The wheeze would worry me. She may have a respiratory disease, be a carrier, and just not be showing symptoms.

Sorry I could not help more, you may want to change the title of the post to see if you can get other responses.


8 Years
Mar 4, 2011
Fayetteville, AR
I agree, with the title, I'd assumed you were asking about some kind of weird-looking egg. What is a "body-checked" egg? Are you more interested in them, or in whether she's sick? Or are you more interested in us guessing her age? She does look quite old in the face, and I'd be worried about that wheeze as well, but I can't tell you anything about the egg issue without knowing what's going on.


8 Years
Mar 2, 2011
I apologize for my not leaving more information:

As of today,

She laid another body-checked egg (four days in a row). I give her vitamins and electrolytes in her water and alternate days with plain water and antibiotics on the third day. The wheeze has stopped as of this morning but I am worried about her health and the health of my flock.

The reason I asked about her health and age is because "body checks" can be a result of both of these. If it is simply her age, then it is normal and not something to worry about. However, if it is sickness, she would have symptoms similar to the flu or CRD. She has no runny nose or any sign of sickness. She is parasite free when I checked this morning, which is also why I asked about the feathers

I tried to photograph the egg but my camera is kinda sucky....

Thanks for you input

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