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Egg sizes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by crazychicknanny, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. crazychicknanny

    crazychicknanny Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2014
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    My two EE started laying in November and their eggs were greenish color and medium in size. Now, they are small and barely fill the space in the egg carton. Is there anything I can do feed wise to increase the size or do I let nature take its course and see if they will get to medium size again? My other hens are all laying medium to large eggs so I don't think it's a nutrition issue.
     
  2. Spangled

    Spangled Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just throwing some crazy ideas out there. You said you don't think it's nutrition because the other hens are still laying regular-sized eggs ... so I would have a tendency to completely agree with you.

    But crazy idea #1 Maybe ???? EEs aren't getting as much food as the other hens because of some pecking order shake up in the coop???

    Crazy idea #2 Maybe ???? your EEs are having a more difficult time keeping warm than your other hens and so all the food that the EEs manage to eat gets used up keeping them warm instead of going toward egg-size. You know, like maybe the EEs end up sleeping in the coldest part of the coop ... if you have a coldest part of the coop. ???? You probably don't, but I'm grasping at straws.

    Keeping protein levels of intake at 18% usually keeps egg size up to the biggest that hen can physiologically lay, but weather can take its toll. I don't think Colorado has been as cold as the Eastern States in the US lately, so maybe that's not the issue. In bad weather (cold), feed usually gets used to keep the hen warm and then the energy and nutrients that are leftover go toward eggs and egg size --- at least that's how I understand it -- in a simplified version of of how feed gets used.

    Of course, you're feeding a complete layer ration and making sure that extra calcium is available as necessary. If you were just feeding corn and wheat, we'd know that vitamins and minerals and protein were all in short supply, but that's not what's happening in your case.

    Some might say that it's a fresh greens issue, you know like maybe a small tray of wheat grass every other day if you don't happen to have some grass growing in your yard right now. Even a little kale stalks would help if that's something your hens are missing out on (chlorophyll?), although there are plenty of people that claim that greens are unnecessary. Alfalfa pellets, soaked, is something I've heard some folks do. Our hens get plenty of alfalfa in their feed, so I've not tried the soaking in warm water method of feeding alfalfa pellets.

    Usually once a hen lays a medium-sized egg, she continues to do so. This is a puzzling instance, so I really want to blame it on nutrition because I can't think of what else it could be. You could let nature take its course, of course, but what will change in nature that will help your hens to return to laying medium eggs instead of small?????

    Yes, very puzzling this is.

    I am anxious to hear the other explanations from others who post to this thread.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
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    My Coop
    Agrees that maybe the birds laying smaller eggs are not getting as much food and water because of pecking order and/or space issues.

    What are the other breeds you have and are they all the same age as the EE's?
     
  4. crazychicknanny

    crazychicknanny Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2014
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    Thanks so much Spangled. Very good points to ponder. I have my girls on a 22% protein layer pellet for "all fowl" and they are free range too so in between the snow, they do get out on the grass. I also supplement with bags of greens from the store, plain yogurt and other kitchen scraps. I don't give them the treats until after noon so I try to make sure they eat the pellets first. I have 13 hens of various breeds:
    2 leghorns
    2 silver leghorns
    2 EE from same batch
    1 EE mix that lays medium to large green eggs
    1 BA
    1 White Orp
    1 Buff Orp
    1 Barred Rock
    1 Blue Andalusian
    1 Minorca

    The bigger hens to "rule the roost" and boss everyone around, but I have 3 feeding stations and 2 water jugs so they can eat and drink without too much hassle. I was thinking of buying a bale of alfalfa and put it in their pen so they can peck at it for more protein. Yesterday I was thrilled to get 9 eggs from the girls during a snow fall that dumped over a foot of snow. I have a heat lamp in their coop over the nesting/feed side of the coop with a window that is open between this side and the roost side so the chill is off the coop even with the minus weather and open vents.

    The EE girls are higher in the pecking order then the new EE mix, the silver leghorns and the Blue so they get to the food and water without issues. I've never seen this before in the years I've had chickens so it's an interesting issue that I would love to hear other peoples suggestions ~ or if I should just be patient and see if they get bigger. Thanks again... much appreciated.
     
  5. crazychicknanny

    crazychicknanny Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2014
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    Thanks Aart. The majority of the girls where hatched last spring. The Blue is the youngest at around 5 months.
    I appreciate the suggestions and will try the alfalfa bale to see if that helps since our weather says more snow on an off until next week.
    They want to get out in the yard so bad but with about 14" of snow on the ground, they would burn up too much energy trying to move around. They have a large pen but only hang out in the area outside their coop that I have tarps up sheltering the ground from the snow.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. klilly20

    klilly20 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] I have seen some odd looking eggs but this has to be the first. One of my Rhode Island reds laid this egg yesterday
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Yep that's a weird one.....
    you should take a pic of it with something next to it to give scale, like a quarter,
    and post it in this thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/697007/weird-or-odd-eggs-pics
     
  8. klilly20

    klilly20 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2014
    Kentucky, USA
  9. klilly20

    klilly20 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2014
    Kentucky, USA
    [​IMG]
     
  10. crazychicknanny

    crazychicknanny Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2014
    Golden, Colorado
    That is crazy! A conjoined egg. I would blow out the yolk(s) and keep it ~ but I'm weird that way. LOL
     

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