Egg whites??


9 Years
Apr 15, 2010
Walker, West Virginia
We have had a problem with the white of our eggs.
For a few weeks now they have been too thin and runny
the larger the egg the thinner the white. They spread out
in the skillet like a really old store egg. Shoot! these are fresh
and gathered twice a day at least. They are fed 16% laying crumbles,
egg shells for added calcium and treats such as tomatoes and
table scrapes. They don't free range so their diet is lacking in green stuff.
They do however have a very large run with trees for shade and lots
of dirt. No grass left.

My golden comets are 17mos
old and have been molting for the past 2 mos.
They still are laying most of the time and have only dropped off
a little. These girls have been real egg laying machines and I expected
them to stop laying when they started molting. Has to be so hard on
them. We have tried to add extra protien when available. They get
fresh raw fish when they guys go fishing. I sure hope they come
home with some fish for the girls this evening.

Has any one any ideas what could cause the runny whites? I boiled some
eggs for deviled eggs today and found the white could not even support
the yolk during boiling. The yolks all ended up against the shell.
Wow---sounds like something you don't need to have happening..........

Here are some things I found on the Internet. It could be as simple as a reaction to too much heat this time of year....or
other causes. The last link from the Poultry Site is pretty comprehensive.

From Happy Hen House:

From Golden Valley Eggcyclopedia

Runny Eggs
- - Most common problem in the industry
- - Golden Valley sorts 150 suppliers into suitability lists (HRI, Retail, Breaker)
- - Major causes in order of prevalence:
- - improper storage
- - old eggs (rotation)
- - hot weather during lay
- - flock health

Runny Eggs

Runny eggs are the most common complaint to the egg industry. When an egg is referred to as runny, normally it means that the white spreads over a larger area that is expected. When these eggs are fried, the yolk will not stand up as high as a non-runny egg, sometimes to a point that it makes contact with the grill and breaks. Poaching these eggs is problematic as well as the white does not hold together and the final product is not satisfactory.

Causes of Runny Eggs:

May things can cause runny eggs, but the result is the same. The protein in the white gives the egg white its thickness. If there is insufficient or broken down protein, the white will be runny. The lower the amount, the runnier the egg. There are numerous things that cause this, such as:

1. 1. Old Eggs

From the moment an egg is laid, it begins to slowly deteriorate. Part of the deterioration process includes the breakdown of proteins. Therefore, when an egg is laid, the white will be at it’s best and as time goes on, it will increase in runniness. This is not a food safety issue, providing the eggs are stored correctly, simply the egg will not function as well as it did on Day 1.

2. 2. Improper Storage

Proper Storage of eggs is critical to maintain their freshness. If eggs are not stored correctly, the will age at an accelerated rate. One day at room temperature will cause an egg to age more than would a week under refrigeration. A common problem is that many institutions pull out a stack of eggs for busy periods, place them beside the grill, and return the unused eggs to the cooler. The eggs on the bottom of this stack have been mistreated and may not perform well when it comes time to use them.

3. 3. Hot Weather

Chickens, like all animals, eat to maintain their bodies. During cooler weather, a good deal of feed is consumed simply to keep their body temperature at the proper temperature. When the temperature in the barn increases, less energy is need to maintain body temperature, and so their feed intake is reduced. You will notice that pets during hot spells will go off their feed as well as the simply do not need to eat as much. The problem with this is that the feed has been formulated to provide the right level of protein and calcium to the bird if they eat normally. When the eat less, they have less protein and calcium to go into the eggs and you get thin shells and runny eggs. Some people say the birds are drinking too much water, but, in fact, it is the reduced feed intake that is the problem.

4. 4. Poor Health

There are many diseases and illnesses that can occur in hens as they can in people. If a flock gets a disease that can be transmitted to humans, the flock is destroyed. However, there are a good deal of illnesses that are unique to birds. When a bird is sick, feed intake drops dramatically, and again you will get less protein and calcium available to produce the egg. The results are similar to the hot weather scenario. Diseases such as pox and bronchitis, along with many others, will adversely effect the quality of the egg that a he will produce.

What to Do With Runny or Older Eggs

Runny eggs do not perform as well as non-runny eggs in many applications. Therefore, if you have runny eggs and want to use them up, use them in areas where less functionality is not a problem. Scrambled and hard-boiled eggs, pancake and waffle mixes, baking and similar applications are a great way to use these eggs. Sunny side up, over easy, baking meringues, and similar applications need better performance from eggs and should be avoided if possible.

From BYC forum back in 2010

The Poultry site

Thank you so much for answering my post.
I can't tell you how I appreciate all the researh
you did.

From what I have read of your answer I am
thinking the low protien is the problem.
It takes protien to make feathers as well as
eggs. I must make sure that they get the extra
protien that they need so badly.

Thanks again
Golden Comet Lady
Hi GoldenCometLady---

you are welcome. I was reading that someone (I think it was one of my chicken books) used powdered milk soilds to boost protein in home made chicken feed. It is sooo interesting what they will eat.

How great it will be when yours get back to normal. This heat may also be a factor for them.

BTW...I LOVE Golden Comets. Was saying to my husband yesterday that we are so lucky that we got one in our first flock--because she really makes chicken keeping fun and worthwhile

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