Egg with strands of dried egg yolk on outside of shell?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ClareScifi, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just now I collected an egg that has dried egg yolk threads all over it.

    It was laid in the spot that my hen who turns 5 months tomorrow likes to lay hers. I have found only hers there in the past. She's half white leghorn, half RIR.

    However, this egg I found appears to be that of my Sebright Bantie, who also turns 5 months old tomorrow.

    They have both been laying for about a week or so. However, I haven't found either chicken's eggs for a couple of days.

    Do you think this could be a sign the Bantie was eggbound and that an egg cracked inside her, getting on the shell?

    Or do you think it is possible that the other hen could have laid her egg and the Bantie found it and ate it, prior to laying her own egg? Or could a cat have found it and eaten it and left a bit of yolk on the ground to get on the Bantie's egg? But it is doubtful the Bantie would lay her egg over yolk on the ground? And would a cat eat a whole egg, shell and all? I know chickens will eat shells for the calcium, but I would think a shell would pierce a cat's intestinal track?

    Does anyone know of the link that has all the pictures of weird eggs on it, like the egg that is my Avatar? I can't find that link.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I should add that the egg with the dried yolk on its shell is perfectly hard-shelled, not soft-shelled.

    I have wondered if it has a tiny crack where egg yolk could have leaked out of it, but I sure don't see a crack.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If the worst happened - an egg cracking open inside your pullet - you would probably be seeing signs of distress in her by now. That's usually life-threatening.

    Probably what happened was one hen laid her egg on top the other hen's egg, and it got cracked open.

    When that happens in my coop, a lot of the time, an opportunistic hen will notice the leaking egg and eat it. That would account for the "evidence" of yolk on the other egg.
     
  4. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, I sure hope that's all it is, azygous. Thanks for your feedback!

    The sole little bantie is so cute; I would sure hate to lose her. She seemed fine this evening, foraging in the compost pile and she flew up to her high perch in the coop for nighty-night. What are some symptoms I should watch for in her in the morning, in the worst case scenario?

    Have you ever seen a hen eat the whole cracked egg, shell and all? Shouldn't there have been some signs of shells or leaky yolk on the ground? There was nothing. I didn't think to check her face. Would it still be stained in the morning, I wonder?

    Is it possible a cat could have come in and finished off the cracked egg? But wouldn't some of the shells have stuck to the other egg, along with the bits of yolk? Not a sign of shells anywhere. So strange to me!

    It would make sense, since the Bantie laid in the other hen's secret private laying spot, that the other hen didn't expect there to be an egg in there. But I would have thought she might have cracked the Bantie's egg, trying to get on her spot, but it appears hers would have been the cracked one, since it is the one missing. I wonder whether this means she laid first and the Bantie's egg cracked hers, in which case the Bantie was the likeliest of the chickens to be the egg eater?

    Do these cracked eggs happen a lot in your coop?

    It's so weird that with 6 acres to range, one hen would lay her egg on top of the other's, in the field in the middle of nowhere? What are the odds of that? Only the one hen had ever laid there in the past. Yesterday the Bantie laid nicely in the coop nest box.
     
  5. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    X2...very common.

     
  6. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had this for at least 3 different reasons.

    Sometimes an egg will crack when laid on top of another egg or on the wooden floor of teh nest box. Once it is cracked, they will eat it. One hen (maybe 2) cleaned it up, shell and all. Just found a bit of dried yolk in the nest (and ants). No egg on hen beak or face. I did put some extra padding in the bottom of the nest box under the shredded newspaper and it has eliminated any more cracked eggs.

    My young Schnauzer mix has aquired a taste for raw eggs and will get it out of the nest box he can reach and will eat it, shell and all. Confirmed by seeing egg shell in dog poop. Not sure if a cat would do the same. Mine would not. He doesn't like eggs raw or cooked.

    Had a chicken in isolation due to an injury and she laid a funny, pointed egg with a bit of dried yolk on it. May have been due to the stress of the trauma or being in isolation. She does not appear to be egg bound.

    Hens will tend to lay where other hens lay. You could have 10 boxes and they will all pile in to one sometimes.
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You may not be seeing any leftover egg shells due to two things. I've had a hen lay a soft or shell-less egg and if it breaks open, it will be consumed entirely by the rest of the girls.

    I've come upon my girls all swarming over something of great interest to them in the coop, and I'll find nothing more than what you describe - a few tell-tale streaks of yolk. And they certainly do consume the entire egg, including all the shell. I will sometimes find one tiny yolk-stained piece of shell amidst the bedding after one of these episodes.

    Yes, it's more common than you think.

    A hen who has had an egg break inside of her will be droopy, still, mopey, and generally act as if she doesn't want to be alive. The resulting infection usually happens pretty quick, from what I hear, and death follows within a day or so.

    I doubt very much you're going to be facing this tragedy this time around.

    It's a very real danger, though, since our precious hens are bred to be egg producing machines. I, for one, am beginning to have second thoughts about providing them extra light in winter to encourage them to lay year round. Even though I sell my eggs, I know my customers would be as happy to let the girls take the whole winter off.
     
  8. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the good feedback, everyone.

    I didn't provide extra light during the winter, but it has been unusually warm and sunny here, so the girls started laying early. Last year the older hen didn't lay until March 1, and she started on January 31 this year.

    The pullets, who turned 5 months old today have been laying for about a week. To celebrate their adulthood I gave them their first laying mash today. They loved it!

    I went out for 3 hours this afternoon, and, oddly, there is not a single egg to be found anywhere today. This is the first day since they've started laying that I have found none. Do you suppose somebody ate them all? There is not a trace of egg, shell, or yolk? So weird. And it's a nice warm sunny day here.

    I have no dogs.

    Do you suppose all 5 hens would have gone under the house to lay their eggs today? They've never laid them there before. I can't get to them under the house. If someone ate one of their eggs yesterday, do you suppose they would have all thought to lay their eggs together under the house, to protect them from getting eaten? I can't imagine such, but it's very strange to me that no eggs are to be seen anywhere?!
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You worry entirely too much! [​IMG] Hens take a day off every now and then! LOL!
     
  10. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I did finally find the Bantie egg, but it was well hidden behind a blanket in the coop, where an eater may not have thought to look. It is perfect, no yolk on it, nice hard shell, so I do tend to think the yolk yesterday was from another hen's cracked and eaten egg. The Bantie seemed just fine today, and so did the other hens and the roo, so that is good.

    I did find one other egg, but it feels so lightweight and is so discolored that I think it's very old. Would a Barred Rock's dark brown hen turn white with age? I'm tempted to crack it to see how it smells, to determine the age. I guess I can float it first. I think it's been there since last summer. It was hidden in the bushes and would have been concealed by lush grass in the fall. But I had no white-egg layers then. It's as if most of the dark brown pigment wore off. Just a trace on one side.
     

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