Egg Woes and We Just Can't Figure It Out

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by slowlyshego, Aug 3, 2017.

  1. slowlyshego

    slowlyshego Hatching

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    Either we've been luck all of these years, or this is rare.. We've had egg laying birds for over a decade now. We are a small, mixed organic farm. Our present layers are a mix of heritage breeds. They've been with us for just over a year now. We have 18 hens and one roo. They all look happy and healthy, no sickness evident. There has been no change in feed, they free range.

    So, what the heck is going on?! For the last month, cracking open an egg is an exercise in disgust! The eggs, some perfectly fine, but the others are bloody and the cloudy, yellow yolk is just blended into the white with no delineation between the two. There have even been some with 'fragments' of tissue in them. I know, I know, it sounds like those eggs were out there for too long, but I promise you, we are collecting them twice a day. I just don't get it. Is this a chick trying to form on warp speed? Is this some sort of bacteria issue? Is our rooster causing problems biologically?

    We have had to stop selling eggs. I don't even want to crack them open, never mind selling them to anyone. I would be so grateful for any suggestions or ideas you may be able to share. Thank you. Tara
     
  2. rjohns39

    rjohns39 Enabler Premium Member

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    I'm sorry but I have no clue. I'm going to follow your thread and see what the experts have to say.:caf
     
  3. RowanTheRed

    RowanTheRed Songster

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    I have no idea. However, admittedly, I'm no expert. Can you post some photos for those who are experts to see?
     
  4. slowlyshego

    slowlyshego Hatching

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    I would post pics if I wasn't on slow as molasses country internet. Suffice it to say the eggs look beautiful, but what you would expect to see of an egg that was well on its way to forming a chick: watery yolk that is cloudy and mixed in with the white, blood (not just a speck) and, sometimes, some tissue fragments. Yuck
     
  5. slowlyshego

    slowlyshego Hatching

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    Nobody? I've spent hours on the internet and just can't find an answer. I've read some threads where others came here with this problem but never found a resolution. Anyone go through this and figure it out?
     
  6. JedJackson

    JedJackson Crowing

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    If you're collecting them twice a day then it can't be chicks forming. Usually blood spots in a fresh egg are caused by a ruptured blood vessel. Since you're getting a lot of them it could be a genetic problem if your hens are related. But that doesn't explain the watery yolks and the fleshy bits. Another possibility is that the hens are eating something they shouldn't, something that's causing an allergic reaction in the oviducts and the results are being passed into the eggs. I would check the yard for anything suspicious, and I do mean anything. I've known of hens that ate foam insulation at a friend's house and it absolutely ruined the eggs. It could be old linoleum, a harmful weed, just about anything. Also, what's the weather like? Are the eggs maybe getting cooked a little from too much heat or reflected heat on the nest boxes? Another possibility is nutrient deficiency of some kind. Perhaps too little protein or some vitamin or mineral. These are only ideas. I'm wondering just how frequent the problem is? Does it seem like all the hens are laying these eggs or do you think it's just specific hens laying them? If you haven't already you might try candling the eggs before cracking them open, too. Not foolproof but definitely worthwhile.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yolk does not mix with white while a chick is developing.

    Agrees with Jed, could well be something they are eating or a genetic disorder.

    All your birds are 18 months old?
    Are all the eggs as described?
    Is there any way you can confine the birds to rue out something they are eating out in range area?

    Oh,and, Welcome to BYC...sorry you are having trouble.....that really stinks.
     
    Ol Grey Mare likes this.
  8. JedJackson

    JedJackson Crowing

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    I'm going to quote a relevant paragraph from Gail Demerow's book The Chicken Health Handbook: "Soft-shelled, thin-shelled, or misshapen eggs, ruptured yolks within eggs, reduced production, and prolapse may be the result of either poor nutrition or infection. Watery whites and weak or misshapen shells with altered texture and strength can be caused by a viral respiratory disease, such as infectious bronchitis or Newcastle, or sometimes by vaccination. A coccidiostat in a hen's rations may alter egg size, color, and shell texture."

    Demerow also cites Vitamin A deficiency as a cause of blood spots and pale yolks in eggs in chart 2-3.

    It's a pretty comprehensive book and this information is all I could find that is relevant to your situation. Jed.
     
    PennyM likes this.
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Image 5 is deceptive as the yolk ruptured when the egg was cracked for photography, but you can see three yolk stays intact throughout development
    fad2f2875260517a4be1594e955f88e5--chicken-eggs-raising-chickens.jpg
     
  10. slowlyshego

    slowlyshego Hatching

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    Thank you so much for your suggestions and ideas. Would heat do this? Do you think it could be because of how wet it is here? Nutrient issues in soil? They're running around our farm. There's all sorts of vegetation out here so unless some weird plant has just developed, I'm guessing that's not it. I think it might just be a few of the hens, not all of them. Thank you!
     

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