Eggs with color flaking off, and scratched?! what is going on?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lisababes, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. lisababes

    lisababes Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 26, 2010
    Madison, WI
    Today I got an egg that has the brown color literally flaking off, and looks as if its been scratched (toe? beak? who know what else?). [​IMG] The other two eggs laid today were fine.

    whole egg:
    [​IMG]
    detail of scratching:
    [​IMG]
    detail of brown flaking off:
    [​IMG]

    This reminded me that I saw something similar but nowhere near as severe on an egg last week, just a few scratches:
    [​IMG]

    I'd imagine that came out of the same girl? But what's going on? Some have been molting, one is done and probably coming back into laying, and one just began to molt and has a bit of a bare butt. Otherwise, things seem fine?
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    can they scratch them around from one nest box to another? Mine can and I've seen that before.
     
  3. lisababes

    lisababes Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't think so, we have two 1-ft square separated laying boxes. Usually the eggs pretty much land and stay in place, in the center of the box (this one was in the same box w the other two normal eggs). Did you see the scaly / flaky outer layer also?
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    ....It looks like someone was scratching on it, don't know why. But thank goodness they didn't crack it open and eat it. I don't think it's anything to worry about though. my ducks do it worse than my chickens, I think it because they are situating the eggs the way they want them and they get scratched..... by the way those are some cute little fluffy butts....[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2010
  5. HerAlterEgo

    HerAlterEgo Out Of The Brooder

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    My Red Star occassionally lays eggs like that. If you go to crack it open, the shell is extremely thin. I suspect it was just a misfire in calcium production when that egg was made. I wouldn't worry unless it becomes a regular event, then you may want to check their diet. All eggs get scratched, it's just easier to damage and more noticeable when the shell is thin.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2010
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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  7. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    Wet pigment on the cuticle is fairly fragile and easily removed. I have three guesses:

    1. It was removed in landing upon rough nest material (like big straw pieces).
    2. While in the shell gland taking its cuticle & pigment bath, one side of the egg was blocked by something else in the gland.
    3. There was an extra thick hunk of cuticle & pigmentation deposited on that side of the egg which didn't completely adhere to the calcium carbonate layer, and while the egg was being laid, it sloughed off leaving that irregular patch.

    My vote is #3.

    More interesting reading:
    Factors causing poor pigmentation of brown-shelled eggs.
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vm047
     
  8. lisababes

    lisababes Out Of The Brooder

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    Madison, WI
    Hm, very interesting, thanks for the links! I'll chalk it up to a learning-about-eggs experience.

    Although, I must add this: on Xmas eve, I noticed a second chicken was getting a bare butt. So, I picked her up for some closer inspection, and she's got lice. On the 2nd chicken you can see the egg sacs on the feathers, and the actual bugs. yuck. Merry Xmas, Chickens! [​IMG]

    I picked up some Poultry Protector by Care Free Enzymes (spray stuff that's mostly detergent and citric acid) at the local Farm and Fleet, and will see how that works to get rid of the lice. It claims it does. I'm not sure how I feel about a wet-spray-agent in the wintertime. Plus, even when its not cold out, wet chickens = grumpypants. I tried it tonight.
    If it doesnt work out, I'll go for the harsher mala-dusting method. I can't imagine getting the squirmy girls to stay in a bag though! Should make for an interesting event.

    My running theory: maybe the lice caused the stress that caused the funky-egg-coat. ...and maybe some butt/egg scratching for the scratches!
     
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:I tried Poultry Protector to keep away mites and lice two days before I found out that we had the Northern Fowl mite everywhere on the chickens. It did not rid them of them, obviously.

    I have found Sevin dust to work wonderfully well for those mites. Here is info. on lice:

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html

    In other words, don't wait too long before trying another product! I think it may be kind of like DE- a good preventative but when you have an active infestation, pull out the big chemicals, IMO.

    And yes, this is probably not a good time of year to get the chickens wet. I do use Poultry Protector to spray the coops sometimes, though! It has that "smell" of a good anti-bug product- I cannot describe what I mean exactly.

    IMO that looks like an "oops" in the egg finishing process.

    Oh- and don't forget to retreat for lice to kill the hatching eggs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
  10. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I have Poultry protector also and have used it for about 6 years but when my chickens came down with the mites, nope didn't work. Don't think I'll buy any more of the PP I really don't like to use chemicals, but sometimes theres no other choice. I am still not sure if I'll even buy anymore DE for the same reasons. [​IMG]
     

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