Help with yolk-coated-egg from new layer.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pawprint2104, Oct 22, 2010.

  1. pawprint2104

    pawprint2104 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 3 young hens (two Rhodies and one EE) started laying within the last 3 weeks. We've collected 18 eggs so far. Hubby reported a squishy egg in an unusual place (the doormat) a week ago. Since then, all has been fine. Tonight (California time), my EE ("Zena") laid a yolk (only yolk) on a high perching area (my rubbermaid storage shed). She looked sleepy and stood with her eyes closed atop the shed. Beneath her, I saw yellow yolk. She appeared to want to lay an egg. After a few minutes, she did. But, it was off-color (not the usual green/blue). And, it was coated with yolk. I inspected the egg. It was firm/not squishy. It appeared intact, except for a small dent from it landing onto the hard plastic. Very unusual for her. She's lays approx. one pretty green/blue egg every other day in her nesting box in a regular fashion.

    Considerations:
    I recognize their nesting box is only large enough for one hen. The Chicks future coop and larger nesting box is currently under construction. The larger Rhodie ("Buffy") is highest in the pecking order and intrudes on the EE's nesting time. As far as I can tell, the smaller Rhodie ("Dawn") is not laying, yet.

    They eat scratch and have a separate feeder with the oyster shell pellet mix. They have fresh water. I started providing halogen light about a week ago to make up the for the shorter days. I give them some California native grapes from my yard cuttings, and carrot tops and other greenery. They, currently, free range and do not have pest intruders, such as raccoons, bothering them. For safety, I lock them into their chicken coop (converted dog house) at night. Their nesting box (the cardboard box from my recently purchased sewing machine) is filled with clean soft wood shavings, which they seem quite comfortable using for egg-laying. I pick them up for a approx. 1 minute every other day or so, to maintain their sociability. They are quiet at night. Hubby opens their door around 6 a.m. and either wander the yard or stand near the sliding glass door until sun up.

    Should I be concerned about the yolk/poop? What would cause this? Is there something different I should be (or not be) doing? Are EE's egg laying behaviors substantially different than Rhodies?

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for any help you can provide [​IMG]
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Since your girls are new layers then they will need some time to work out the kinks in the plumbing. You are doing everything right. I think your EE will be fine in time. Good luck.
     
  3. pawprint2104

    pawprint2104 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. [​IMG] I was very worried. She seems ok this morning and is wandering around in her normal fashion. I'm hoping for a pretty green/blue DRY egg today.
     
  4. Cheep

    Cheep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my very 1st eggs was similar to yours. It was laid out in the open, like it was a surprise, and looked so bright yellow like a real easter egg. As I examined it, I thought it must be yolk (though it didn't feel like yolk). As others have said, as they work out the kinks, odd things can & do happen. Its sorta fun, if you can manage not to worry (good luck with that [​IMG]
     
  5. SmittenChicken

    SmittenChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also had a couple of EE eggs with yolk all over the shell in the beginning and was worried someone might be bound up, but months later they are all fine and laying perfect eggs - hopefully you will have the same experience!

    I do have one question, you said they eat scratch? Is that just as a treat, or do you have them on a separate layer feed?
     
  6. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The scratch should be fed as a treat, not free choice--think of a 3-year old and a candy dish....they really like it, but it's not a good diet for them. Having the pellets available all the time is good, but the oyster shell would be better off in its own container so that the hens that need it can get it and those that don't aren't having to eat it just to get to the regular feed.

    It's not uncommon for new layers to have a few misfires so I wouldn't be too worried just yet.

    ETA: [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  7. pawprint2104

    pawprint2104 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 21, 2010
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    Smitten Chicken: I do have one question, you said they eat scratch? Is that just as a treat, or do you have them on a separate layer feed?

    I have two separate feeders: one for scratch and one for the layer feed pellet. The lady at the feed supply told me they could be fed both? Should I limit their scratch to every other day?

    KittyMomma: The scratch should be fed as a treat, not free choice--think of a 3-year old and a candy dish....they really like it, but it's not a good diet for them. Having the pellets available all the time is good, but the oyster shell would be better off in its own container so that the hens that need it can get it and those that don't aren't having to eat it just to get to the regular feed.

    I have oyster shell in their layer feed pellet. Should I get a separate supply?
     
  8. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes to both. I feed mine a few handfulls of scratch a day tossed on the ground for them to "scratch around" for--just give them what they can clean up in 10 minutes or less. It really is best used as a treat, not a major food source. As far as the oyster shell goes I (and most others that use it) put it in its own contanier. The hens are remarkably self regulating in this regard and the will eat what they need.
     
  9. pawprint2104

    pawprint2104 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 21, 2010
    SF Bay Area
    Thank you. I began limiting their scratch today and gave them, only, their layer pellet. I'll get some oyster shell next Friday and put out in a separate feeder. Fingers x'd for good, strong, dry eggs!
     
  10. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think your hen will be fine. The yolk covered egg was most likely a beginning layer glitch, but it will be much better for them in the long run to adjust their feed so I'm really glad you posted that information too.
     

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