Hen lays super jumbo eggs every day - will this hurt her?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RaeRae2, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. RaeRae2

    RaeRae2 Songster

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    I have a mixed breed (White Leghorn/Production Red) hen that is about 2 years old and lays HUGE, super jumbo sized eggs 5-6 days per week. Often they are double or even triple yolkers! These eggs are so huge that I can't put them in a carton. Not only would the lid not close - but the eggs are so fat, they don't even come close to sitting down inside the holes in the carton! The store bought "Jumbo" sized eggs are nothing compared to what this bird lays. She makes commercial "Jumbo" eggs look like Mediums. Seriously.

    So the question - How long can she keep this up??? She has lost weight over the last year and is considerably thinner than she used to be. She is free range since she flat out REFUSES to be kept in the run with the others and she's so mean that they are scared of her being in there. I keep a bowl of layer pellets, cracked corn, and sunflower seeds put out for her. I also give her scraps like vegetables, fruit, pasta, etc. She loves catfood and is eating catfood out of the dish although I know it's not good for her. She of course eats bugs, but I've seen her catch mice and even kill and eat a baby bird once.

    On a different computer I have photos of some of her eggs. I will try to post them when I get to that computer. One egg (triple yolker) we thought could possibly set a new world record. LOL.

    I am very worried about her drop in weight and apparently scrawniness. Can anyone give me some advice on this?

    Also, for you that get these mammoth sized eggs, how do you keep them? I have cartons from Jumbo sized store eggs and they don't even come close to fitting in there. How do you sell them if you can't put them in an egg carton?

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  2. RaeRae2

    RaeRae2 Songster

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    Ooops - I found a couple pics on my phone.

    The brown egg is from my hen. I would consider that her standard Jumbo sized egg. This was a double yolk (see the 2nd pic.) The white egg next to it is a store bought Grade A Large egg.

    Maybe once every 2 weeks she lays the super Jumbo sized - the triple yolk eggs. I can't find any of those pics - but I have them on my home computer.

    For a long time I thought this was a fluke, but she's been doing this for TWO years now.

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  3. terryg

    terryg Songster

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    In her case, she is genetically programmed to lay these eggs. There's nothing you can do about it, and it seems as if you've figured out how to live with this challenging hen! :) The downside is that, no, she can't keep it up. She's prone to ovarian cancer and other serious ailments. One reason for her weight loss could be that the cancer causes the intestinal tract to become tumorous and often blocked. She might not be able to absorb food or nutrients very well. On the plus side is if she's still laying, then most of her systems are functioning! The hybrids produce a lot, but don't live long. I just lost two Golden Comets, who were also outstanding layers. You can read about what I found on their necropsies here: http://hencam.com/henblog/2012/06/the-kindness-of-euthanizing/
     
  4. mcjessen

    mcjessen Songster

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    WOW! That's impressive.

    Looks like you have a couple question here....how long can she keep it up? Not sure. It sounds like it's just the way she's built. Sounds like you've got some good blood lines in that chicken, even though she's a mix. Because she's a "super" chicken, she may not live as long as a chicken that lays single yolk eggs. I'm sure no one can know for sure how long she'll keep at her current pace.

    Food...sounds like you're offering plenty of varieties of food for her. If she eats the cat food, I wouldn't worry. It has a lot of protein in it. In fact, when a chicken is low on protein (during molt) people suggest cat food to up the protein in a birds diet. Because she's loosing weight, I'd ask as the farm store about "fattening" up your chicken. She looks pretty healthy in that picture.

    Eggs fitting in the cartons...I have no suggestions for you on that one. I've never had the problem. You may have to rig up your own boxes with peanuts or foam to support the eggs. I would certainly charge more for her eggs though. Your customers are getting two for one, in my opinion. LOL!

    Good luck!
     
  5. mcjessen

    mcjessen Songster

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    Terryg - that was way better than my answer.. LOL! I didn't even think about her not being able to absorb food or nutrients.
     
  6. Lots A Cluckin

    Lots A Cluckin Songster

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    wow she has been laying eggs like that for 2 years...you have been lucky not to have any health issues with her yet with eggs like that being laid 5-6 days a weeks I cant imagine that she will be laying for much longer maybe another year or so but still wow that is a long time for a hen to lay eggs not to mention eggs that big for 2 years!!
     
  7. RaeRae2

    RaeRae2 Songster

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    Thanks for that quick reply! Sadly, that is not good news and I have worried something might be going wrong for her to be losing weight. Even my husband commented that Birta looks really thin lately. I don't even really care about eggs. We rarely use them for anything, and end up feeding them to the dogs. I am going to start selling and giving away eggs though since the babies are all 17 weeks and should start to lay fairly soon.

    Yes Birta is a real pain in the hiney to deal with. She is very mean to the others, and she acts almost like a rooster. She has never cackled or sang an egg song once. She won't lay in a nest. She lays her eggs on the bare floor, or a table top, or in the catfood dish..... This heifer is so mean that she was carried off to the woods by a hawk and literally came home 3 days later, half naked, ripped up, delerious, exhausted, but alive and still fighting! She recovered perfectly and went back to laying eggs a couple of days later.

    When she came home all I could imagine was a caption underneath her reading "You should see the other guy!" [​IMG] I think she opened a can of whoop-*ss on that hawk! [​IMG]

    But she lets me pick her up and handle her quite easily so that's good. She used to rip me up but we had a few discussions on biting the hand that feeds you....After shoving her under my arm and carrying her around every time she tried to beat me up, she learned to be nice to me!

    So now I'm quite fond of the old cow and really hate to see her die because of this egg situation. I will read the link you gave me, thanks!
     
  8. RaeRae2

    RaeRae2 Songster

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    Yes, 2 whole years she has been laying these monstorous eggs. The first egg she ever laid was full size. No little pullet egg for her. Everything about this bird (and her siblings that I raised and gave away) is pure production. My old EE hen went broody at 5 years old and I got a dozen eggs from a friend for her to hatch. She only buys production birds from Tractor Supply and said these eggs would be a mix of White Leghorn and some generic Production Red. Of the chicks that made it to maturity, this white hen is the only one that lays these super Jumbo eggs. The other hens always laid a nice big standard Large size egg with single yolks. I gave all those birds to my friend but kept this white one because frankly she was too darned mean for me to pass off on my poor friend! LOL

    Oh - to clarify - yes she does lay single yolk eggs as well, but they are still jumbo sized. In two years I have seen her lay only a few standard Large sized eggs, and all the others have been Jumbo or the freakish super Jumbo triple yolks.



     
  9. RaeRae2

    RaeRae2 Songster

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    Thanks!

    She looks fine in that picture because it was taken about 1 year ago. She still looks ok from a distance because of the fluffy feathers but when you get up close, or pick her up, she is significantly thinner than she used to be. She eats constantly, and is mean as ever, and acts fine, but she must not be absorbing nutrients like she should be.



     
  10. dragonlair

    dragonlair Songster

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    How about getting her some Ensure or the generic version? It is easy to digest and contains nutrients and such to help her stay as healthy as she can be.
     

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