How much variation is expected in a new layer's eggs?

Spikeandbean

Songster
Apr 27, 2020
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One of my pullets started laying on Monday (at 23 weeks). Very exciting for us new chicken people! We've gotten 5 eggs this week, and all are small and very light brown with a slight pinkish tinge.

My husband thinks that today's egg looks a little different than the others, so he's speculating that we might have a second layer. (We haven't caught any of them in the act - I'm pretty sure our first layer is one of the Dominiques, Luna, who's been very vocal lately and started squatting recently. She's also very into inspecting the nesting box.) A few of the others are getting red in the face, including the other Dominique, but no definite contenders for a second layer. Our flock includes 2 Dominiques, 2 Easter Eggers, 1 RIR, and 1 Barred Rock. All will be 24 weeks tomorrow.

So how much variation should we expect in a new layer? Might the color and shape vary in the first week or so? I attached a photo to show the difference between yesterday's and today's eggs. Thanks for any insights or wisdom you can offer!
IMG_6505.JPG
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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ackie

previously jwehl // dogs & cats & squirrels oh my!
Nov 3, 2020
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Definitely from two different birds.
Size and color can vary a bit, but shape is usually the same.
Oh that's interesting. I've noticed some skinny+long eggs from pullets which I assumed became a more normal egg shape later but I didnt track it specifically.
 

Spikeandbean

Songster
Apr 27, 2020
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Northern California
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Definitely from two different birds.
Size and color can vary a bit, but shape is usually the same.

A group of close to laying pullets is the perfect time to get 'familiar' with their nether regions.
Here's some tips about how to tell.....
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/who-is-laying-and-who-is-not-butt-check.73309/

That is so helpful, thank you! And I'm delighted that it's looking like more than one... We've had the girls since they were 2 days old and I think we forgot what the whole point was.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
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I agree, two different pullets. The egg laying process is pretty complicated, some pullets don't necessarily get all the parts right to begin with. That's why you might read on here of pullets just starting laying no shell, thin shell, or extremely thick shelled eggs. Maybe double yolked, no yolks, or eggs with only a yolk, no whites. Some of them are just plain weird. That's why you can see a significant difference in a pullet's first eggs, even one day to the next.

But not the kind of difference you are showing. What you are showing are normal eggs. They both got it right straight from the start. Two different pullets.
 

Spikeandbean

Songster
Apr 27, 2020
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Northern California
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Oh that's interesting. I've noticed some skinny+long eggs from pullets which I assumed became a more normal egg shape later but I didnt track it specifically.
Yeah, I haven't been sure either.
I agree, two different pullets. The egg laying process is pretty complicated, some pullets don't necessarily get all the parts right to begin with. That's why you might read on here of pullets just starting laying no shell, thin shell, or extremely thick shelled eggs. Maybe double yolked, no yolks, or eggs with only a yolk, no whites. Some of them are just plain weird. That's why you can see a significant difference in a pullet's first eggs, even one day to the next.

But not the kind of difference you are showing. What you are showing are normal eggs. They both got it right straight from the start. Two different pullets.

Many thanks for weighing in! The first egg we got last Monday had a pretty soft shell, but I put out oyster shell right away, and since then the shells have been nice and strong. They're all transitioning to layer feed now, too, so hopefully they're set up for success... My RIR, Marshmallow, squatted for me today (she's typically very people-wary and doesn't like being touched), so I'm guessing she's the next one. This is just SO AMAZING.
 

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