Mauve Colored Eggs--Is it a problem?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by All4MrD8a, Dec 29, 2012.

  1. All4MrD8a

    All4MrD8a Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 29, 2012
    My small flock has been laying for about 6 weeks. Two weeks ago we had a bald eaglet that killed one of the flock. It shook the ladies up and they went into hiding for about two days. After that two of our gals started laying mauve-tinted eggs (they are golden buff/golden sex link/cinnamon/red star/whatever-your-hatchery-wants-to-call-them, so they usually are brown-egg layers). They've been giving me 6-7 full-sized eggs each week.

    What's the verdict? Can trauma change egg color? If so, for how long?

    Is it just that they are young pullets?

    Is there some deficiency I should worry about?
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland

    I'm sorry to hear about your loss. You are right in guessing that stress and trauma can cause loss of eggshell
    pigmentation. Here's some more info on it:

    Stress . Since the majority of the pigment is localized in the cuticle, anything that interferes with the ability of the epithelial cells in the shell gland to synthesize the cuticle will affect the intensity of eggshell pigmentation. This is especially true during the final 3 to 4 hours of shell deposition since it is during this time in the egg-laying cycle that cuticle synthesis and accumulation occur most rapidly.
    Stressors in poultry flocks such as high cage density, handling, loud noises, etc., will result in the release of stress hormones, especially epinephrine. This hormone, when released into the blood, is responsible for causing a delay in oviposition and the cessation of shell gland cuticle formation. The above stressors, which result in hen nervousness and fear, can cause pale eggshells to be produced. The paleness is often the result of amorphous calcium carbonate deposited on top of a preexisting fully formed cuticle or of an incomplete cuticle caused by premature arrest of cuticle formation.
    Brown-shelled birds, especially broiler breeders, housed in experimental floor pens for research purposes often become fearful each time the pen is entered for such things as egg collection, vaccination, uniformity, and frame and fleshing measurements. When this occurs, production of pale-shelled eggs should be expected, especially if the fearfulness occurs during the last 3 to 4 hours of the egg-laying cycle when the cuticle formation is interrupted. In fact, the relationship between stress and the production of pale eggs by laying hens is so great that researchers have suggested that loss of shell pigment may provide a basis for a noninvasive method of assessing stress in hens.

    I hope your hens will recover and return to laying normal eggs for you soon!
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  3. All4MrD8a

    All4MrD8a Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 29, 2012
    Thanks for your input. I was actually surprised that they were all still laying after how shook up they acted, but then again I'm new to keeping chickens.

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