Poor Egg Production the past 2 years...Eggs changing colors?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by flybyedandy, Oct 11, 2013.

  1. flybyedandy

    flybyedandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 9, 2011
    We've had a flock of various numbers the past 3 years. they are free range on our 5 acre property and they also have a nice 10x14 cement with picture window coop. they appear very healthy and have plenty to eat. The flock has been ravaged a few times from various predators who cross our property during the day when we arent home and once at night when we forgot to close up the coop door.

    We currently have 17 total with 13 layers. Last year we had that horrible drought and pproduction was down to 3-5/day and this year a little better 5-7 normally. we have about 3 ancana (sp) and 4 brown leghorns.the remainder are bard rock and RI reds. so with this mixture i'd expect to be getting a few green eggs and mostly brown with a few whites. right now they are all white eggs!. this is crazy. Cand egg color change as the hens get older. 3 year old hens arent very old.

    their excrement seems to be free of parasites by the naked eye. i started them on Diatamaceous earth mixed in their feed last year when i saw a long worm in some of the crap but haven't seen anything since.

    anyone have any ideas why the eggs are changing color and production is down? the 4 leghorns hatched this spring and a few of their eggs early in their production were brown. now all their eggs are white. none of our eggs are colored anymore only getting white eggs.

    Thanks for anyone's insight on this[​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. MEMama3

    MEMama3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are the eggs white-white or creamy-pale white? Are the birds ameraucanas or ancona? I'm just wondering because you mentioned not getting green eggs. An ancona would make more sense with the white eggs (3 ancona and 4 leghorns would lay 5-7 white eggs per day). Is it possible that your brown layers are hiding eggs?
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    These are the causes for lack of pigment (colour) on egg shells:

    - Poor nutrition. A deficiency in any of the main nutrients, protein, minerals etc in the hens' diet can influence shell colour and formation. Zinc, copper and manganese are thought to be especially important in transporting pigment onto the shell. It has been suggested that a magnesium supplement can improve shell colour:

    - Viral infections. Infectious bronchitis and it's variants, Newcastle disease, egg drop syndrome and avian influenza can cause damage to the oviduct, resulting in loss of shell colour and other problems:

    - Internal and external parasites. A heavy infestation of roundworms and or capillaria worms as well as red mites, when present as a heavy infestation, can have an adverse effect on egg quality and may cause pale shells;

    - Drugs. The coccidiostat drug, Nicarbazin, if present in feed, can interfere with egg shell pigmentation;

    - The hen's age. And older layer will often produce eggs with paler shells, as well as a hen who had been laying intensively over a long period;

    - Stress. Physical stresses, environmental stresses or nutritional stresses can all interfere with shell pigmentation;

    - Exposure to sunlight and high temperatures can produce a fading effect on the shell.


    As the above poster pointed out it is possible that your brown egg layers are hiding their eggs, or not laying at all? You said you saw evidence of worms in their droppings once and treated them with DE? DE is not an effective dewormer. If you see evidence of worms it's best to use a chemical dewormer and follow up with another treatment after 10 days to kill any new worms hatched from eggs that didn't get killed by the first dose. An infestation of worms can have an adverse effect on egg shell quality and can also cause a drop in egg production. You can read more about another member's findings after treating with DE for worms here:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ts-is-not-coryza-or-crd-parasites-are-rampant

    Other than worms, some of the above causes that also causes a drop in egg production is stress (possibly from the predators?), poor nutrition and disease. Hope this helps!
     
  4. flybyedandy

    flybyedandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thankyou so much for the advice. Nutrition shouldn't be a problem because they are free range and have a free choice feeder of Layena available all the time so will check out the other things. always throw out some scratch feed early in the morning to get them scratching when i open the coop up. will try the worming to see if that will help
     
  5. flybyedandy

    flybyedandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i believe they are Americaunaas because they were laying green eggs for the first couple years we had them. haven't had any greens now for a few months now. the brown layers might be but i have 5 acres of property they roam and we only find eggs in our barn and in their coop.
     
  6. flybyedandy

    flybyedandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    their color is whit white
     

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