Pullet eggs very small

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mbcaring, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. mbcaring

    mbcaring Out Of The Brooder

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    they have been laying for over a week and there eggs are very small. Is this normal? They are barred rocks and about 19 weeks old.
     
  2. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, it's normal. It'll take a couple weeks for them to get to full size.
     
  3. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Curious where you got your BRs from. I've found that my big-hatchery birds eggs are much smaller than advertised.
     
  4. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Small eggs in a new layer are very common. As the first laying cycle progresses, eggs will increase in size - most layers reach their full potential for egg size in their second and subsequent (if kept into the often less productive 3+ cycles) laying cycles.
     
  5. mbcaring

    mbcaring Out Of The Brooder

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    I got these from efowl. They are all really vibrant healthy good looking birds but they are laying tiny eggs. A little larger than a robin egg. I hope it improves.
     
  6. mbcaring

    mbcaring Out Of The Brooder

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    How long is a "cycle" ?
     
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    The first laying cycle is from the onset of production to the first molt. A hen's second laying cycle is the one that begins after her first big molt which happens at around 18 months of age - there is generally a break in production during that molt and often through that winter (as the molt tends to come in mid/late fall) with production resuming in the spring as the days grow longer (this can be circumvented with the use of lighting if desired).
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The egg size starts off small to protect the pullet. Most pullets are not full grown when they start laying but still relatively small. If they started out laying a huge egg it could easily lead to health problems. So they start small and gradually get larger, some getting larger faster than others. This does not happen in two weeks, though you can often see an increase in just a few weeks. You still have a long way to go.

    After each adult molt the egg size increases. Chickens will go through two full molts as juveniles. They simply outgrow their feathers and have to replace them. These don’t count. They can go through mini-molts at any part of their adult life for various reasons but mainly related to stress. The eggs can get a little larger after these mini-molts but the first real big jump in egg size is after their first full adult molt where they shut down laying for months and replace all their feathers.

    Hens hatched in the spring or summer will often skip their first full adult molt their first fall/winter and continue laying until the following fall/winter when the days get shorter even without supplemental lights. So their first adult molt could be at 18 months or so. It’s the days getting shorter that normally trigger the adult molt though other things can cause one at any time. Commercial egg laying operations that totally control the light will normally let the flock lay for about a year before they adjust the lights to cause an adult molt, so that comes to about 18 months. About that time production drops to a point it is not profitable. But occasionally a commercial operation will cause an earlier molt to increase the egg size if they are not getting the results they need to be profitable.

    For performance chicken “strain” is much more important than “breed”. If the person selecting the chickens that breed select for a certain trait that trait is enhanced. If they do not pay any attention to that trait, it can go anywhere and be really inconsistent. If the person selecting which chickens get to breed only select the breeding chickens from those that hatch from larger eggs, in a few generations you will have a flock that lays larger eggs. If the person that selects which chickens get to breed does not look at egg size when selecting those breeders you can get small, medium, or large eggs. A lot of the descriptions you read about breed performance are what the person selecting which chickens get to breed should use to determine those breeders, but not all do.

    An example of how important strain is. I saw an article a few years back where a breeder split a flock in half to create two flocks. Over the chicken generations he selected one flock to be large and one to be small. Both flocks started out the same but when that article was written the average size of a chicken in one flock was 9 times the size in the other flock. I don’t know how many generations that took, the article did not say.

    You will find a lot of posts throughout this forum where certain chickens do not live up to their breed description in some way. Why? The person selecting which chickens get to breed and reproduce is not using that trait as a criteria but is selecting for other things to create their own unique strain of that breed.
     
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  9. mbcaring

    mbcaring Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for all your help guys. I didn't have the "very small" egg issue with my first 6 hens.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My first pullet started laying back in July....she is just barely breaking the 60 gram mark now and she lays prolifically only taking 5 days off since Sept.
    The other pullets still laying thru winter(I use lights) are following a similar egg size trajectory.

    One of my other pullets started semi molt and stopped laying in November at 9 months old......
    .......she looks to be ready to start laying again and I can't wait to see if/how her egg size might change.
     

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