Same chicken laying different colored eggs (PIC)?

Bella54330

Chirping
7 Years
Nov 4, 2012
41
29
99
Chicago, IL
Hi there everyone! Thanks for all of your help so far with my chickens! I've 2 of my chickens now for 2 whole months, and 1 of them for 3 weeks. You have all been such a tremendous help with my hiccups thus far (and it's pretty much been all hiccups), and I think that things are finally starting to settle down around the roost here.

So, with all of the helpful information you've provided thus far, I was hoping that you could help me figure out why my ISA Brown is laying eggs that are very different. I only have 3 chickens- 1 RIR who lays small, pale eggs, 1 ISA Brown who usually lays large brown eggs, and 1 ISA Brown who at 18 weeks isn't old enough to lay. Therefore, only 2 chickens are laying, and it is very easy to tell the eggs apart.

As you can see from the picture below, the ISA Brown's eggs are very very different in color. At times she lays brown eggs with reed speckles, pale eggs with speckles, brown eggs without speckles, and today I had a hard time telling which was the RIR's and the ISA's! It's always been very obvious! Is there something that I'm doing wrong? She does seem to be (veeeeery slowly) molting. Is it what I'm feeding her perhaps? We've just made the full switch to organic (we integrated the organic into their original layer feed so as not to disturb their digestive system). They get lots of treats such as fruit, veggies, weeds, cracked corn, meal worms, and scratch. They also get out to forage for about an hour or two per day.
Also, her eggs have a metallic *ting to them when you tap on the shell, as if it's made of thin glass. What gives? The RIR's eggs haven't changed a bit.



3 very different eggs from the same chicken. Is this normal?
 

A.T. Hagan

Don't Panic
12 Years
Aug 13, 2007
5,379
185
303
North/Central Florida
If she is in fact molting then what you are seeing is normal for end-of-cycle laying. The brown color of the shell is made from a breakdown product of the hen's hemoglobin. She only has so much of it so it will only go so far. At the beginning of her lay cycle you will get the best color she is capable of producing. As she progresses through her lay cycle the shells will slowly (usually) grow lighter and lighter until at the end of her cycle they can become quite pale, splotchy, speckled, that sort of thing.

When her molt is over her shell color should darken again though not perhaps quite as dark as she laid when she first started.

I have at the moment three flocks of ISA Brown birds. One is entering their second lay cycle (about twenty months old), one started laying about 7 to 8 weeks ago (25 to 26 weeks) and one just started about ten days ago (about 19 to 20 weeks). I can tell which flock a given egg came from just from looking at the size, shell quality, and color. As soon as the youngest flock sizes up the oldest flock will ship out.
 

Bella54330

Chirping
7 Years
Nov 4, 2012
41
29
99
Chicago, IL
Brilliant! Thanks so much for the interesting information guys!

A.T.- I've never had a chicken molt before, so I actually posted pics here and asked if this was molting. I didn't get a solid answer other than that she isn't sick LOL https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/789589/is-this-molting-or-something-else-pics

What you say makes sense IF she is molting. Her egg production has gone down a bit, and her eggs are definitely lighter. She has been very slowly losing a few feathers here and there since the 1st week I got her, so maybe it is an incredibly slow molt after all! Thanks for the tips!
 
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