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Snow white yolks! What's up with that?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AboutSixPounds, May 4, 2009.

  1. AboutSixPounds

    AboutSixPounds Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 9, 2009
    Northern Piedmont, NC
    Hi, I tried posting this in Egglaying, but got no replies. Maybe this is a better forum for this issue.

    My barred rock pullet started laying eggs with pure white yolks about a week ago. Eggs are still a consistent 2 ounces and same brown color. This was at the end of a 22-day nonstop run of laying every 23-24 hours. She only just started laying in early March. Her legs have also gone pale. Do you think it's the long stretch of laying that's doing this? And will she get back to normal? I did a search for white yolks, but it doesn't seem to be very common in online conversation.

    My other two pullets (both EEs) are laying bright yellow yolks as usual. They're all eating Layena, scratch grains (including cracked corn), plenty of greens, and they free range for a few hours every day.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    sounds like it may be a protein problem since here legs are also loosing there colors.
     
  3. AboutSixPounds

    AboutSixPounds Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 9, 2009
    Northern Piedmont, NC
    I'm new to chickens, so can you offer suggestions on how to address a protein problem? She eats a lot of Layena (she dives into it when she gets up in the a.m. and several times throughout the day), plus sunflower seed chips for treats. She also eats a lot of worms and bugs while she's free ranging, especially since we've had regular rain this spring. Maybe there isn't as much protein in that stuff as I thought.
     
  4. PQ

    PQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2009
    Platina, Ca.
  5. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I, too, am new to chickens and I found the info on the poultrysite confusing. First of all, it sounds like it is for egg farmers - it tells you how to put coloring agents in their feed to increase the pigmentation of yolks. That's just sad in my mind.

    Also, in my reading, I have learned that yolk color is directly related (in normal chickens, though this is not the case with your bird) to exposure to sunlight - pale yolks come from birds that are caged inside buildings their whole lives and never see the sun. Also, diet can affect it. I have seen with my own eyes that eggs from chickens that free range on lots of grass and bugs produce very dark yellow to orange yolks.

    Anyway, with my limited knowledge, it doesn't sound like their lifestyle is the problem. Snow-white yolks is not anything I've read about before.

    If there is a protein problem, as suggested above (though I wouldn't know), people often feed cooked ground meat (beef, lamb, pork) to increase the protein to their birds. If you want to keep their diet vegetarian, I believe some grains have high protein content - quinoa, in particular.

    Good luck to you. I will be interested to hear other responses.
     
  6. AboutSixPounds

    AboutSixPounds Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 9, 2009
    Northern Piedmont, NC
    I saw that poultrysite page a few days ago in my hunt for answers to this, but I agree with lisahaschickens that it's geared toward commercial farmers who want to color up the yolks for commercial sale. That's not really applicable here, because she's eating the same foods as the other two birds, she gets sun all day, free ranges all afternoon, and yet her yolks are now white. Not pale yellow, but white like fresh snow. They used to be intensely yellow, like my other chickens' eggs.

    I found one blog post about white yolks: http://foxyurl.com/1qb

    Commenters
    there share their white yolk experiences, and one says they're common in Tanzania. Very little else online about it, and Storey's only discusses pale yolks. Interestingly, a Japanese company is trying to develop pale-yolked eggs to sell to confectioners. Maybe I should send mine to Japan!

    I'll try upping the protein and wait to see if they go back to yellow. The white eggs taste the same, in any event, and they make perfectly white egg salad.
     
  7. PQ

    PQ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2009
    Platina, Ca.
    It is just lacking pigment, thats it thats all. Happens sometimes.
     
  8. BoiseBubba

    BoiseBubba Serama Psycho

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    Feb 11, 2009
    Boise, ID
    I agree, it's just lacking pigment, if it were protein, there would be different signs, like excessive feather picking, and drop in egg production. If you want color that bad, give her yellow corn or alfalfa meal.
     

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