The weird egg shells mystery continues

chuckachucka

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Mar 22, 2016
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So my now two and a half year old Asil hen, Treacle, has always been a strange girl. Bigger than the average for her breed and super dominant, T Rex-like you could say. She is the stubbornnest broody I've ever encountered and mothers chicks for four months each time. Consequently I have let her hatch and raise chicks four times already. At one point between clutches and resuming laying, she took up crowing for a bit. She is like a sleek black tank, massive compared to my flock of tiny bantams and a treat claiming machine.

And she lays weird eggs. She has had a few health problems in the past. She vacuumed up some thumb tacks once, pooped black for a while. Carried on. Ripped a toenail off. Blood everywhere. Carried on. Got in many scraps with lesser chickens. Won and carried on. But right now she is seemingly fit as a fiddle. Eats 18% protein layer pellets with oyster shell as wanted. Free ranges in my 300 square foot rugged garden all day. Gets a small amount of table scraps most days.

When she lays she does so for maximum two months before going broody. And every cycle of eggs is the same. The eggs start out light brown, smooth and large, but soon the shells deteriorate. They get creases, the colour turns almost white, the shapes become irregular, and the little calcium nobbles appear. They get so bad that i am always glad when she goes broody again because her poor shell glad must need a rest.

I've read all the charts for egg shell issues and she seems to have none of the health problems they suggest. I don't know how much stress she could have as the Queen of the Garden who tramples blithely over all including my top rooster who literally cowers whenever she answers his tidbit call. She has her own nest box and as I said, free ranges during daylight hours. So what is going on with the egg shells? :idunno:he

Here are some photos of this morning's egg:
 

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azygous

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Treacle sounds like force to be reckoned with. She also sounds like a survivor. Her eggs could be a result of an avian virus living in her reproductive system. Has she ever displayed any signs of respiratory illness? How are the yolks in her eggs? Is there any time at which the yolks are very runny instead of being of normal firmness?
 

chuckachucka

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Mar 22, 2016
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She is definitely a force of something. :lol:i have never seen any major respiratory symptoms except the odd sneeze from her. The inside of her eggs seem fine, quite dark orange yolks and very tasty! Not runny, and no other strange stuff inside the eggs. Never had a soft shelled egg from her either.
 

chuckachucka

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Ive had her since she was an egg herself but is it possible she was born as a carrier of something? The eggs were imported from Pakistan to where I live (England) if that makes a difference. I have no idea what her parents were like health wise.

I've hatched her own eggs once, they were when she was still a pullet and the shells were much better, but none of the chicks had any health problems.
 

azygous

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There is a possibility of Treacle becoming infected with infectious bronchitis as a chick if her egg donor had the virus. It's possible for the virus to be residing in her reproductive track but not producing active symptoms of the disease. However, I would say the probability is low for this to be the reason for her abnormal egg shells. It would just be something to keep in mind.
 

Wyorp Rock

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It would be hard to know the cause, since you report she's never exhibited symptoms of an illness. Infectious Bronchitis in her past or shell gland defect comes to mind.

Since they start out "normal" and deteriorate the longer she lays, I would gamble on the cause of being a shell gland defect. That coupled with your description that she is larger than "normal" - it could all come down to genetics or developmental issues.

Personally, if she is happy, healthy and not having any problems at this point, I would not worry about her too much. I don't believe there is really anything you can do to correct this. If she starts to have difficulty laying, then I'd start watching her more closely.
She sounds like a pistol:)
 

chuckachucka

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Mar 22, 2016
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It would be hard to know the cause, since you report she's never exhibited symptoms of an illness. Infectious Bronchitis in her past or shell gland defect comes to mind.

Since they start out "normal" and deteriorate the longer she lays, I would gamble on the cause of being a shell gland defect. That coupled with your description that she is larger than "normal" - it could all come down to genetics or developmental issues.

Personally, if she is happy, healthy and not having any problems at this point, I would not worry about her too much. I don't believe there is really anything you can do to correct this. If she starts to have difficulty laying, then I'd start watching her more closely.
She sounds like a pistol:)

Yes I'm just glad she goes broody fairly often to have a break from laying!:clap
 

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