thin egg contents?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GoodEgg, May 15, 2008.

  1. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Hello all,

    Wondering if someone can answer a question?

    Sometimes the whites of my chickens' eggs are thinner than I would expect. And once or twice a yolk seemed to be broken in the shell, or just broke too easily. (I've had customers tell me this.) (The yolks are very orangey-yellow though.)

    Any idea of the cause? I only sell eggs within 1-2 days of being laid, and I don't wash or refrigerate them. Being that fresh, should be ok, I've been told. I collect (usually) at least twice a day. But I store them at normal room temp, which at our house is getting warmer, since we're not using an air conditioner yet.

    Chickens are fed standard laying crumbles, free-range all day on a wide variety of grasses and weeds, free choice oyster shells, and I cook rice and mix in flax seed along with eggs several times a week, and give them any softening fruits/veggies or any peelings or leftovers. They usually get a good serving of veggies and/or fruit every 2 days at least. I do feed them just about anything EXCEPT chicken meat (actually, they get very VERY little meat at all, only maybe a little leftover ground beef if I have spaghetti sauce left over) and not much salt as I don't use it myself much. No sweets either.

    Ducks share the same area. The chickens do tend to enjoy drinking from a cement mixing tray (large) that I rinse and refill each day and the ducks swim in it. Sometimes I let the baby geese out with them too, but this has been happening since before I got the geese.

    I do put ACV in their water sometimes, but haven't done in a while.

    I am getting (usually) about 18-20 eggs per day from 22 hens (and one is usually broody) so I think that's pretty good. Everyone looks fat, shiny, and in good feather except for the missing head feathers from breeding and my poor red-sex-links who seem to be being plucked about the wings by someone.

    They were originally vaccinated (cocci and something else?) and certified pullorum free. A few wild birds do visit the yard, and we have a problem with flies at the moment. I can't think of what else to say ...

    If anyone has any info, that would be much appreciated! I just want to make sure there is no health issue I might not be aware of, or something further I need to do for them. Thanks!

  2. warren

    warren Songster

    Sep 29, 2007
    I had the same problem with my 2 ex-battery Warrens. Sometimes the whites were thicker than at other times. I think stress may have had something to do with it. Extra protein would not hurt. I think that some hens just do this.
  3. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Hmmm .... I wonder if it can be stress.

    I can't imagine what they'd be stressed about. Their coop is big enough, and they roam a HUGE yard with lots of trees and brush for cover. The ducks don't bother them (except to sneak into the coop to steal their food ... but the chickens steal the ducks' food too, so it evens out).

    Still wondering ... I guess I wish I knew which hens were doing it, so I could at least keep those eggs from being sold.

  4. mommy9994

    mommy9994 Songster

    Mar 10, 2008
    central VA
    My eggs have more of a tendency to do this when they are kept at room temp for more than a couple days.
  5. kiwichick

    kiwichick In the Brooder

    Jan 9, 2008
    I have the same thing happen with one of my chooks eggs. The whites are more watery than her roomies even if I crack them open fresh from the nest. I haven't been able to find out why either, so I've put it down to thats how they come.
  6. mangled

    mangled Songster

    I'm having the same issues with eggs right now, but I have several girls in a moult, so I just attributed it to this.

    However, I've also been keeping the eggs at room temp a while before I'm able to get them cleaned up and in the fridge.

    My husband was making eggs the other day and was shocked to have one of the yolks break when he put it into the pan. It's never happened before. [​IMG]

  7. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    If not caused by eggs that are just past their prime (stored a long time) thin whites is a heriditary trait in some hens.

    If you have a hen that consistently lays runny white-ed eggs, she may just have the genetic tendency to do so and it has nothing to do with nutrition or otherwise:

    Just one more possibility...
  8. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    Thanks so much.

    I do store eggs that I eat myself at room temp, and sometimes for quite a while. I find that they taste fine, and there is no problem with them at all (my stomach is very sensitive to things like that!) except that they do get thinner when stored too long at room temp.

    However, I have also collected eggs directly from the nest and cooked them within hours of being laid and found runny whites. Also, I always sell eggs on the day they are laid or, at latest, the next day. Still my customers say they have found runny whites and a broken yolk.

    I'm glad (in a way) it's probably a genetic trait. I do wish I knew which hens were doing this, and I would at least separate them so I didn't sell their eggs. Their diet should be good enough, I'm thinking, though improvements can probably always be made. I don't like to think they are stressed, but there really is no reason they should be. Except for squabbling over the favorite nest box or who gets to roost by who, their lives should be pretty good.

    At least I have something to tell my customers. I will probably try to work out a way to identify the "offenders" once I get things set up better in my yard. I'm working on putting in a garden, fencing that off, separating the ducks, building a few new coops, and trying to figure out where the geese will fit in, so I'm too busy right now!

    [​IMG] <--- this is how I feel about more "projects" right now!

    Thanks again, very much, all!


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