under-size egg????

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dustcover, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. dustcover

    dustcover Out Of The Brooder

    May 8, 2016
    In the attached photo the first egg is from my White Leghorn, the 2nd is from Rhode Island Red, the 3rd from Buff Orpington, the 4th from Speckled Sussex and the 5th from my Barred Rock.

    All five hens are from 1 to 2 years of age, and although the Leghorn is a bit on the lean side, all the others are full bodied and very healthy. They are all quite compatible and get along extraordinarily well. And they all share the same nutritious pellets.

    So why is the Barred Rock's egg so much smaller than the other eggs?

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016
  2. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2015
    Desert Hills, AZ
    I'm in the process of starting a breeding program for Barred Rocks and Leghorns so I've been reading a great deal about selecting my best hens for egg production. Based on what I read there could be a multitude of factors for the smaller BR eggs, but excluding all the psychological (stress) and environmental (high heat, lack of water, etc. ) factors, two physical characteristics I'd look at are if she has a small spread between her pelvis bones relative to standard size birds which is indicative of small eggs, or she has thicker than about 1/16" pelvis bones which allows for less opening when she does lay. There are other physical possibilities, for example her condition, such as if she's the low hen on the totem pole she may not be getting sufficient nutrients which could affect egg quality but I'd bet on the pelvis spread or thickness first. Another measurement, the distance between the tip of the keel and the two pelvis bones is an indicator of number of eggs laid per year but not size, so I wouldn't consider them for nailing down the small size cause. Here's a paper from the American Livestock Conservancy that illustrates the measurements I'm talking about (https://livestockconservancy.org/images/uploads/docs/ALBCchicken_assessment-2.pdf)

    Hope that helps.
  3. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2015
    They're not machines. There will be variance from bird to bird. We just don't see them in s cartons from the grocery store.

    B grade eggs and variance are a reality of raising chickens.

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