Weird Pigmentation, Should I Worry?

BigBlueHen53

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One of my EEs laid these eggs over the last two days. I'll be posting two pics of each egg with a comment in between. Thanks for any advice.

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So as you can see, there was some weird pigmentation going on with this first egg. It looked "painted," with a dark turquoise swirl on one side. Not shown is a similar colored dot on one end. That was Monday's egg. The next two pics are yesterday's egg.

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This egg not only had weird pigmenting, it also had this dark crusty material on it, which I attempted to wipe off with a paper towel. I thought it was poop, but it was black and very brittle. Thinking about it now, I wonder if it could have been dried blood, but it was somewhat blueish.

Now that I say that, I wonder if this post belongs in the Emergencies section. If so, would a moderator please move it? I'm going to tag a few of the Educators I think might have some insight into this. Thanks to any who might be able to help me. Especially helpful would be any suggestions as to what to look for among my 8 EEs to determine which one is having the problem. Again, thanks.

@Wyorp Rock
@Eggcessive
@azygous
 

Skyle

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Don't know if this will be helpful...
Do you have a plant that produces some dark blue/violet fruits?
These days one or two of my hens are laying eggs like that. I'm sure that's because they're eating a lot of the berries from my mahaleb cherry tree (it produces little dark berries whose juice dyes everything it touches).
It happens every year and they're just fine, I sometimes find a black poop, too, because of these berries. When the berries are ended evwrything turns back to normal.
 

azygous

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Biliverdin is responsible for the blue pigment in blue egg layers. Brown egg layers also have this substance present in the shell gland, but not in nearly the amounts as blue egg layers. This compound is present in bile and in blood. It's what causes your bruises to turn green as they heal.

My guess is that your hen has a crazy amount of billiverdin in her shell gland, way more than she needs, resulting in the lovely "painted" designs on her shells.

@Skyle has a very plausible theory. The berry stain in poop may be present in the cloaca as the egg is being laid, resulting in it being deposited on the egg.

My red egg layers sometimes produce such painted designs. There is another compound responsible for brown and red pigment on eggs, and a surplus in the shell gland will produce such artistic wonders.

I don't think there is anything to worry about as far as the health of your hen as long as she's behaving normally.
 

BigBlueHen53

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Don't know if this will be helpful...
Do you have a plant that produces some dark blue/violet fruits?
These days one or two of my hens are laying eggs like that. I'm sure that's because they're eating a lot of the berries from my mahaleb cherry tree (it produces little dark berries whose juice dyes everything it touches).
It happens every year and they're just fine, I sometimes find a black poop, too, because of these berries. When the berries are ended evwrything turns back to normal.
Thanks, but no, we don't. It's too early for blackberries and we don't have blueberries. Too early for elderberries too and they'd be way too high for the chickens to get to anyway. We've had EE for ten years here and have never seen anything like this. But thanks for responding, anything is possible I suppose.
 

BigBlueHen53

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Biliverdin is responsible for the blue pigment in blue egg layers. Brown egg layers also have this substance present in the shell gland, but not in nearly the amounts as blue egg layers. This compound is present in bile and in blood. It's what causes your bruises to turn green as they heal.

My guess is that your hen has a crazy amount of billiverdin in her shell gland, way more than she needs, resulting in the lovely "painted" designs on her shells.

@Skyle has a very plausible theory. The berry stain in poop may be present in the cloaca as the egg is being laid, resulting in it being deposited on the egg.

My red egg layers sometimes produce such painted designs. There is another compound responsible for brown and red pigment on eggs, and a surplus in the shell gland will produce such artistic wonders.

I don't think there is anything to worry about as far as the health of your hen as long as she's behaving normally.
❤ Oh thank you, @azygous! That's wonderful news! I was really worried. Is this something that will pass, do you think, or can I look forward to more of these painted eggs? I'm going to blow them and save them now that you've put my mind at ease.
 

azygous

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No, I don't anticipate this being a regular thing. It could crop up again from time to time, but it shouldn't be a matter of concern. As I mentioned, my red egg layers have done this occasionally over their laying careers, eight or nine years now (lost count), and obviously, they are just fine, still laying regularly.
 

BigBlueHen53

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No, I don't anticipate this being a regular thing. It could crop up again from time to time, but it shouldn't be a matter of concern. As I mentioned, my red egg layers have done this occasionally over their laying careers, eight or nine years now (lost count), and obviously, they are just fine, still laying regularly.
Thank you.
 

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