What happened to my pretty dark brown eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Azriel, Jun 11, 2011.

  1. Azriel

    Azriel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 19, 2010
    I have 15 hens, I get 12-15 eggs daily. Most of them are just over 1year, 2 of the GSL are 2 now. The girls are 5 BO, 4 Blk Aust. and 6 GSL. I have been getting 6 very pretty dark brown very large eggs and the rest are lighter cream color med-large. They have been free ranging for about 2 weeks now, no other changes, just that they went from being locked in the barn to free ranging. I'm still getting 12-15 a day, just that they have now gone from dark to all of the eggs being cream to some almost white. Whats wrong?
    I feed layer crumbles mixed with 24% flock raiser, a bit of scratch, grit and calcum on the side, and treats once a day, and now all the bugs and plants they want.
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Nothing is wrong. The shell color can be dependent on where they are in their laying cycle. It also can vary slightly from day to day. The first eggs laid in their cycle are generally darker. They start to fade as the cycle progresses. The cycle usually ends at molt. When they start laying again after molting the eggs will be nice and dark again for a while. The shell color also fades as the birds age. My oldest lady used to lay brown eggs, but at her rather advanced age of 4 her eggs are nearly white now.

    Hope this helps. Good luck.
  3. Azriel

    Azriel Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 19, 2010
    Thanks, they have never gone through a full molt yet, just a few feathers here and there over the winter, when do they go into the naked chicken molt? They turned a year in april.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I took this excerpt from this Florida site. Is maybe this Nicarbazin in some other animal’s feed they could get to?

    I’ve seen that gradual egg shell color getting lighter over time and it coming back after a molt. Yours sounds less gradual than that. I suspect it has more to do with something they are eating now that they are free ranging. Very likely not nicarbazin but something else.

    Nicarbazin is an anticoccidial drug that reduces reproductive performance when it's inadvertently added to layer or breeder diets at normal anticoccidial levels. The yolk membranes are weakened, resulting in mottling of the yolk. Nicarbazin fed to brown-egg layers turns their eggshells white within 48 hours, although this is completely reversible when the product is withdrawn from the feed. Even low levels of nicarbazin can cause some loss in shell color, mottling of egg yolks (see Fact Sheet PS-24, "Egg Quality"), and a decline in hatchability

    My first year pullets often do not molt at all until the following fall when the days get shorter. Their feathers are really beat up by then but they really look clean and sharp after that molt. Egg shell color gets darker too.
  5. La Mike

    La Mike (Always Slightly Off)

    Nov 20, 2009
    Quote:Yep they run out of paint [​IMG]
    The coloring will come back [​IMG]
  6. choidle

    choidle Out Of The Brooder

    May 18, 2007
    Below is a link to an article from the Extension staff of the University of Florida concerning the subject matter. The article provides educated insight about the loss of shell pigment (color) in brown eggs. Hope this helps.


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