Why do brown eggs turn white

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by motorcyclartist, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. motorcyclartist

    motorcyclartist New Egg

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    Oct 11, 2016
    My brown chicken (not sure what type maybe a hybrid of buff orpington + something else) used to lay brown eggs. They have gradually become whiter and whiter until now they are almost completely white. Is there something lacking in her diet that is causing this? I only let her free range for a couple hours a day due to the hawks.
    Thanks.
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Perfectly normal. When a pullet lays her first egg or a hen starts laying after a molt, the eggs are as dark as they will ever be. They store up something they need to color the eggs while they are not laying, but after they start it is perfectly normal for the eggs to gradually get whiter. By the time they start to molt they can be almost white even if they are reasonably brown earlier on.

    The raw material the hen uses to make that brown color is recycled red blood cells. The red blood cells die and are replaced all the time, the hen takes advantage of that material. But they need something else to manufacture that brown, some sort of catalyst for the chemical process. That’s the stuff that gradually gets used up. I’m not sure what that actually is or if you can supplement their diet to replace it. But the process is normal and natural. The hen is not sick and the egg quality is fine.
     
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