Why do I have small eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by UncleHoot, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    My hens just recently started laying about 5-6 weeks ago. I bought a couple ISA Browns at about that time, which were allegedly just starting to lay.

    My ISA Brown eggs are nice and big. In fact, they're quite large. They lay great. My Araucana eggs are quite a bit smaller, but I've heard that this is typical for that breed.

    However, my RIR and Wyandotte eggs are smaller than my Araucana's. In fact, my Wyandotte's eggs are sometimes so small that my daughter thinks they're "cute".

    Did I do something wrong? Are they not getting enough calcium (oyster shell)? I added a large supply of oyster shell recently, but their shells didn't seem soft before, just small. Or did I just get two chickens that lay unusually small eggs?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated. By the way, my ISA's have integrated with the flock pretty well at this point. :)
     
  2. Ang

    Ang Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My girls started laying about the same time yours did (I have several RIR's and 1 Wyandotte). Just within the last week I am seeing more large and less small/medium eggs. I think you will see your eggs increase in size shortly.
     
  3. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Small eggs are not typical of EEs unless they are bantam, bred small or are young layers. My EEs lay some of the biggest eggs here.

    Now if you're talking real araucana (the rumpless/tufted ones) - those eggs are a bit smaller due to their smaller nature as a breed, however, they do lay good size eggs for a small size standard hen.

    I agree that your egg size will increase as they lay longer. Smallish eggs are typical of new layers.

    Jody
     
  4. pattycake

    pattycake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    fingerlakes, ny
    In the last couple of weeks I noticed that my chickens have been laying smaller eggs. They started at the beginning of November, had smallish eggs for a few weeks, and big ones all December. Now they're not all big -- many small ones in the group.

    Could something like mites affect egg size?
     
  5. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Excess protein will decrease egg size according to The Chicken Health Handbook.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    All pullets will start with smaller eggs and it can take a month or two to reach "large size" I think the isa browns have probably been laying for a few months when you got them.
     
  7. pattycake

    pattycake Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's interesting! I had been free-ranging my chickens during a warm spell, watching them catch tons of worms in my dormant garden, and thought it would be good for egg laying -- but maybe that's not the case at all.
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Probabably depends on what they consider "excess" protein. 50% as excess or just 20?

    As for bugs and stuff, sure it adds but in combo with the other goodies like weeds and such, I doubt it's going to be much more than chicken feed at the 16-20% range.
     
  9. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    St. Johns, Michigan
    Thanks for all the advice. I thought my ISA's were fairly young, but I bought them from a person that bought them from a person, so I can't say. I'll just wait and see if the size starts increasing.
     
  10. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It doesn't say. <shrugs> That rather surprised me, too... but I guess not enough protein can slow down laying, and egg size increases. Too much protein (whatever that may be, which probably depends on the individual bird) will speed up laying and decrease egg size.

    Sounds like they just don't spend as much time and energy on each egg that way, but I'm just guessing.

    [​IMG]

    I agree it's much more likely that the small egg size is due to the fact that birds are just young.
     

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