WHY don't MY chickens lay the LARGE eggs? :(

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by byudawn, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. byudawn

    byudawn Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2011
    First, thanks for reading!
    We have 2 chickens from 2010 raising, (a leghorn and a RIR) and then 4 from raising in 2011 (2 leghorns, 2 black australorps), and even though ALL LAY, they are all (still) SMALL eggs!!!! We have "adopted" 4 other chickens from freecycle.org and "saved" them, and I know for a fact that they were NOT fed well and were CAGED the whole time. 2 of THOSE chickens are not quite a year old, and the other 2 are OLD, like 3-4 years old, BUT they ALL lay these HUGE Eggs!!!!!

    What gives??? I'm not kidding, OUR chickens have had the BEST of everything---and they are FREE RANGE in our suburban backyard, with plenty of daily fresh water, nesting grass/chips, a warm, roomy coop with a heat lamp, Chick starter feed, then layer feed with 22% protein, and scraps from us almost daily.

    I'm sorry, I'm just frustrated, A. because they don't always lay every day of course (we thought those black austrolorps were supposed to be good layers like the RIR and white Leghorns) and B. because these eggs are so puny---when I bake I have to add an "extra" egg in because they are probably less then/about a "medium" size.

    Any ideas WHAT I could possibly be doing wrong? We love the chickens, we like raising them with our kids, but I just want large eggs like the "adopted" ones (we have to give 2 of them back to our neighbor in Spring, and the Freecycle 2 don't lay every day---maybe 3 times a week) So.......we're not getting many in the first place and we have to give a couple back soon.

    I just want those large eggs from OUR birds, that are the same as those other ill-kept ones :(
  2. byudawn

    byudawn Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2011
    Oh, I should add (I don't think I did?) that the 2 ones that are less than a year old are a black austrolorp and a RIR, and the 2 older freecycle ones are both RIR.
  3. Smiles-N-Sunshine

    Smiles-N-Sunshine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2008
    Palominas, Arizona
    I think they're just young. If I understand you correctly, the 2011 birds are still in their first year, and laying "pullet eggs" which are smaller than they will be when they reach maturity. Our younger Australorps that hatched in March - May of 2011 are laying small eggs, too.

    Egg production typically declines in winter, anyway. I would wait a few more months before judging their performance.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2012
  4. byudawn

    byudawn Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2011
    Thanks, I just know that the OTHER 2 that are pullets (actually from a neighbor that we have to give back this Spring) ALSO are young, yet I know that they are the ones laying these huge brown eggs (they lay in a corner on the floor instead of the nesting boxes) and have laid every day for us since we got them 2 weeks ago......so, I just don't get why my 4 young ones (and then my 2 almost 2-year-olds) are STILL laying these small size eggs. I also forgot to add we put oyster shell in the feed so that is there as well......... I would never not feed our chickens well, nor keep them in the coop all day (unless it was nasty weather) so I again just don't understand why I'm not getting the best eggs we can? Granted, they ARE fresh and we enjoy the chickens like pets, but i feel like they are letting me down! ;)
  5. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    My birds are still laying small eggs to. 3 asterlorps and 2 buffs. There going to be a year in March, yet not very big are there eggs. We plan to add sex links as I heard they lay well and there eggs are big. Maybe a few bard rocks to. I'm still looking for the giant egg everyone seems to get lol,
  6. justus5

    justus5 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 26, 2007
    Silver Springs, NV
    They will lay larger eggs in time. They are young hens right now.
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Apart from the known, the usual and the expected, I'll throw in another reality. Some birds simply never lay a large egg.

    I've had a run, over the last few years, of great layers, and layers of consistently huge eggs. True confession? I got a little spoiled. I picked up Barred Rocks and some RIR from a couple different feed stores last year. I've been under-whelmed in almost every way. The hens are huge and quite pretty. They are healthy and well adjusted in every way. But I have to say, they are consistent layers of medium eggs. I've got a couple that still lay a very small egg. Yes, it is disappointing, but it what it is.

    If I over feed or feed high protein to a Red Sex Link or an ISA Brown, I can almost predict huge eggs will follow in a day or two. With these hens? nothing ever changes.
    So, conventional wisdom says that egg should get larger in the second laying season, I've got to say that some birds just won't.
  8. byudawn

    byudawn Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2011
    You all are awesome to read my vent and answer :) Thank you!
    I will enjoy what we have for now and hope for bigger (maybe) in the future ;)

    I also have to add (for sympathy) that a 2010 leghorn we raised was AWESOME and gave us a DOUBLE yolk at least 2x a week (her poor bum!) and laid every day large white eggs! Sadly, when she was not quite a year old, some animal got to her through our back fence (we still have no idea how it happened, sneaky animal!) and she was killed :( I miss her!
  9. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    Guess it could be genetics also. I have Columbian Wyandottes that will be two in April. They have been through molt & I still get some eggs that are medium. I only have one or two out of twelve that are a bit larger than large at this point. I have one or two that are medium or less. This is their second egg laying season and they have always laid smaller eggs. Don't think it will change much.
  10. jomoncon

    jomoncon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 24, 2010
    New Orleans, LA
    Btudawn, like you, I was really worried about the size of my eggs. My 8 RIRs laid small to medium size eggs until they were almost a year old. Now, almost every egg I get is at least large, some are even in the jumbo category.

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