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Why has her egg color changed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TexasTransplant, Feb 9, 2017.

  1. TexasTransplant

    TexasTransplant Out Of The Brooder

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    I recently acquired two young hens (around 6 weeks ago), I was told they had just started laying. Sure enough they continued to lay after they moved to my place for the first 4/5 weeks or so, One lays very blue eggs, the other has always been blue with slightly more of a greenish tinge. However, the eggs that have the greenish tinge have gradually gotten darker over the couple of weeks or so, the last one was a murky brownish green and the chicken that lays the very blue eggs has stopped laying, hasn't laid in a week. So I am trying to work out what might be going on. What could cause the color change? I understand there is a brown coating applied a some point in the laying process, is there something that would cause more brown to be applied?

    I also have 6 Buff Orpington hens (no roosters), they are laying as normal, all are on the same diet, nothing has changed in their diet. This change seemed to start when I integrated the new hens into the Buff Op's coop. When they first arrived I kept them in a separate coop and run, then moved them to a fenced area where all chickens could see each other but not touch, after a couple more weeks I removed the fence and they have all free ranged together in a garden which is around 3000 sq ft since then. There hasn't been any fighting or aggression, they even eat along side each other without issues. The last step in integrating them was to close up the old coop and I put the new hens on a perch in the night, after that they have gone into the new coop every night on their own when the others do. The one that lays blue eggs only laid a couple of times after moving into the new coop (she used the nest boxes) and then stopped.

    Any ideas what could be causing these changes? Maybe they are a little stressed with the move, but would that cause a change in egg color? Are there any illnesses that I should be looking out for that might cause this sort of thing?
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2017
  2. shober

    shober Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think the color changes as the chicken ages. I have a cream legbar that just started laying and her eggs look green to me not the blue they are supposed to be. They are getting lighter as she keeps laying. Only time will tell for us!
     
  3. TexasTransplant

    TexasTransplant Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, I think they do change gradually with age, but not this fast I wouldn't have thought.

    I was just considering whether mites could be causing the one that has stopped laying, and I am going to do a thorough check for mites tomorrow in the daylight, but then again my buff's are still laying prolifically so whatever is going on hasn't affected them, yet anyway.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    The change in housing and flock population is likely why your blue layer stopped laying.
    Also she's probably an Easter Egger or maybe an Ameraucana and they are not the most prolific of layers.

    The one who lays green, which is a blue egg with brown coating, can change at times depending on the quantity of that brown coating.

    Both these things can be affected by the stress of moving.
    If you are new to chickens......One thing you can count on with chickens is inconsistency.
    If birds are eating/drinking/pooping and moving around OK, best not to worry about it-just observe.


    Bug checks are actually best done well after dark with a strong flashlight/headlight, easier to 'catch' bird and also to check for the mites that live in structure and only come out at night to feed off roosting birds.
    Wipe a white paper towel along the underside of roost to look for red smears(smashed well fed mites).
    Part the feathers right down to the skin around vent, head/neck and under wings.
    Google images of lice/mites and their eggs before the inspection so you'll know what you're looking for.

    If you do find some...check out this thread:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1134783/permethrin-spray
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. TexasTransplant

    TexasTransplant Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you, that is really helpful I will check them tonight and the coop.

    They are supposed to be true Ameraucanas, Paul Smith line, I bought them from a local breeder. Just going by appearances they do appear to conform to standard as far as my untrained eye can tell. They have the cheek muffs, beards, correct color for a B/B split, body shape appears correct and leg color etc. but I am not so sure now due to the greenish eggs that have gone more towards olive and muddy brown. The one that lays blue stayed consistently blue, that is until she stopped laying lol, and yes I am fairly new to chickens.
    No matter, I am not planning to breed or show, I just thought it would be nice to have a variety of egg colors.

    I'll check tonight for mites and keep monitoring the situation, thank you.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I wonder if the breeder is crossing for olive eggers and your 'muddy' layer is one of the crosses?
    You might ask them....or just enjoy what you've got :)
     

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