The Cottage Smallholder


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Strange eggs

strange eggsSometimes I find an egg with a small deformity on the shell but last month I found these two weirdly shaped eggs. What was going on?

The larger one is Carol’s (aged three) and the one with the twist was laid by Barbie (aged four).

I rushed back to the cottage and fired up the computer.

DEFRA has a good, informative article relating to eggs here. Irregularities in egg shells can indicate a host of horrifying diseases. However as Carol and Barbie look well and healthy the cause is clearly age.

If you don’t replace your hens every two years you will eventually start to get the occasional strange egg. They are perfectly OK to eat they just look odd and because you are used to collecting perfectly shaped eggs alarm bells will ring.

Since then Carol has generally laid perfect eggs but if she misses a day or two the eggs that she lays are ridged and unusually shaped. She is a laying breed with a good steady egg laying pattern. This combined with the fact that she is three years old all contribute to the likelihood of laying eggs with irregularly shaped shells.

Make sure that your flock have access to grit and oyster shells (a good source of calcium). Feed them a decent quality feed – layers pellets or mash. If your flock are elderly maidens they are more likely to produce unusually shaped eggs.


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22 Comments

  1. MuleMarm

    Susie — sorry I’m late reading and responding to your query… but there is a good discussion currently going on regarding some of the questions at this same site here: http://www.cottagesmallholder.com/how-do-i-keep-my-chickens-clean-499 —

    So, I’ll leave my suggestion there…
    Blessings, MuleMarm

  2. Ann-Marie – was just browsing this site, as one of mine laid exactly the same thing this morning, and I was looking for answers. She’s young, so I’m guessing she just hasn’t got the process quite sorted yet. Have yours laid anything similar since? Did you eat the egg?

  3. Hi I’m new to this site and am wondering if someone out there can give me some advice. I have two hens that are 14mths old. They were battery hens and I am giving them a better life. They are laying ok, and the egg shells are fine, but a freshly laid egg, when cracked out onto a plate is very sloppy! White quite runny and yolk flat and fragile. What is wrong? I have had them at my place a month now, and they are having a good diet. My two other hens that are older have eggs that are fine. Hmm. any advice?

  4. Hi, this morning I found a strange egg-like shaped thing in my hens’ laying boxes. It was rubbery like playdough and almost fleshlike in consistency. I put it out with the other eggs (but separate) and the hens raced over and started to eat it. Urgh! There didn’t seem to be anything eggy about it – no shell, white or yolk, just a doughy mass … any ideas?

  5. Ann-Marie

    Hi,

    I’m new to this site, sorry I don’ know anything about lice but I’ve just got 3 new hens and one of them has just started laying. Yesterday she laid a soft shelled egg with white and a fully formed hard shelled egg in the middle – is this normal? will the egg in the middle be ok?

  6. Does anyone know what the signs of lice are? I think that perhaps my mum’s chickens have them.

  7. Newbie here ……. my Mum calls non-shelled eggs lash too ;-). Our 3 hybrids have laid constantly for 15-16 months, good shelled eggs; until 3 weeks ago. Now we find a broken egg every morning under the perch. All 3 are healthy, I did a feather and bums check today, they have access to water, grit, oyster shell, cabbage, layers mash …….. I think the one laying the sloppy egg has just had a sort of moult when she stopped laying completely. They are 2 and a half year’s old.

    Do I need to worry? I’m not as they are healthy and doing chickeny things around the garden, bathing regularly and going to bed without problems. No mites or lice thank goodness.

  8. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Lucie

    Many apologies, I missed your comment.

    This is interesting. I love double yolked eggs. None of our chickens has ever laid one.

    Hi Joanne

    I’m sorry that I missed your question too. Immature hens often lay soft shelled eggs, the problem should resolve itself after a few weeks so there is no need to worry at present.

    Make sure that she has access to grit and also give the hens oyster shells (in a saucer beside their feed) this will help with the problem too and provide extra nutrients.

  9. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Squeek

    I have no experience of this happening to a broody hen, I’m afraid. So I have no suggestions as to what is wrong.

    She must have access to fresh water and food (beside the nest) and be lifted of the nest to relieve herself at least twice a day (this should get rid of the pooing in the nest problem). Make sure that you wipe the eggs that she is sitting on if they get dirty.

    Do hope that everything goes well from now on and that you have a clutch of healthy chicks soon.

  10. hi can anyone give me some advice: we have an aprox 7/8 month old chicken that has gone broody, shes been sat on eggs for 2 weeks now(can’t wait to see if any hatch) on tuesday i checked on her and it stunk of rotton egg, she hadn’t laid since she went broody and there was like a really odd rotten egg mixed with poo strange combination, so i got rid of it etc and she seemed to be fine but today shes done another one, we have no idea what it is or whats wrong with her. Thanks

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