Monday, March 9, 2009

Strange egg indeed

One of the girls seems to be having a strange problem, when she lays an egg, it appears to be cracked. At first it was only every now and again but lately it is almost every day. I suspect it is either Delia or Gertrude as I have ruled almost everyone else out by watching them lay. The odd thing about the egg is that it always cracks inside the hen and then later seals itself. When the egg comes out it looks cracked but when you look closely or squeeze the egg, it is just as hard as the other eggs with no actually cracks in it. The egg will also look as if the hen's body broke the egg to add more fluids inside.

Sorry my camera did not get the shot in focus but you can see what looks like a large crack through the middle. What you can not see is there are also small cracks all around the middle as if some one was trying to crack it open to cook with. The odd thing is that jagged line is no longer a crack, it has been sealed over.

Lately all the eggs from this hen are coming out the same. Even if they are not cracked looking, they will appear as if doubled yolked and an odd shape, however once you crack it open to use it, there is only one yolk. It almost seems as if the hen's body suddenly wanted to make the egg bigger. I thought maybe she was having a hard time laying and it was stuck in there too long but she will lay like this for four or five days straight. I can't figure out why the egg would break inside while forming and then reseal itself. Also another strange fact about this that often happens, if you look close at the picture above, you can see the top 1/3 is a different shade of brown than the bottom 2/3, the camera did not pick it up enough, but in your hand it is very noticeable. It would seem the hen put a different top on the egg. I have had things like this happen before but only rarely and not this frequent. I worry that one of the hens has become damaged inside. There are some good sites about chicken health and I am going to try one of those, hopefully nothing too serious.

12 comments:

Amy said...

Hope it's nothing serious?!

Hope you had a good weekend.

Amy :)

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Amy: Me too, I'm a little worried that it is Delia, she has never been right since the day I got her.

Yes I had a nice time over the weekend thankyou.

Amy said...

Is she a relatively new layer? If so, it might be her system working the kinks out. I'd also make sure that the hens aren't stressed and that they are getting enough calcium. I got two eggs like this during the early part of winter last year. It stopped just as quickly as it started.

Jane said...

We have seen eggs similar to this but never quite THAT extreme.
You could try offering free-choice oyster shell grit if you aren't already.
Keep an eye on them. We have had problems but never a "habitual" layer of cracked-and-sealed eggs.
I hope all of your birds will be okay.

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Amy: Hello welcome to my blog. No she is 14 months old so she has been laying since last summer. They are locked in a coop and run so there is no chance of something hurting her, but if it is the one I suspect the most (Delia) she was very sick and weak a few months ago so there could be stress there, just not sure why she increased the cracked looking eggs now.

Jane: Welcome to my blog also. Yes they do have free choice oyster shells plus I mix in dried crushed egg shells as well. The strange thing is her egg shell is not weak when it comes out, it is strong as if a second coating was placed over the egg. The cracks show however that for some strange reason it breaks inside while the egg is still forming. There is no problem with the rest of the hens and to be honest they have really good shells, much stronger than eggs from the store.

John Gray jgsheffield@hotmail.com said...

the hen may be a bit "narrow" in the beam...if you get my meaning..........
I have the same problem with one old hen, but her eggs are often broken completely.....funny it seems to happen more to her in winter
it seems as though you look after your hens beautifully.....perhaps it is just one of those things.....

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

John: I could understand if they came out broken, I would think the same thing about passage problems, it is just that the egg comes out 'not broken' but fixed 'after' it has already been broken. Maybe you are right on both accounts, the winter has been very very very long here this year, they have not been able to really go out since November, or it could just be her 'thing', as she has always produced cracked or strange shaped eggs, I hope she gets better over the summer. I wonder about broken egg shells doing damage to her insides, maybe that is why it is getting worse.

Tracey said...

Nothing to do with chickens but...How cold does it get there in winter, and how hot in summer?
Tracey x

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Tracey: This year is cold but it is not always like this, some winters are not too bad. My area of Canada is warmer than a lot of other areas in this country. In winter Jan & Feb will be the worst months with temps falling from -15 to -30 celsius sometimes even colder than that but only for a day or two. With wind chill it feels nasty. The temperature also can swing wide here from -20 one day to +2 the next day and back again. December and March are around -12 to +1. November depends on the year, sometimes it is warm with animals out on pasture and other years everything is covered in snow and very cold. In summer the hottest we get is about +30 to +32 but that will only be a week or so, usually we are in the twenties. Our safe growing season is only from about May 25 to September 1st, before or after those dates you risk frost in the gardens. The thing that gets people in the summer is we have high humidity, so +30 can feel much hotter and makes it hard for older and ill people. What about your area, how hot in summer and how cold in winter do you get?

Tracey said...

Hi, chicken bloke, wow, extreme temps! Here, this year we have had quite a bit of snow and it dropped to -12c, but....years ago they used to hold the ice skating on the flooded fields round here, but they rarely freeze over at all now!
Summer is usually in the 20's too, but the last few years we've had some scorchers...37c some days. Global warming?!
Tracey x

Jennifer said...

I have never had chickens so I have no idea but it would be interesting to know what is causing that. I hope to add a few chickens to the farm this year though.

I wanted to stop by and say thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I am glad I did I have enjoyed reading yours and I am glad to find a chicken blog since I don't know much about them yet.

nobody-but-us-chickens said...

Jennifer: Welcome to my blog. Actually chickens are probably the easiest of all poultry to keep. You seem to really care for your animals so you will do fine, plus you have an actual farm, so I think you really need to get chickens. ;)