Saturday, February 11, 2017

My Chicken Laid The Strangest Eggs

Check out this very odd egg I found in my coop. Strange eh? Kinda looks like it is a little old man egg. My chickens recently began laying again after a sporadic December and January. It was both fascinating and alarming to find such an odd egg, so I immediately started researching what could possibly be going on with my hen.  I had no idea, but turns out wrinkly eggs are a semi-common thing.

Wrinkly eggs have a couple of causes. The first can just be the age of the chicken. It is not uncommon to see an egg or two that is wrinkly. Most of the time the eggs that follow are normal. If your chicken is young, it is as though the chicken is working out the kinks in the reproductive machinery. On the other hand, as a chicken ages, the albumen will become more watery. When the albumen is watery, it is more difficult for the chicken to wrap the shell around it and the yolk. Wrinkled shells can be a result.

Another frequent cause of wrinkly eggs is Infectious Bronchitis. Highly contagious, Coronavirus also called  IB, is spread within the flock quickly. Chickens will cough, sneeze, rattle, and makes sounds like a baby with a bad cold. Chickens may even get watery eyes and seem droopy. IB damages respiratory, urinary, and gastrointestinal organs. The chickens will most likely recover from the virus, but will remain carriers of IB for the life. Wrinkled eggs may be all she lays from that point on.

Poor water quality can also contribute to wrinkled eggs. If you are feeding your chickens a healthy diet, including calcium and grit, are sure there was no IB in your flock, and still continue to get wrinkled eggs, look into water quality. Make sure to have plenty of fresh clean water available to your flock and plenty of shade during hot weather.

Oh, and no worries, while the wrinkled eggs may look odd, they remain safe to eat as long as there are no cracks in the shell. I wonder what they would look like dyed?

There are lots of causes of odd eggs.

BONUS FREEBIE PRINTABLEAlltech (specialists in animal nutrition and health) created a very informative poster showing common eggshell issues and lists possible causes. You can download a copy to print for future reference here.