Chickens come with many surprises, including finding abnormal eggs in their nests.
There are several reasons for your feathered beauty, laying an egg that looks like it came from an alien, age of the chicken, diet, stress, and other factors.
Let’s take a look at a few…
Egg abnormalities by age of the Chicken, both young and old:
Double Yolk Eggs
These are a fun find and caused when a yolk combines with another yolk and the shell forms around both. It’s kind of like twins. Pullets and older hens can lay these as their reproductive laying cycle may be just starting or at an end.
Very Tiny Eggs
Also known as wind, fairy, rooster or fart eggs are usually a sign of a hen’s first egg or eggs and indicates their reproductive system is not working correctly yet.
Consider the Age and Diet in these cases:
Thin Shelled Eggs
May feel like rubber when you grab them from the nest but usually come from a beginning chick or are a sign of a lack of calcium in your hen’s diet which you can quickly fix by adding some oyster shell to their diet.
Eggs with Bumps on the Shell
These are a rare abnormality for both the young and older hen alike. It also can be caused by an excess of Vitamin D or calcium if you have a rash of bumps in your egg count.
Very Large Eggs
These are usually laid by hens who are reaching the end of their laying cycle but once again if you have several in your egg basket the hen’s diet may be suffering from a mineral deficiency.
Stress, Diet, or Disease causes these egg abnormalities:
Shell-less or Thin Shelled Eggs
These are due to stress, which caused the egg to be laid before it was completely formed. Other issues for the anomaly may be problems with the hen’s shell gland and a lack of Vitamin D and calcium.
Oddly shaped Eggs
Can be attributed to overcrowding and stress but also can be an immature shell gland in your hen and worst case scenario possible evidence of disease.
These are funky looking and can be induced by rough handling of your hens, causing a second yolk to be prematurely released and bumping up against the egg, causing the wrinkles. Another factor that can cause wrinkling is a respiratory infection in the hens.
Oddly Pigmented Eggs
Half colored, spots without pigment or even purple, pink or pale colors are most likely caused by high stress such as heat, predator scares or overcrowding. But don’t rule out excess calcium in their diet, an older hen anomaly, or a possible disease indicator.
Eggs with Healed Cracks
These start with a break in the shell during formation but mend during the laying process. The hen experiencing stress during the calcification is the main culprit for this type of egg.
Egg in an Egg
This happens when an egg gets backed up and not laid in a timely manner. The egg actually goes through the last production stages twice. Extreme stress to your poor hen is probably the reason. She may need a spa day complete with a dust bath and mealworms to nibble on.
Tails, Lashes, and Spots, oh my:
Eggs with Tails
These eggs look like they’ve been pinched on the bottom but happen because that part of the shell did not harden before the hen laid it. It happens very randomly, but if you see a trend in the coop, go ahead and increase the calcium in your feed.
Lash eggs are not really an egg at all but instead is a severe sign of infection in your hen. Here’s where it gets technical, the scientific name is Salpingitis, and it is infection and inflammation in the oviduct and if not treated can cause death. A good round of antibiotics can take care of it.
Eggs with Blood Spots/Meat Spots
These happen when blood or a small piece of tissue release before the shell forms. This abnormality can be genetics, too much light during the winter months in the coop, or high levels of Vitamin A or K in their diet.
These are easy to spot. You can tell if your rooster is doing his job if there is a white bullseye around the egg yolk. Congratulations you could incubate those eggs and hatch a chick!
So there you have it a list of some of the more common abnormal eggs.
We would love to see your hen’s wildest looking egg. Share a picture with us of the egg and what type of hen laid it.