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Help! My Hen Laid a Weird Egg!

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

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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.

Wrinkled Eggs

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

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.

Fertilized Eggs

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.

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Thursday 20th of July 2023

We got 4 chicks to join our original 3 hens (sadly one passed leaving us with 2 layers currently). The chicks aren’t yet 16 weeks but our ISA brown had been spending lots of time in and around the nesting box. Today she (assuming it’s her) laid her first egg. If it wasn’t the ISA it was still a new under 16 week chick as I collected 3 eggs today. Her egg was two toned with specks. Is this due to the stress being her first egg, or is there something else we need to watch for? The other eggs aren’t showing the stress signs

PS I’m trying to figure out how to attach a picture. My phone isn’t letting me paste one into this text box

jane doud

Thursday 25th of February 2021

I am taking care of approximately 35 hens. I have noticed each time I collect eggs in mid morning that there is odd shaped bluish egg ( wrinkled looking) I believe that the hen that is laying it has a raspatory issue. Should I remove this hen from the rest of the group and have it put down? Please advise.

Thank you. Jane


Friday 19th of March 2021

Hi there, if you think the hen is sick you should remove her, yes. Sometimes just a few nights spent in the house with a little TLC can do wonders and they can make a full recovery. But yes if she's sick she shouldn't be with the rest of the hens, not only does it make it harder for her to heal, but she could pass whatever she has onto them.