We’ve been having some egg trouble recently. I’m hoping one of the chicken whisperers that reads this will have some answers. Here’s what’s going on…
Every day, Henry or I go out to collect some beautiful brown eggs. Those eggs may or may not get washed right away. They may or may not find a place in the refrigerator. After few days or a week, I decide to cook a couple. Most of the eggs are perfectly normal, but occasionally, I’ll get one that looks fine on the outside, but after cracking it, I’ll discover a runny yellowish-grayish liquid, sometimes with blood spots or streaks, that has no distinct yolk or white. They don’t smell rotten, and really, they aren’t old enough to be rotten, but they’re disgusting.
I haven’t cracked one of these bad eggs in probably a week, but there was a period there where we got a bunch of ‘em. I grew up with chickens, and I don’t have any memory of encountering this problem before. Yesterday, I ran into our 16-year-old neighbor, Anna Rose, who just finished her first year of poultry 4-H, and I told her about our problem. Anna Rose is a super sharp kid (actually not really a kid anymore) who takes her chicken husbandry role very seriously. “I think it’s called an addled egg,” she said, and I think she’s right.
From my preliminary googling, it seems that an “addled egg” is an egg with no separation between yolk and white. It can be caused by a physical action (shaking) or maybe some kind of nutrient deficiency. The internets are not helping much because I’m getting a total jumble of unhelpful information mixed with a lot of advice on how to incubate cockatiels. Seriously, do any of you know what the deal is? How can we A) prevent addled eggs B) know which ones are gross and C) treat the birds/solve the problem? Anyone…anyone…Bueller? (Ashley?!)
We also have at least one egg pecker in the flock, which is a whole ‘nother issue.
But…on a much more positive note, Chico Chicken’s chicks that hatched back in March started laying eggs last week. Henry’s been breeding for dark shell color and greater productivity, and it seems as if we’re getting both, judging by the quantity of these tiny mahogany-colored eggs (above left).
I guess chicken rearing is just one more facet of life where you win some and lose some. Happy Sunday, folks!