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Anna
Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 9387
Experience:  Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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Eggs laid by my chickens are getting pale yolks that sometimes

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Eggs laid by my chickens are getting pale yolks that sometimes are not even yolks when I break the egg open. What could cause this? They get Purina Layena. The young pullets are still on chick starter (they like it with water to make it a paste). They have oyster shell put out and get scratch everyday. Plus I give them a flock block and sometimes the dried worms as treats. They are in a chicken yard and are presently getting unsellable cucumbers, squash and melons out of our field.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

I'm sorry to hear that you are having this problem.Some additional information will be useful.

Are all of the eggs you're getting like this? If not, what percentage are?

Are the eggs smaller than normal?

How old are the young pullets?

How old are the other hens?

What brand of chick starter do you feed?

Thank you.

Anna
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi there, Thanks for responding so quickly. Per your request: I have Welsummer chickens. My oldest laying hens are probably around 4. My youngest pullets have not started laying yet. THe average hen is about 2 to 2-1/2 years old. I generally get 2 doz. eggs a day. The eggs start out large at the beginning of the year and peeter down to medium, as right now. All chickens get Purena Layena crumbles, oyster shell, scratch daily. The young pullets like wet chicken starter still. They also get an occasional Flock Block and those dried worms that they are crazy for. Their yokes used to be dark orange and very strong, but they are getting light yellow and the yokes break easily when cracking the egg. I've had one customer ask me how do they keep the yokes from breaking. Not all of them are so fragile, but alot are. I'm in California with an average temp of 97 these days.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for getting back to me. There are many factors that can influence the quality of the yolks. The warm temperature can in two ways. Hens often don't eat as much when the weather is hot. They especially don';t spend as much time foraging, and the foraged foods lead to more color in the yolks. Many hens stop laying completely when temperatures are extremely hot. Eggs that aren't gathered very quickly in hot weather will lose quality in a hurry. Left in the nests for even an hour, yolk quality can quickly deteriorate. The yolk membrane will lose strength, making the yolk prone to breaking.

Certain antibiotics can lead to colorless, weak-membraned yolks. That's why I asked the brand of chick starter you use. Many contain antibiotics and if your laying hens have access to them, that could be the problem. even if they don't have access, it would be best to get your young pullets off of it soon. Starter doesn't contain the right combination of nutrients they need for egg laying.

Diet is the main cause of color in egg yolks. Feeding brightly colored foods usually leads to more colorful yolks, while pale foods lead to light yellow, or even nearly white yolks. Here is a website where you can read more about egg quality:

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps020#TABLE_5%C2%A0


There are two more considerations. Some chicken keepers who had this problem reported that it disappeared when they changed laying mash brands. So, you might want to give that a try. There are certain weeds, that when consumed, can lead to diminished yolk quality. There is more on that on the site I gave you above.

There are some diseases that can cause weak yolks with little color. One called egg drop syndrome is a possibility, but often the eggs also have weak shells with this. There are usually no other symptoms except egg quality declines. You would have to consult a vet for diagnosis and treatment options.

If you have more questions, let em know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your hens will soon be laying normal eggs again.

Anna

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Thank you.
Anna, Bird Expert, Biologist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 9387
Experience: Have owned and/or raised parakeets, finches, cockatiels, and poultry over a period of thirty years.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How would I know if any of my brood had Mycoplasma. I was reading about it online trying to figure out what was wrong with the yokes and that came up. My hens don't have any issue from nose or eyes. I have one brooder who will not keep off the eggs and her comb is almost white because I'm afraid she is not eating what she needs to. I've stopped giving the pullets the damp chick starter because the hens were getting into it too, so that shouldn't be a problem anymore. I'
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
,How would I know if any of my brood had Mycoplasma. I was reading about it online trying to figure out what was wrong with the yokes and that came up. My hens don't have any issue from nose or eyes. I have one brooder who will not keep off the eggs and her comb is almost white because I'm afraid she is not eating what she needs to. I've stopped giving the pullets the damp chick starter because the hens were getting into it too, so that shouldn't be a problem anymore. I'm of the opinion that it is the heat as you said.
Expert:  Anna replied 1 year ago.
Mycoplasma is diagnosed by growing a culture. A veterinarian would have to do this. Most cases do have discharge from the eyes or nostrils, but that isn't always true. Here is a very detailed and technical article on mycoplasma:

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:D2IXPhja_owJ:www.cfsph.iastate.edu/Factsheets/pdfs/avian_mycoplasmosis_mycoplasma_gallisepticum.pdf+&hl=e n&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgI1czxjw4wd8-Fl6sFm7e9d2tjp5yzr0OFUEjrqTyvMD1jj0SRsix3_-tN13gV_9Kt5vrHlk0EVAbIoV6jUF8GaGxxk3kITJzZ0E0Bi-MjrRWqCHvTds_FaOwK92jExbuenWHU&sig=AHIEtbQIx3w2x-5p3wEoRqPKtDed2Bj7xg

Your County Extension Agent may also be able to help you. There is no charge for their services. Just click on this link, then click on California, then on your county. you'll get the contact information for your agent.

http://www.csrees.usda.gov/Extension/

Getting broody hens to eat is always a problem. She may be developing anemia. I would remove any eggs she wants to sit on right away. You may have to put her in a separate pen without a nest box and see if that helps.

You are probably right that the heat is the problem. With the temperatures you are experiencing, it si very likely.

If you need anything else, don't hesitate to ask.There is no need to rate this answer - you'll be charged again if you do.

Anna

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