spotted eggs

runningtrailsFebruary 22, 2009

I have spotted eggs! See!

One hen lays them - only one a day. The rest of the hens lay regular solid or almost solid brown eggs. In the spring I am going to keep most of the spotted eggs and see if I can get a hen to hatch them - hoping for some future generation spotted egg layers.

I love the spotted ones. They have a natural, wild look.

Frankly, I'll be happy to get just one broody hen this spring.

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Runningtrails--awesome! I have had some like that-but have no idea who is laying them----If you want some broody hens I have about 4 right now that I would be glad to let you have! LOL they are driving me crazy- they just sit there and scream at me when I walk into the coop.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 5:23PM
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I think those eggs are great looking... You have to find out who is laying them. Man remember the days of eating plain old white eggs? so boring. I can't wait until my EE starts laying. I wish I had one of those burgundy egg layers too. My coop is getting full though so I better stop while I am ahead. I have 6 chickens now. Whooo whoooo the city girl is moving up in the farming world!!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 11:26PM
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I don't know which one is laying these either. It's hard to tell since I get 4-6 eggs in each nest every day. They mostly just use three nests and I have 20 hens.

I would gladly take one of your broodies! Mine are half RIR and half white rock, so I don't know if they will go broody. It might have been bred out of them. I'll have to wait and see. Hmmmm, I might have to get more chickens to get a broody hen ;-)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 8:29AM
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Todays commercial RIRs,New Hanps, Rocks and other traditional setting breeds have been selected for egg production which lessens the tenency to go broody. You will probably have at least 1-2 who will still come broody. You could try locating a breeder of standard poultry(show bred), they set as a rule and would add some size and eye appeal to the commercial ones.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 11:28AM
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Silkies will set on rocks. I have one little silky hen that runs loose in the green house. She will follow me around while collecting eggs and if some are laid down on the bench she get up onto the bench and will set on them. One time while collecting with an egg basket she settled on top of it when it was full of eggs.

If there are just a few eggs that need hatched and the incubators are full, the silky hens will accept the eggs no questions asked. A wonderful gentle breed.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 12:54PM
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We get those too every other day or so. Not sure what causes this to happen on the egg, but I have to scrub the spots gently off when i clean our eggs. If I can get the spots all off and make the egg look just like the others, I can sell it. If I put it in a carton as it were all speckled, it would scare my customers - who are so totally accustom to uniformity, its shameful. I also have to hold back the occasional odd, missile shaped eggs and the short, extra round ones that jiggle in the carton. I even try to match the colors if I can so that when my customer lifts the lid, they are immediatly at ease with a superb display of conformation in shape and color. Kinda silly.

Nope. No Auracana's or Marans in our flock! I asked a customer once if they would like me to get hens who lay easter green eggs. I got a flat "no" followed by a gakking sound in reply.

What should we expect? I understand supermarket suppliers are now mass painting common white eggs brown (and increasing the price on those goldies!). I could scarcely believe it until I opened a carton at the supermarket and looked. Unbelieveable. Each egg, a perfect, uniform spray job. One looks exactly like the next....and that's what our consumer expects.

In our fridge at home, we keep a specially marked carton for our own use filled with eggs we could never sell. It's like the carton for misfits - the quasimotos, the leapord eggs, the duper darks, and the rolly-round midgets.
Know what? THey all take just like chicken!

There's such a rich variety in nature (ask any farmer)...And so much voluntary blindness out there. Stand up and BE proud of your speckled egg I say! It takes a lot of courage to be a spotted egg a world which rewards only those who remain the same.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 1:06AM
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Do they really paint them! That's terrible!

I separate the eggs too. We eat the little ones and the misshapen ones. Fortunately, our three best customers came from farms and don't care, but we do make sure they get the largest ones. They like the "natural" stuff. I do have other customers like your's at work. You're right, it's silly. Today's young people are so separated from the source of their food.

I love the spotted ones! I'd like to keep them on display somewhere. Hey! It just occurred to me - I can blow a few and put them in an old wire egg basket I have and put them on a shelf in the kitchen. I might do that today. I'll have scrambled eggs for breakfast.

One of the things I want to do is make those fancy jeweled decorated eggs that open. The ones you keep on a shelf on display. Probably not going to happen any time soon.

You can make Christmas tree decorations from blown eggs too. I haven't yet, but I bet they'd sell well, especially painted with winter scenes.

I have to quit this. My list of things to-do is already way too long.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 5:55AM
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I doubt the eggs are painted!!
The commercial brown egg layers have great uniformity, the breeders spend a lot of research time on shell quality.

Those darker brown spots on the brown shells are the same material as the rest of the brown coating. it is applied to the white shell as it passes thru the oviduct. some hens just have some sort of defect in that part of production.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 10:38AM
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My girls lay such a verity of sizes, shapes and colors that the consumers of their eggs enjoy the differences. If I'm filling an incubator there are very few Serama eggs and when people come for their eggs and only get large eggs they are disappointed but understand.

The shape, size or what ever about your eggs are randomly offered for sale you will develop that market-if you try to match the commercial market you will develop a commercial market customer base. If your eggs production is large enough offer the odds n ends separately to the accepting customers, this will allow you to develop a total market for your egg production.

I slip in each 'customers' eggs a recipe for pickling eggs or some unusual use so as to expand the customers egg use. They look forward to getting them and many times they will share a recipe that I then share (with their names as contributor) with the others. The little things that cost almost nothing but make a big difference to your customers-it's like telling them 'Thank You' when they leave with their order (something they can't get from a big impersonal store).

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 10:57AM
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I do occasionally sell 18 small eggs for the same price as 12 large ones, when I don't have enough large ones to go around. My regular customers are happy with that.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 2:51PM
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I have also heard that commercial growers are painting white eggs brown. Not sure where I heard that or if it is true but I have heard it before. So when writing this I did a search on the Internet and could not find any evidence of it being true. Now I have personally concluded it is an urban legend..

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 7:18PM
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I sure hope so! It can't be healthy!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 6:35AM
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islandmanmitch(z 8/9 FL)

I read somewhere about white eggs being painted or dyed brown because people think brown eggs are healthy. My Orpingtons also give the speckled eggs. Not that the specks bother me but when I was cleaning a real dirty egg I noticed the specks came off too.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 7:01AM
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Marans chickens lay those burgundy eggs. The eggs are not actually burgundy though. As it comes through the chicken there is a secretion that colors the eggs and they say if you wash them the color will come off. I wonder if that is what is happening with the spotted eggs?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 8:22AM
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shebear(z8 NCentralTex)

You're not marketing those speckled eggs correctly. Those are "special" eggs. You only get a few and they are really good! You're glad no customers want them.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 8:50AM
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i read somewhere that reddish spots strengthen the eggshell by compensating for reduced eggshell-thickness caused by calcium deficiency but I can't tell you where. I think it was an ecology website.

Sometimes I look stuff up when I am at work and forget to send the link home because I think I can easily find it again. Usually not the case.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 9:57AM
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Nope, not true. I posted on shell color in another thread if you would care to look for and read it it may help ya with why.

If laying hens are fed a good quality commercial lay ration they get all the Ca they need to survive and make healthy table eggs. It is not sufficient for breeding fowl.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 10:45AM
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I looked it up again and I what I found was that this was speaking of other birds (not poultry) although from what I read yesterday I would have sworn it included poultry. Since I do not have access to my browsing history I have no idea how I found the article nor if spoke of chickens specifically I humbly retract. I did find evidence of the theory but this article states that it is specific to a different type of bird:

"Recent studies have revealed two mechanisms affecting eggshell pigmentation in, and believed to be specific to, passerine birds. In the great tit Parus major, reddish protoporphyrin speckles on their otherwise white eggs coincide precisely with thin shell and are related to calcium shortage. In the pied flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca, the intensity of the eggshell's blue-green ground-colour (pigment biliverdin) is related to the female's health (immunocompetence) at laying. We studied the effect of the insecticide DDT (notorious for reducing eggshell thickness in raptors by blocking calcium availability to the shell gland) on the eggshell pigmentation of Eurasian sparrowhawks Accipiter nisus (Falconiformes), whose eggshells show both protoporphyrin spotting and a blue-green biliverdin-based ground colour.

Eggshells showing protoporphyrin spots as an internalized pigment layer also showed a strong correlation between DDE levels (DDT metabolite) and shell thickness. The shells were also significantly thinner at these spots. Eggshell thickness was uncorrelated with DDE levels in eggs that lacked such spotting."

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 11:40AM
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I readily admit I know nothing of other fowl egg shell color, I'm a chicken man! I do have pheasants and Peafowl but no interest in studying their egg shells.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 9:08PM
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Well, I don't care why they are that way and I know that speckled eggs are probably nothing new to most of you with lots of various kinds of chickens, but they are rare at my place and I like them.

I would love to have some pale blue eggs but I'm not too interested in green ones. I guess there's no way to tell what color the eggs will be when you get Easter Egger peeps.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 6:03AM
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For blue egg shells you will need Araucanas or Ameraucanas. Easter eggers are just crossed up mongrels which could produce any combination of shell colors. You could take the long way around and select for the blue color following the pea comb gene which is thought to be linked to the blue shell color. Much quicker and easier to just buy the breeds which make blue shells.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 12:18PM
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mxbarbie(pnw BC 5)

We never sort our eggs for sale. Whatever gets laid that day, goes in the carton. All sizes all colours, with or without speckles. I think it adds to the country charm.

I will use the misshapen ones or any I suspect are double yolkers for "personal eggs" (My daughter calls them) just for the novelty. A huge or funny shaped egg gets high marks with a 4 yr old.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 2:45PM
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I sort them by size and sell 12 large eggs or 18 small eggs for the same price. My customers have come to expect the large eggs. I only have many small eggs in the wintertime. They continue to lay the same number, they just get smaller with shorter days. In the summer they are mostly all large and some jumbo.

I don't want chicken keeping to get complicated. I'll just stick to the ones I have for now, however, when I start my small hatchery, I'll have all kinds. (Future plan.)

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 4:44PM
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Your future plans.. A good move would begin researching that dream right now!If thats your plan you need to get more serious now, not later! it is a complicated business requiring more than a few chickens in a couple of pens. What kind of breeding program are yopui going to set up. What breeds will you work with. what type fowl will bve your focus, standard breeds of large fowl, bantams or both. I have seen a lot of small hatheries come and go over the years. Under finaced and poorly thought out ideas dont last long.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 5:37PM
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And, what kinds of birds will your customers be wanting? Pets, meat birds, breeders, show, organic, or maybe they don't care? Maybe you could offer some special birds, say that do those tricks? Seriously I think kids would get a kick out of that!


    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 6:40PM
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You are right, of course. I'm just too busy this spring to do much planning for it.

So many people are getting chickens now, even in the cities. It's a good business to get into. Most people just want a few chickens to give them their own large brown eggs.

My chickens and roo are all half RIR and half white rock - red sex links. I don't think the "sex link" carries over into the second generation but they will all still be half RIR and half white rock - very good duel purpose birds to start people with. I may just sell chicks that mine hatch this year to locals and help them get set up and see how that goes. I'll have to do some advertising. I also might need to buy a couple of hens that will set on eggs, if mine don't. I have a friend who is getting rid of her banties and says they like to sit on eggs. Maybe I'll take some of those for my other, empty chicken coop.

I do want to raise Chanteclers. I would like to bring this breed back. It's Canada's own cold weather breed. Maybe I'll specialize in Chanteclers. I might buy some Chantecler chicks this year.

I don't intend to make it a big business, just add it to my farm sales and grow my own feed.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 5:26AM
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Your sex links will not btreed true. They are a terminasl cross of 2 inbred bvreeds designed to make a lot of eggs. The progeny will not be as good as the parent stock.

Chantecleres would be a good idea, start with the best you can get then keep them quality by a well managed breeding program. You dont have to have hundreds. I managed several breeds with 3 pens of 4 females and 4 males. I did have rerady access to other related genetics to keep inbreeding manageable. good luck

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 11:44AM
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