Small eggs can be a frustrating mystery for backyard chicken keepers. Why is my chicken laying small eggs? What’s causing this, and how can I fix it?
When you finally get your chicken coop set up and your hens start laying eggs, it’s a real feeling of accomplishment.
After all, you’ve provided them with the perfect environment and plenty of food and water, so they should be able to lay plenty of eggs, right?
But sometimes, your chickens will disappoint you by laying small eggs.
Common reasons for small eggs are that they’re some of your hen’s first, or they can result when a mature hen lays a yolkless egg at the beginning or end of her laying cycle, if it’s not getting the right nutrients, or if they hen is sick.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the possible causes of small eggs, and what you can do to help your hens lay larger eggs.
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So Why’s My Chicken Laying Small Eggs?
There are a few reasons why this might happen. One possibility is that the hen is young and hasn’t reached her full egg-laying potential yet.
Another possibility is that the hen isn’t getting enough calcium in her diet, which is essential for strong eggshells. It Could simply be that the hen is under stress from hot weather or predators.
Whatever the reason, it’s certainly frustrating to find small eggs in your chicken coop. But don’t despair – there are ways to encourage your hens to lay bigger eggs.
Make sure they have plenty of calcium in their diet by feeding them crushed oyster shells or calcium-rich greens.
And try to keep them as stress-free as possible by providing a cool, shady spot for them to escape the heat and keeping an eye out for predators.
With a little bit of effort, you should see those small eggs get larger with time. Of course, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Keep reading to learn more about the causes of small eggs.
1. Sick Hens
If your chickens are laying small eggs, it could be a sign of illness or sickness in the flock.
Chickens typically lay larger eggs when they are healthy and produce strong, viable offspring. If the chickens are sick, their bodies may not be able to produce as many big, strong eggs.
In addition, if there is an illness going around the flock, it could impact the chickens’ reproductive system, causing them to lay smaller eggs.
If you notice that your chickens are laying smaller than normal eggs, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet for a check-up to make sure they are healthy and not suffering from any contagious illnesses.
If you’ve been noticing that your chickens are laying smaller eggs, there are a few possible reasons. One is stress in the flock.
Chickens are social animals, and when they’re stressed, their egg production can be affected.
Make sure that your chickens have plenty of space to roam, access to food and water, and some hiding places where they can feel safe.
Chickens are interesting creatures. They are very sensitive to their environment and can be easily stressed by changes in their routine or surroundings. This stress can lead to a decrease in egg production, as well as smaller eggs.
Studies have shown that when chickens are exposed to stressful conditions, the eggs they produce tend to be smaller and have thinner shells. In some cases, the shells may even be cracked.
While this may not seem like a big deal, it can actually have a significant impact on the health of the chicken and the quality of the eggs.
Stress can also lead to other health problems in chickens, such as feather loss and increased susceptibility to disease.
Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy and stress-free environment for your chickens if you want them to remain productive and produce high-quality eggs.
3. Lighting and Season
One possible reason your chickens may be laying small eggs is due to the lighting. Chickens need at least 14 hours of light per day in order to lay healthy eggs.
If the coop isn’t getting enough light, the chickens may start laying smaller eggs. Another reason could be due to the season.
Chickens typically lay smaller (and far fewer) eggs in the winter months when there is less daylight.
If you suspect either of these reasons, try adjusting the lighting in the coop or giving your chickens a little more food during the winter months.
With a few simple changes, you should see an improvement in the size of your chicken’s eggs.
4. Poor Diet (Particularly a Lack of Calcium)
If you’ve been noticing that your chickens’ eggs have been smaller than usual, there are a few potential reasons why.
One possibility is that their diet is lacking in important nutrients. Chickens need a balanced diet of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats in order to lay healthy eggs.
If they’re not getting enough of one of these essential nutrients, it could lead to smaller eggs. Another possibility is that they’re not getting enough calcium.
Calcium is essential for strong eggshells, so if your chickens are lacking in this mineral, their eggs will be more fragile.
Ultimately, if you want your chickens to lay healthy eggs, it’s important to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need.
A balanced diet and plenty of calcium will go a long way in ensuring that your chickens lay big, strong eggs.
5. Chicken Breed
It could simply be that the chicken is a smaller breed and thus produces smaller eggs.
When most people think of chickens, they envision the classic brown egg. However, there is a wide variety of chicken breeds that lay eggs in a range of sizes, from the tiny quail egg to the jumbo-sized ostrich egg.
While the average chicken lays an egg that weighs about 2 ounces, some breeds lay eggs that are much smaller.
Bantams, for example, are a type of miniature chicken that typically lays eggs that weigh less than 1 ounce. Conversely, some chicken breeds lay eggs that are significantly larger than the average.
The Brahma chicken, for example, is known for its large size and can lay eggs that weigh up to 4 ounces.
However, it should be noted that even within a single breed of chicken, there can be significant variation in egg size.
This is due to a variety of factors, including diet and age. As a result, if you are looking for a specific size of egg, it is best to consult with a local farmer or breeder.
6. Young Layers
Chickens typically lay smaller eggs when they are young. As they mature, their eggs will grow in size.
If your chickens are laying small eggs and they’re older, it’s worth taking them to the vet to rule out any health problems.
Once you’ve determined that your chickens are healthy, you can focus on providing them with a comfortable and relaxed environment to encourage larger egg production.
What Are “Fairy” Eggs?
Over the years, there have been many urban legends about chicken eggs. One of the most popular is the notion of a “fairy” egg. But what exactly are these eggs, and why do chickens lay them?
Contrary to popular belief, fairy eggs are not actually laid by fairies. Rather, they are simply eggs that are smaller than the average chicken egg.
They may also lack a yolk. Sometimes, these eggs are referred to as “cock” eggs as well.
Chickens may lay fairy eggs for a variety of reasons, such as if they are young or if they are not getting enough calcium in their diet.
While fairy eggs may be smaller than normal, they are perfectly safe to eat. In fact, many people believe that these eggs actually have a more delicate flavor than regular chicken eggs.
So next time you find a small egg in your chicken coop, don’t be alarmed – it’s just a fairy egg! And who knows, you may even enjoy eating it.
What to Do When Your Chickens Are Laying Tiny Eggs
Chickens can lay small eggs for a variety of reasons, but there are a few things you can do to encourage them to lay larger eggs. First, make sure they have enough calcium in their diet.
You can provide additional calcium by adding crushed oyster shells to their feed or giving them a calcium supplement.
Secondly, keep an eye on their protein intake. Like calcium, protein is essential for egg production, and a lack of protein can lead to smaller eggs.
Finally, make sure they have enough space. Chickens that are cramped up in a small coop or run tend to lay smaller eggs than those that have plenty of room to roam.
So give your chickens some extra TLC and you should see an improvement in the size of their eggs!
Rebekah is a full-time homesteader. On her 22 acres, she raises chickens, sheep and bees, not to mention she grows a wide variety of veggies. She has a huge greenhouse and does lots of DIY projects with her husband in her ever-growing homesteading endeavor.