When you’re raising your own chickens you have to expect that you’re going to see a few odd-looking eggs sometimes. Everyone has bad days, even chickens!
Nonetheless, when you see an egg that’s out of the ordinary it’s completely normal to ask yourself: what happened?
Luckily, not all malfunctions in egg production necessarily mean anything is wrong with your chicken. But, some are more serious and can be a sign of malnutrition, stress, or illness.
Well, here we discuss what it means when your chicken’s eggs are getting smaller, the possible causes, and what you can do!
Chicken Laid A Small Egg?
The first reaction to seeing a much smaller egg in the coop is often disbelief. Sometimes they look like a cute mini-egg, sometimes they are slightly deformed, or have a calcium deposit on the egg.
But, should you really be concerned when you find one?
Well, most of the time a small egg is simply a sign that something has gone wrong in its development. Chickens aren’t perfect, and you should expect there to be a few mistakes along the way.
So generally there is nothing to worry about if your chicken has laid a small egg. However, if your chicken is frequently laying smaller eggs then it could be a sign of something more.
Why Are My Chickens Eggs Getting Smaller?
Chickens aren’t always perfect egg layers. But, if you’ve noticed your chicken has been laying more than one small egg, or their eggs keep getting smaller and smaller, then it’s worth finding out why.
The main reasons your chicken eggs have become smaller is often down to nutrition, stress, or illness. To help you narrow down the reason, here are all the details.
The most contributing factor to the change of chicken eggs’ size is their food. Eggs are mostly protein, and their eggshells are mostly calcium. So, if you notice their eggs are getting smaller, the first thing to check is whether they are getting everything they need from their diet.
This means you should limit the treats or table scraps, and ensure your chickens get a formulated feed with at least 16-18% protein, and 1% calcium.
If it’s been a week or two and you’re still seeing the same issues with smaller or deformed eggs then it may be a sign that’s more than just their diet.
Aside from protein and calcium, issues with a chicken’s egg formation can also be caused by specific vitamin deficiencies.
These are vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, folic acid, manganese, or general deficiencies. It can be hard to narrow it down sometimes, as the symptoms can vary depending on the exact cause.
But, providing your chickens with some formulated chicken vitamin supplements can be a good way to bolster their health.
The warning signs of stress can sometimes be hard to pinpoint. Your chickens can be overweight, underweight, lay abnormal eggs, liquid eggs, or sometimes stop laying entirely.
But, there is normally a direct cause of a chicken’s stress. If you find out what’s causing it, you should be able to intervene and comfort your chicken.
Some know stressors of chickens are:
- When chickens are transported to a new environment.
- When they are grieving the loss of a chicken.
- In response to a predator, from a snake to a red-tailed hawk.
- In response to perceived danger, like a neighborhood dog getting too close
- If the weather is too hot or too cold for your chickens.
- If they don’t have enough space in the coop.
- If they don’t have enough nesting boxes per chicken.
By running through a bit of a checklist and reducing the stressors in your chicken’s life you are often able to improve your chicken’s happiness and wellbeing. After all, a happy and healthy chicken lays the best eggs, right?
Illness Or Disease
Unfortunately, not all the causes of small or disfigured eggs are reversible, like from stress, diet, or deficiencies.
In some cases, it can be a sign of various avian diseases. These can be developed naturally or spread from wild birds.
This is a critical reason why you should prevent wild birds from eating from your chicken’s feeder.
If you’re sure your chicken’s egg production problems producing small eggs is not caused by your chicken’s diet or environment, then it may actually have an illness.
In some cases, your chickens can recover themselves. But, all you can really do is separate them from your flock, feed them optimal nutrition, and provide love and care. If things go back to normal then you can reunite it with your flock, but it’s better to be safe than sorry in case it’s something contagious.
If you’ve noticed a very peculiarly small egg, and your chickens are still quite young, under about 6 months old, then you may have just come across a fairy egg.
In chicken terms, a fairy egg is often a very small egg that contains no yolk. This can be caused by malnutrition or stress, but it can also be something that happens sporadically. Particularly if your chicken is younger and is still developing.
Fairy eggs aren’t generally anything to worry about. It’s really only a concern if you find frequent fairy eggs, as it may be a sign of an underlying health issue.
That’s A Wrap
Just remember, if it’s only once or twice that your chicken has laid a small egg, then chances are everything is completely OK.
But, it’s when you notice your chicken has been laying progressively smaller and smaller eggs, or small eggs frequently, then you should do a thorough investigation to see if you can help them return to a normal, healthy, and regularly laying chicken.
The main causes of smaller eggs are diet, stress, and illness. Although it can be hard to pinpoint the exact cause,
Luckily, if you ensure your chicken is simply eating healthy, has access to all its required vitamins and minerals, and is definitely not stressed, the small-egg problem will often resolve itself.