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9 Reasons Why Chickens Laying Small Eggs And How To Fix It Fast

Chickens come in various heights, colors, and feather patterns, and the breed impacts an egg’s hue and average size. But tiny, yokeless eggs are not a matter of breeding. They are known as fairy eggs in polite company and as fart eggs with the more juvenile jesters and this can happen for a few reasons.

Then some hens producing proper eggs with yolks may unexpectedly begin laying eggs smaller than the norm. Sometimes the solution to the egg woe is as simple as giving the hen time to sort herself out. However, there are circumstances where you need to take action. There are 9 main reason why chickens laying small eggs so read on to find out.

1.      Younger Hens Lay Smaller Eggs

So the main reason for a young chicken laying tiny eggs is just well – age! Hens new to the laying game often produce smaller eggs than their elder sister chickens of the same breed. Young hens are still developing, and their bodies are adjusting to this egg-laying gig. It is common for the new hen to produce a fairy egg or few too.

The solution is to give the young hen time for her eggs to increase in size. Then, as long as she gets enough food and water like the rest of the flock and behaves normally, she’s fine.

In the meantime, enjoy those small eggs. Many believe a young hen’s small eggs taste better

why are my young chickens laying small eggs? usually just due to age. Here you can see some fairy (or fart) eggs my chickens laid

2.      Chickens Lay Smaller Eggs After A Break

Fairy eggs result from a misunderstanding in the oviduct, such as a piece of tissue dropping in and setting the system off. These blips in the hen’s egg-making assembly are most likely to occur when a chicken is young or has been on an egg-vacation.

Long winters, for example, put many hens into holiday mode, and their assembly line takes a break. Then, when things reboot, there are sometimes some startup issues that, with time, sort themselves out.

Chicken egg-vacations are also the reason for smaller eggs than what she was popping out in the fall. Again, she’s out of practice, and her eggs should gradually increase over the next few weeks. 

3.      Stress Can Shrink A Hen’s Egg

Chickens are not generally known for their bravery, and stress can impact an egg’s size and production numbers. Consider Chicken Little (Henny Penny) with the famous cry, “The sky is falling.” Thus, fear and stress can be caused by many issues, including:

If you can fix the stressor, the egg issue will resolve. Ensure your hens have enough sheltered places to lay their eggs, have enough room in the coop, that everyone has plenty of access to water and nutritious food, and keep an eye out for bullies in the flock.

If you have adopted a new pet, such as a cat or dog, ensure it isn’t entertaining itself by rushing the fence or lurking on top of the coop. Your pet’s sense of humor and entertainment choices might be freaking your hens out.

4.      Chicken’s Weight Can Reduce Egg Size

A hen’s weight impacts her ability to lay full-sized eggs. If she’s being picked on by the head hen, the increased running around and lack of food may have caused weight loss. Sometimes it is best to let the bolder hens free range for a few hours each day while allowing the meeker hens stress-free access to the feed in the enclosure.

5.      Protein Can Impact The Size Of A Hen’s Egg

Chickens need protein, and too little can negatively impact their eggs. How much a hen needs depends on her age and breed. For example, a hen new to laying can benefit from higher protein, 18-20% of her diet. But chickens over 36 weeks only require 15-17%.  

Thus, look at her chicken feed and make sure your hens are getting some protein in their diet. If not, adjust as needed.  I have an extensive article on what chicken’s eat for good laying here.

6.      Sick Hens May Lay Smaller Eggs

Sometimes the reason your hen is laying smaller eggs is that she is ill. However, there are typically other signs of sickness that accompany the reduced eggs. Thus, keep an eye on the flock and look out for:

  • Droopy wings
  • Unusual discharges
  • Shrunken comb or pale comb
  • Feather loss not caused by molting
  • Reduced activity
  • Dull eyes or closed shut
  • Abnormal poop
  • Change in eating and drinking habits
  • Inflamed vent
  • Strange audible breathing or coughing

It is time to seek a vet’s help if any of the above are present, along with reduced laying and egg size.

7.      Reduced Light Can Reduce Size Of Chicken Eggs

Lack of daylight hours will switch a hen onto “vacation mode” unless the owners use artificial lighting. However, reduced access to daylight can also impact the size of some hens’ eggs.

If the lack of light is due to the change of seasons, the fix is to set up artificial lighting or allow her to take her egg-vacation.

If the lack of light is due to the positioning of the coop, see if you can move it or extend the flock’s run so they can access more light when scratching and giving themselves dust baths.

8.      Some Chicken Breeds Produce Small Eggs

If you’ve adopted your chickens or bought them young from a dealer, your “small” hen might accidentally be a different breed from the rest you purchased. Mistakes usually happen honestly, although if this “mistake” is a number of them, you might want to look into the dealer.

Also, sometimes the fact your hen is a different breed from her “sisters” isn’t obvious when they are first laying. But as time goes on, this one little hen stays little while the others bulk up.

There is no solution to this but to love her for who she is and the eggs she produces.

9.      Lack Of Calcium Can Impact Hen’s Eggs

Calcium plays an essential role in chicken health, including the size of an egg, and ensures the shell is sturdy and thick. There have been many studies on calcium’s impact on egg laying, including back in the 1920s. Reduced calcium can also cause laying to cease.

The best fix is to obtain crushed oyster shells from a feed store and mix it into your chicken’s food. Some people crush up the shells of their hens’ eggs and feed them back to them. However, oyster shells are the preferred method.

What Chickens breeds lay small eggs?

Chickens come in a wide variety of breeds, each with its own unique characteristics. While some chickens are known for their large eggs, others are known for laying small eggs. Some of the most popular chicken breeds that lay small eggs include the Ameraucana, Ancona, and Bantam. Ameraucanas are a type of Heritage chicken that is known for its blue eggs. Anconas are an Italian breed that is known for its mottled feathers and white eggs. Bantams are a smaller breed of chicken that comes in a variety of colors and lays small eggs.

While no a chicken the Japanese quail, for example, is a popular bird for egg production due to its small size and high egg-laying rate.

Other small chicken breeds include the Sebright, Pekin, and Cambar. These breeds typically lay between two and four ounces of eggs per day, which is about half the size of a standard chicken egg. While small eggs may not be ideal for every cooking purpose, they can be cute and fun to collect. They also tend to have a higher ratio of yolk to white, making them perfect for baking and other recipes that call for rich, flavorful eggs. Whether you’re looking for a unique addition to your flock or simply want to try something different, consider one of these small chicken breeds.

Conclusion

A hen’s small eggs are rarely due to alarming reasons. Most cases are quickly resolved by simple changes or giving the hen time.

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