Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Double Trouble

The egg on the left is double the size of the normal eggs on the right! (Wouldn't you know it was a DKB import hen with my prized DKB 3501 #30.)

Inconsistent transient times of the egg passing through the oviduct may cause abnormally sized eggs due to deposition of differing amounts of albumen (egg white). So some hens consistently produce larger or smaller eggs than the standard size.

A very slow passage time may however, allow for double ovulation resulting in an extra large double-yolked eggs as seen in the above photo. This problem is usually self-limiting and involves only one egg in the clutch and results in the next day's egg laying being skipped. Update: she did skip the next day and laid a normal sized egg today.

Normal chicks can hatch from some abnormal eggs but hatching from a double-yoked one is extremely rare. If you have hatched a double-yolked egg, please post to this blog.


Anonymous said...

Double yolkers have never hatched for me personally, nor do I know anyone for who they have.

I dislike to see them in the nest as I feel that they can interfere with the hen turning the eggs.

It's strange how some hen's lay klarge eggs and some lay small eggs. I have always been of the opinion..big chick= healthy chick. Maybe this is a nonsense, but this year I obtained a very good hen Border in a swap. Normally I do not take in other fanciers hens, but this was (is) a very fine bird. Despite her large size, her eggs wer (compared to my own bred hens) small and round, rather than large and oval. I was disappointed and feared the worst. particularly as I had paired her to my largest and best stock cock, if the eggs were full I felt sure that the chicks would be unable to turn in the egg and die before chipping. Despite my worries she hatched five normal chicks, which are now weaned and they are as it happens very large birds.

Another thing which happened (only yesterday) was that I had a nest of eggs due, 4 full eggs down 14 days, I seen the hen down at the hopper so took the opportunity to have a peek. None had hatched yet, but I noticed that she had stood on one of the eggs, the shell was indented in several places from the outside. I floated the egg in tepid water to see it the chick was alive....no movement at all.
This confirmed what I suspected, the chick was dead, I chipped the top of the egg and there was a void...empty, so I threw the egg in the waste bucket where it smashed and to my horror discovered that in the other half of the egg was a chick ..alive and yolk sac unabsorbed.

I wasn't happy about it but have comforted myself (rightly or wrongly) that that the chick would have died during chipping as it was confined to only one half of the egg.
I was sickened, as normally the floating method is very accurate, one a positive note, here remaining three eggs hatched today.

Linda Hogan said...

Thank you so much for sharing with us! It was so good I also featured it in the this weeks tips and questions.

I have only heard one report in all my years of breeding of a double yolker producing two chicks.

Nina Rapp said...

Linda, I have a problem maybe you can help me with. How can I prevent/stop young birds from pecking on each other especially on the wing butts? Several have ended up bloody. I have them in a large flight cage. Last year, I separated birds into their own cages, but don't have that option this year - too many birds. Any solutions? Nina Rapp

Linda Hogan said...


As soon as young birds are eating well, stop the hard boiled egg and drop animal proteins till you get it stopped.

You may need to separate out the worst to stop them from picking on each other.

Provide more perches. Even clothes pins at various places can serve as perches. Also plastic coat hangers and any type of divided perches.