Does it surprise you when the eggs you buy at the store are larger than the ones you get from your farm? Yes, egg sizes can vary depending on how you raise your chickens, what they eat, and a host of other problems. You may believe that a good food chart and nutritious foods are sufficient to produce perfect eggs, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
Now you may be asking yourself, ‘What else can I do? The eggs aren’t coming out of me?’ Jokes apart, as it’s a major part of your poultry business profit, you should pay attention to egg weight and size and hen care. So what can you do? Find out here!
Why Are Your Hens Laying Smaller Eggs?
Stress, environmental conditions, illness or disease, and dietary changes are all possible causes of the egg’s lower growth size. The result will not change until the barriers to the good size of eggs are removed.
The possible reasons could be many, as in-
- Any dietary changes or poor feeding chart.
- Stress could be a factor as it directly impacts their health.
- Your hens could be suffering from any illness or disease.
- Ineffective poultry farm management.
- The diet is lacking in protein and nutrients.
- They are very young and have light body weight.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of why your hens are laying small eggs, but you can do everything you can to keep the eggs healthy and in the right size. So, we’ll start just from there.
Factors Influencing Egg Size: Things to Consider
The size of eggs is very significant because the bigger an egg, the greater its selling price and consumer appeal. If you want to make money in the egg business, you should keep the following in mind. So get out your pen and paper to note down.
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It’s usual for young chickens to lay smaller eggs; the size of the eggs increases as they reach maturity. A chicken must be 6 months old before laying eggs.
Female chickens are referred to as ‘pullets’ until they begin laying eggs and turn into hens. And it’s normal to lay smaller eggs at first; we call them ‘pullet eggs,’ and they do come in smaller sizes.
As a result, age is a key factor in egg size. It will take at least a month to get the perfect egg size. However, if your hens are old enough and still laying smaller eggs, you should have them checked out by a vet; diet can play a very crucial role here.
Healthy Body Weight
The larger the hen, the larger the eggs she lays. One of the most common causes of smaller eggs is underweight hens. Pullets naturally lay small eggs, but the egg size should increase by half a gram for every 45 grams of body weight gained.
It also depends on the breed of chicken. Body weight is also affected by the availability of necessary nutrients, lighting systems, and feed consumption. So, you can control egg size by holding the hens’ weight and diet.
Food & Nutrition Consumption
Diet and nutritional supplements are the most influential factors behind egg size. The diet will always affect the chickens’ egg-laying as long as they grow.
Of course, they must be fed the necessary diet and feed, but a mild increment in their feed consumption will most probably lead to heavy-weight eggs without increasing excess weight or causing them to become overweight.
Plus, nutrition and a good environment in the nesting box are the basic and necessary components of a healthy, fit, and appropriate egg. The loss or absence of essential nutrients cannot affect egg production in ways such as decreased production, smaller egg size, and many others.
So make absolutely sure their healthy feed intake with better chicken feeder and essential nutrient supplements are not compromised.
There is a strong link between egg size and hen protein intake. It has been studied and published that the higher the protein intake, the better the eggs, as well as increased energy and more productive hens.
As a fact, protein consumption should begin when your chickens are just pullets. When your pullets have just transformed into healthy hens, you must provide them with a minimum 20% protein level in their food chart. It significantly impacts your chickens’ growth, so the nutrition they receive must be optimal.
Linoleic Acid & Fat Intake
Linoleic acid is said to boost egg weight. According to studies, 1-2% linoleic acid is more than enough to include in the food chart to help nutrient the hens. Increasing the acid levels from the beginning, when they are still pullets, may be very beneficial in getting the eggs in the correct shape.
Also, try to maintain a healthy fat intake because it serves as an energy source and aids in the growth of larger and stronger eggs.
Managing Tips: The Do’s & Don’ts (Increase Egg Size)
The things that directly influence egg size are discussed well enough by now. However, the responsibilities aren’t over. Other factors influencing egg size are not directly related to the hen’s physique or diet but can affect very similarly and play important roles in increasing/decreasing egg size.
Management activities such as keeping the poultry environment clean, sticking to proper farm rules, and limiting the house temperature can significantly impact egg size.
Lighting Issues & Temperature Control
The lighting control has an interesting connection here. As we all know, younger hens are more prone to laying small eggs. You can reduce the smaller egg production if you provide them with less than 8 hours of lighting until they reach maturity.
Lighting programs may also fool matured hens into thinking it is time to release eggs, which will benefit better egg production and egg size!
Disease Treatment & Vaccination
Diseases are a curse for the poultry industry. They not only have an impact on egg production, but they also have the possibility of wiping out the entire farm by increasing mortality rates. In this case, the disease is directly related to hygiene, which must be properly maintained through good management.
Providing proper medical care to the chickens, from time to time, vaccination, as well as medical checkups and medications, is essential to prevent diseases as well as keep the chickens healthy and fit, which will ultimately lead to good egg production.
Lastly, don’t forget that your chickens’ mental health is also important to consider. Don’t stress them out. Allow them to roam and socialize freely, provide proper ventilation and lighting, take care of their diet, provide plenty of water, and then simply wait for the eggs to turn into money for you!
So, do we now have a better idea of whether size really does matter? Yes, it does! You can benefit and profit from the poultry business if you pay attention and take the necessary steps to keep egg size and production in check. So think about everything we’ve discussed here and, if necessary, take notes!