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#5653 - 05/15/03 07:57 AM Yolks break easily

I have noticed that simply by opening my eggs and dropping them into the frying pan a lot of the yolks break. Could this be a deficiency of some kind?

They are out to pasture (lots of grass, dandelions, mushrooms,bugs etc.) from noon till bedtime. I feed layer pellets along with wheat, oats, corn mix, and give them scratch at night. They have oyster shell available all the time.

Also, what are the books referring to when they say Mash? as in food...?

#5654 - 05/15/03 12:42 PM Re: Yolks break easily

Don't know about the yolk thing but chicken food comes in 3 different forms..mash, crumbles, and pellets. Just an acutal texture/size difference. Mash is finer (my feed store only makes mash in starter feed), then crumbles are about the size of Grape Nuts cereal, then pellets...I have never bought pellets so I can't give a size estimate but should be bigger than Grape Nuts!

#5655 - 05/15/03 01:20 PM Re: Yolks break easily

Chicken Terms

1.Mash a blend of several feed ingredients, ground to a small size but not to a powder

2.Pellets small kernels of compressed mash, causing birds to eat the whole blend, not pick and choose

3.Crumbles pellets broken up into smaller pieces

4.Starter a blend of feed for chicks and growing birds, usually in the form of mash; approximately the same as "Grower"; can be replaced with "adult" food as soon as chicks go for it, somewhere between 4 and 8 weeks of age

5.Grower approximately the same as "Starter"

6. Layer feed blend for chickens that are laying eggs, having extra calcium and protein added

7.Broiler feed blend for chickens that are growing as fast as possible, in order to be harvested for meat as early as possible

8.Scratch whole grains fed separately to chickens, usually scattered on the ground or litter of the coop; usually a mixture of grains, such as wheat, rye, oats, etc. (corn/maize must be cracked before using as scratch grain)

9.Free range: not controlled by fences, able to get to fresh greens and insects; as commercially used, this term allows fences, with minimum amount of space per bird being set by definition

10.Pastured poultry: hens kept in movable, usually wheeled, pens, moved daily over fresh pasture, creating delicious meat and nutritious eggs

11.Organic: inspected by government agencies, organic food sources must not contain traces of harmful chemicals; the term as currently used does not insure that poultry has been raised in the best possible way, only that it has near zero harmful ingredients

12.Pullets: female chickens in their first year of lay, or prior to their first moult

13.Hens: female chickens in their second year of lay, or after their first moult

14.Straight Run: a random mixture of male and female baby chicks

15.Cockerels: male baby chicks; male young domestic fowl

Grit: angular, hard crushed rock, preferably from granite, used by the chickens in place of "teeth" --- seashells and bone CANNOT substitute for grit; for confinded birds, grit should be offered several times a month at least; it should be of the right size for the age of the birds allowed to free range don't need to be offered grit -- they find their own ideal sizes and types to suit themselves

Corn: American term meaning maize corn, or "corn on the cob" (in England "corn" means what grain means in the US, that is, all food grains)

Grain: American term meaning any small, hard seeds, especially grass-family seeds (called corn in England); provides energy, B vitamins, phosphorus, and the whole grains are a fair source of protein, too

Bran: the outer coating of a kernel of grain; extremely high in silicon, which slows down its decomposing in the soil; cheap by-product of milling, often given away free by large mills

Germ: the embryo plant inside a kernel of grain; very nutritious and high in protein; wheat and rice germ (also called "rice polish") are a saleable by-product of milling

Middlings: an old milling term for the parts of the kernel that are milled off with the germ, and probably contain both the starch and bran (please email me if you have more specific information :-)

Calcium: provided by sea shells, crushed bone, and fresh or dried greens --- amounts need to be measured closely, if not free range; must be provided in higher quantities as soon as chickens begin to lay eggs

Protein: any food high in amino acids, used to build tissues; protein quality is determined by the "completeness" of the amino acid varieties in the food source; all meats, eggs of all kinds, milk, cheese, nuts, seed germs, and soy beans are high protein sources

Amino acid: a molecule that is one building block of protein; there are many different amino acids, most of which can be manufactured in the body; the few that cannot must be supplied by foods, and are called "Essential Amino Acids"; a food that supplies all 8 essential amino acids is called "complete"

Vitamins: an old, general term meaning "life-giving"; a chemical found in nature or made by man to imitate natural ones; new vitamins, and new uses for known vitamins, are always being discovered

Minerals: non-life-created chemicals found in nature; these and vitamins can be added to dietary regimens to improve health; sea water contains all the minerals of the earth, in their natural forms and safe amounts; "trace minerals" are those needed in relatively very tiny amounts, and can be highly toxic if these amounts are exceeded; "macro-minerals" are those needed in large amounts, such as calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium

Kelp: sea-weed, plants that grow in the sea; contains all the minerals of the earth; all kelp is edible, and can easily be dried and fed to chickens by clipping a sheaf of it to something in their area (also, this replaces any need to add salt to their rations)
For more


No Hormone
For some reason, a belief sometimes exists that hormones are added to poultry feed in order to stimulate production. This is false. No hormones have been approved by the government for addition to poultry feeds, and even if they were, they would not be used. The mode of action of such compounds is extremely complex and no benefit of hormone supplementation to feeds has been demonstrated. To the contrary, if rapid growth were possible through the use of hormones the result would probably be disastrous. Just like the teenager who undergoes a sudden "growth spurt," the chicken fed on unnatural growth promoters would experience severe problems with leg joints, and in all likelyhood would suffer a high mortality through syndromes such as ascites or sudden death syndrome (heart attack).
Thus, while a number of unfamiliar terms may appear on feed labels, there is no reason to be concerned about their safety. In fact, stranger sounding words can be found on the side panel of most boxes of breakfast cereal.
Nicholas M. Dale
Extension Poultry Scientist
For the whole article

#5656 - 05/16/03 10:32 PM Re: Yolks break easily

So no one knows anything about yolks that break real easily? They definitely break a lot easier then store bought ones.

#5657 - 05/17/03 10:01 AM Re: Yolks break easily

I don't have a clue. I do not have this occur to any noticeable degree. Sorry! Hope someone can have some input that is helpful.

#5658 - 05/18/03 05:31 AM Re: Yolks break easily
Bruce Smith Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 560
Loc: Michigan
This was a problem I had years ago. My dad, the main egg fryer, never broke eggs when he fried them, but I nearly always did as I was learning. It turned out that I was dropping the eggs too far before they hit the pan. When I was careful to open the egg just above the surface of the pan, they came out fine, but when I raised the egg so it dropped a ways, it broke. If any egg is inclined to do this, I'd think a store-bought egg would. The typical farm egg ought to be stronger, not weaker. There might be one hen that would lay an egg with a weaker yolk membrane, but they shouldn't all be doing it. If there is a general problem with your eggs, then I would look to the feed. Perhaps there is something missing, or perhaps a vital component was 'overcooked' in your feed. This is why I like a mash feed, the finer the better, instead of crumbles. I always suspect that crumbles must have been moistened, formed, then heated to dry, with the heat taking something out of the feed like cooking does to vitamins. Just a suspicion.

#5659 - 05/19/03 02:59 PM Re: Yolks break easily

I have been feeding layer pellets, along with mixed grain (oats, wheat etc.), a little scratch at night and they range half the day. I have a large pasture, lots of green grass, a huge pond and a large wooded area for them. We live in high desert area, which seems to be filled with tons of bugs for them! Most of the people who live around me feed their chickens dry cob (corn, oats, wheat) and scratch and I have considered moving them to that also. We live in the middle of nowhere, so it's hard to get fresh feed. Even pelleted the feed is very powdery, I have to remove about an inch of powder each time I fill the 3 lb feeder. They also get oyster shells for calcium and fresh fruits and/or veggies each day.

As for dropping them too high up, well it doesn't seem to happen when I use store bought eggs and my Mom-In-Law is having the same trouble. I think it is a definciency of some sort but have no idea what it would be.

#5660 - 05/21/03 04:39 AM Re: Yolks break easily

Don't want to be a buzz-kill but I had to put down my entire flock when they came down w/ Mycoplasma this past winter. One of the things I noticed about the sick birds was a decline in the quality of their eggs. Thinner shells,occaisional deformed or rough shells a,thin whites and fragile yolk memebranes that broke easily. Hope your birds don't have a disease.Ted

#5661 - 05/21/03 08:34 AM Re: Yolks break easily

I have a theory as to why my eggs are doing this. Just came up with it...

The membrane that protects the egg from the outside is really thick on all my eggs and I wondered if the little string things that hold the yolk in place are holding on tight too and stretching the yolk till it break where they are attached. I noticed yesterday morning that after I had cracked it into a pan the yolk sorta deflated and there were two distict areas that it started from.

Egg quality, according to my sons 4H book, is good. Nicely defined white, yolk (when it doesn't break) is round and stands up high, definitely not like a store bought egg.

Thanks for your help, I hope they don't have anything wrong with them.

#5662 - 05/23/03 07:39 AM Re: Yolks break easily

Just an update, I think that my hens were to stressed from the high rooster population. Not only are the yolks doing better, but I am recieving more eggs and my hens are a lot calmer. Amazing how that works! :p


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