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#9692 - 11/22/07 11:11 PM Bloodspots
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
I know I've brought this up before: the dreaded blood spot. I've read here that they occur in only a small percentage of eggs. I just don't believe it! It is safe to say that they occur in 80% or more of my eggs! It is making me crazy! I hate them! They give me the willies. I am ashamed to sell these freaky eggs to anyone. I warn people about the UFOs (unidentified floating objects) that they are likely to encounter in my eggs. Tonight while making dinner I cracked three into a bowl, and every single one had a glitch in it!

Enough already! These birds live in heated comfort. Get a balanced lay pellet, scratch, plus vegetable scraps and get let out to roam when the hawks are away. They are powdered for beasties and treated for worms once in a while. The hen house is decorated tastefully with locally produced plywood and sided in only the best cedar board and batten. Attractive art hangs on the walls. I shovel up the poo when it gets stinky and sprinkle stuff to absorb stink and moisture. I even dust the place with a duster when I clean, no cobwebs in my henhouse. You'd think they'd find it in their hearts to lay eggs that don't have boogers in them.

Does anyone have the inside track on the cause and cure of rampant blood spots? I set 13 eggs in the incubator and only 2 have made it to the halfway point. I am willing to bet that it is blood spot related. If anyone knows anything, I'm all ears. (eyes?) smile

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#9693 - 11/23/07 02:36 AM Re: Bloodspots
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
Uno, I don't profess to know the cause of bloodspots, I just know I don't get them in my eggs, so by a process of elimination, you may arrive at or near a possible cause.
1. Do you always breed your own replacements?
Yes, may mean it's genetic. No, environmental.
Things you could try. 1. Isolate the hens which don't produce bloodspots and try breeding replacements from them only. At least then you could over time produce hens less likely to leave these spots in the eggs. Use an unrelated rooster over the new line. 2. Buy your replacements as eggs from a reputable breeder and introduce a new line, then eliminate the old line.

Things environmental may be less easy to identify, let alone resolve. Although I doubt it is in any way related to the rooster, you could try stopping him mating with your hens over a few months and see if there is a difference.

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#9694 - 11/23/07 05:21 AM Re: Bloodspots
Joachim Dippold Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1823
Loc: Austria
Hello Uno,

yes, I remember;-) While reading all the stuff on the recent feed/salt-threads I think I have by accident read something about blood spots, too. I think itīs related with a lack of something, but canīt remember more since it doesnīt bother me, sorry.

Also I agree with Foehn and think itīs genetic to some point. Just an idea: do you remember when you FIRST got blood spots in your eggs? I mean, they werenīt there from your first hen, were they? So maybe you "introduced" them with a new breeder bird some years ago?

Just for the records: yes, we also have blood spots sometimes, say 2 or 3 per year. But since they are SO seldom I didnīt track the eggs.

As for your set eggs: Iīm sure you know this link already, but maybe reading it again lights a bulb? Hope this fits:

Quote:
Sign: Dead embryos; 7 to 17 days of incubation; each embryo has egg tooth, toenails, feather follicles (8 days), feathers (11 days). Causes:

Improper incubator temperature, humidity, turning, ventilation. Low humidity increases abnormalities of aortic arches (13 days).

Contamination.

Nutritional deficiencies -- riboflavin, vitamin B12, biotin, niacin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, boron, or linoleic acid.

Lethal genes (>30 have been described).
source: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/BODY_AA204

Oh, another thing, you say:

Quote:
These birds live in heated comfort
Have you tried cooping them unheated and see if thereīs a difference? Just an idea...

Good Luck and best greetings,

Joachim

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#9695 - 11/23/07 01:42 PM Re: Bloodspots
Wyattdogster Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 09/22/05
Posts: 493
Loc: Virginia
Uno, have you tried hanging lace curtains on the coop windows?? laugh You are so funny....I love your posts!

I checked the Chicken Health Handbook and it only gave two mentions of blood spots...could be due to a Vitamin A deficiency or cholera.

Hmmmmm, pureed carrots on the menu?

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#9696 - 11/23/07 04:25 PM Re: Bloodspots
Jocelyn Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 1467
Loc: Canada
A couple things come to mind, and you may have to guess or try them all. Stale feed, either because the feedmill has a slow turnover or because you feed it out slow. If it's stale, the vitamin A and K will have broken down. Lack of those can make blood spots. Mouldy feed...toxins from moulds, or even eating too much alfalfa or sweetclover, toxins from plants can do this. So, clean out any mouldy corners, make sure they can't get too much alfalfa or sweetclover on pasture, make sure the feed doesn't have a lot of alfalfa pellets in it....and ask the feedmill how often they do a grist. ( make a batch of feed)

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#9697 - 11/23/07 07:13 PM Re: Bloodspots
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Let's see, the feed is not around long enough to get moldy. Yes, I do breed my own replacements, a while back I was going to invent the SuperChicken ha ha ha. Perhaps it's time to out with the old and in with the new, but you get attached, you know how it is. If I were to turn off the heat I would have frozen eggs. Not good.

The only thing I have not tried is lace curtains, since I prefer a heavier drapery fabric myself. But it's a thought smile

Out of curiosity...I did not mean to use a cuss word in my topic line, I was quoting Shakespeare, if Shakespeare were a chicken guy. No slander intended. frown

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#9698 - 11/25/07 06:00 AM Re: Bloodspots
Hen Sense Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 03/09/07
Posts: 208
Loc: Ohio
Yes, uno, I was picturing you as Chicken-Lady Macbeth wink

I'm thinking it's genetic. Just out of curiosity, what breed do you raise? You may have mentioned earlier, but I can't recall.

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#9699 - 11/26/07 02:20 PM Re: Bloodspots
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I was thinking the same thing about it being genetic...then again, they may be telling you to serve oats instead of pellets! smile Or maybe they have a hankering for Watermelon!

Then again...do you leave the eggs out on the counter for a few days before popping them in the fridge? If so, and a rooster is doing his job, then could it be the beginning of an embryo? If you don't leave them out...disregard this part and only pay attention to the Watermelon!

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#9700 - 11/29/07 09:12 PM Re: Bloodspots
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Hello Hensense:

What kind of chickens do I raise? I think they're....mutts. Mostly AUstralorp with a bit of Brahma thrown in here and there. And a diverse few others not significant enough to mention. I get pretty poor egg production as they seem to molt every 11 days. I could go back to the production layers.

But at the risk of starting a broohaha I think those production layers are insane! I never had such violent feather picking as when I had those Isa Browns. I had to get rid of every single one and since then not a feather has been picked. I think the Brahma gene has created a very docile, laid back bird. Laid back, but not great lay...and yes I can say that on a poultry website and not be naughty eek

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#9701 - 11/30/07 12:31 AM Re: Bloodspots
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
I wonder if those Isa Browns you had, had an insatiable appetite for protein because they layed so well? Might have been the reason for feather picking. My experience with production birds is they tend to exhaust themselves in a few years and will simply drop dead, for no apparent reason. I don't like them for this reason. Much rather have a steady layer that will miss a day here and there but keep going for 8 or more years. You can't have a "relationship" with a bird that will snuff it when least expected.

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#9702 - 11/30/07 11:41 AM Re: Bloodspots
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Foehn:

Are you telling me you've had 8 year old chickens laying eggs? Inconceivable!

In fact, when I got my layers and meatbirds together as day olds and put them in the same pen, once they got bigger, those layers ate holes in the meatbirds. I have never seen anything as driven to rip and tear as those Isa Browns. And they were NOT short of protein as they were NOT yet even close to laying eggs. The RIRs never did that. Nor the Red Rocks. But the Isas...yikes! I admit it, I am not a fan of anything with even a whiff of Leghorn. They are superb layers, but have personality challenges. In my humble Uno opinion.

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#9703 - 11/30/07 11:25 PM Re: Bloodspots
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
Uno, yes. In particular a RIR we called Greensleeves, layed well into her teens. Not every day of course. Production dropped off as she aged, but we still got eggs from her every few days and the white leghorns also, though not as good as the RIR. Boiled an egg from a SLW this morning for brekky. It looked a normal egg, normal size, but it split when cooking which I usually don't get because shells are strong. I opened it carefully and was surprised to see it was a double yolker. It had an extra little pocket of air in between the two yolks and this must have caused it to split. I was able to examine it carefully before I devoured it with my toast. I love eating double yolkers. Appeals to my Scottish ancestry. laugh

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#9704 - 12/01/07 06:19 AM Re: Bloodspots
Hen Sense Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 03/09/07
Posts: 208
Loc: Ohio
Hmm, Uno, you'd think that with genetic diversity like that in your flock, the problem wouldn't be genetic, and yet that seems to be the case (?) The only blood spot producer in my flock is a Marans pullet (it's very easy to tell her eggs from the others). I've not gotten a blood spot yet from my Delawares or RIRs, not one. But I assume that if I bred that Marans pullet and reared several chicks from her, I could be risking having that trait in my flock permanently. She's a really good layer, but she'll remain the single specimen of the breed in my flock.

The RIRs, in my semi-humble hensense opinion wink are the best for backyard egg production. The ones I have are so sweet and laid-back you can pretty much pick them up without a fuss whenever you like; they are great pets, and they lay every day (I only have year-olds in this breed). However, I will say this, my Delawares are a very close second in both respects.

That's pretty cool about Greensleeves, Foehn. I hope my RIRs have some of that longevity.

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#9705 - 12/01/07 06:34 AM Re: Bloodspots
Urban Agrarian Offline
Feather

Registered: 11/28/07
Posts: 30
Loc: Massachusetts
For what's it's worth. I have a small flock so I know who lays what egg. My Welsummer is the only one who had blood spots in her eggs. None of the others (Easter Egger, Black Star, Wyandotte, Barred Rock) do.

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#9706 - 12/01/07 12:34 PM Re: Bloodspots
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Well....guess I don't have much genetic diversity since all my hens, while having different moms, have the same father, my Australorp rooster (no longer with us, may he crow in peace) frown

Teen daughter said in digust yesterday, "good grief mom, everyone of these eggs (for scrambled eggs) had a bloodspot in it, maybe you ought to go to the store and buy some REAL eggs! " WHat a cheeky brat!

Time to clean house and start over....which I am reluctant to do. They all have names....

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#9707 - 12/27/07 08:48 PM Re: Bloodspots
Flyman39 Offline
New Egg

Registered: 12/27/07
Posts: 6
Loc: West Virginia
I am new here. I just joined the Forum. I had the same problem as you and some vitamin A & K cleared it up. I hope this helps.

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#9708 - 12/28/07 04:55 PM Re: Bloodspots
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
I know I should know the answer to this...where do you buy chicken specific vitamins? I feed layer ration which I have assumed is complete. How does one bump up the vitamin A and K? How long did it take before you noticed the spots disappearing?

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#9709 - 12/29/07 04:59 PM Re: Bloodspots
Flyman39 Offline
New Egg

Registered: 12/27/07
Posts: 6
Loc: West Virginia
Cutler Supply Co. or Jeffers supply co. offers them.I ordered off of the internet.Go to the websites and click on medicines/Vitamins link. Vitamin A&K Supplement. It only took about a week and they were gone. I also changed brands of feed after I used up what I had left and didn't have any more problems. With that many bloody eggs from so many different hens I would almost promise you that you have a feed/Vitamin deficiency problem. I may be wrong. I Hope this helps. Good luck.

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#9710 - 12/29/07 06:02 PM Re: Bloodspots
Flyman39 Offline
New Egg

Registered: 12/27/07
Posts: 6
Loc: West Virginia
I just checked online for you. Jeffers no longer shows them on the website but you can get them from Cutler supply co. It is the Vitamin A & K supplement. 1 pkg costs 2.25 and is enough for 128 gals. of water.

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#9711 - 12/30/07 12:28 PM Re: Bloodspots
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Thanks. I have resisted trying vitamins believing that the layer ration they get should be complete. BUT...at this point I am desperate. Next trip to the feed store I will have a look around and see what they've got. Thanks. Will be interesting to see what happens.

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#9712 - 01/08/08 07:43 PM Re: Bloodspots
Flyman39 Offline
New Egg

Registered: 12/27/07
Posts: 6
Loc: West Virginia
Just wondering if your eggs are any better. I hope so.

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#9713 - 01/08/08 10:46 PM Re: Bloodspots
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
:rolleyes:

I am ashamed, I haven't got to it yet. I keep hoping they will just smarten up on their own. Plus my head is like a sieve and I always think as I'm driving home from town, gee, there's something I forgot. Age related, I'm sure. But chicken vitamins are definitely on my TO DO list. Thanks for asking.

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#9714 - 03/10/08 03:08 PM Re: Bloodspots
Flyman39 Offline
New Egg

Registered: 12/27/07
Posts: 6
Loc: West Virginia
Haven't been here in a while. I was hoping and wondering if your eggs had cleared up from the bloodspots?

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#9715 - 03/10/08 05:53 PM Re: Bloodspots
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Hi Flyman:

Still serving no vitamins, but the blood spots seem to have eased up a little since they've gotten out a handful of times and found odd bits of stuff on the ground to eat. Which tells me they ARE lacking something in their diet. With heavy snow cover and no foraging the blood spots seem much worse in the winter. Thanks for asking.

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#9716 - 03/10/08 07:36 PM Re: Bloodspots
Anonymous
Unregistered


I don't know if you have Tractor Supply Company near you. If you do, TSC carries a package of vitamins. I believe it only costs $2-4 but it treats 155 gallons of water. It is a multi-vitamin powder plus electrolytes, you can use it on a variety of animals as well. It is not chicken-specific, chickens are on the list of species it's designed for, but not exclusively chicken vitamins.

-Kim

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#9717 - 03/11/08 04:05 AM Re: Bloodspots
Upback Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 06/04/07
Posts: 457
Loc: Maine
I'm curious how this will all turn out. Uno, have you given any more thought to "refreshing" your flock in case it's genetic?

Like most people stated, bloodspots are the very rare occurance for us. I just found one in a duck egg the other day, but it was the first I've seen in about a year. It wouldn't bother me so much for personal use, but I wouldn't want to sell bloody eggs either.

If it is vitamin related, I would imagine that even though the layer ration is not moldy or stale beyond belief, that pellets are stale by nature after all that processing. I read at some point that the processing done by some companies does destroy the vitamins previously added. When I read this, the person had chicks dying and had them looked at by whoever does that sort of thing. It was a vitamin deficiency. The person changed brands of pellets, after inquiring about processing techniques, and the problem went away. How about experimenting with different brands of layer rations?

If it is a problem more in the winter months like you mentioned, do you feed hay or alfalfa during that time? We soak alfalfa cubes until soft in a little tub of water and the birds devour it. They also get a lot of hay at this time. Strictly winter treats.

Or maybe the feng shui in the coop is all bunged up and all you need to do is move one picture to another wall, hang a red ribbon over the door, and switch to lace curtains! Or maybe the hens have been nipping on the C.R. in the peroxide bottle and water it down so you won't notice. Are their eyes blood-shot as well as the eggs? : )

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#9718 - 03/12/08 01:56 AM Re: Bloodspots
Foehn Offline
Administrator
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1968
Loc: New Zealand
UNO I know you began this post with a quote from Shakespeare, so perhaps this one by Brutus from the Serpents egg would be more appropriate.
Brutus:
And since the quarrel
Will bear no color for the thing he is,
Fashion it thus: that what he is, augmented,
Would run to these and these extremities;
And therefore think him as a serpent's egg,
Which, hatch'd, would as his kind grow mischievous,
And kill him in the shell.

You could quote this to your chooks while standing in your lace curtained coop, battle axe in hand, sipping on what's left of that " bottle". The hens will barely raise a hiccup from their drunken stupor! laugh

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#9719 - 03/13/08 10:51 PM Re: Bloodspots
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
OH COME ON!!!

You guys pay WAY too much attention to the craziness I post! laugh

I found some poultry vitamins that I give them as chicks and decided to try that. But it does not list vitamin K. (I didn't know there was a vitamin K.)However it is too soon to tell. While it is no doubt vitamin related, I also believe it is heavily genetic. I have way too many blood spots for it NOT to be genetic. I do need to renew the flock.

And no doubt the feng shui is off balance, bad chi and all that. Perhaps I have to have hubby position the roost in a more auspicious location. But I do not believe any of this is realted to that wee bit o' Crown Royal I have stashed for poultry related homeopathic emergencies. You never know when you'll be powdering bums for crawling beasties when you'll need a small draught to give you vigour.

And here's to you Foehn;

Hello fair hen, what would thou lay,
within thine plywood box of hay?
An orb of brown to basket fill?
And yet you set there, blinking still.
Thank you ma'am, sweet mannered hen
I leave you now, but come again
And thanks to you upon this day
I feed my kin a fine souffle. :p

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