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Q: Why are the whites of my chickens' eggs watery?

A:

Usually the whites of very fresh eggs such as you may gather from your own flock will be very thick in comparison to what you may be used to seeing at the grocery store! However, watery whites can be caused by a number of things. Eggs that are old will have watery whites (this is usually why grocery store eggs are so thin and tasteless). High ammonia levels in the coop can cause watery whites, too, as can high temperatures. These are other reasons factory farmed eggs are usually not very good: the conditions chickens experience in places like that are just not conducive to quality eggs. However, in the summer, your chickens' may have watery whites even though they are not kept in those sorts of terrible conditions. For instance, the older a hen is, the more watery her white will be. If you have an older hen, really, the watery white could very well be a badge of honor! If she has access to pasture, the yolks of her eggs will still be that beautiful deep golden, and they will still taste delicious despite being a bit thinner.

There are also some illnesses that cause watery whites like egg drop syndrome and infectious bronchitis. If you suspect your birds are ill, you should get them checked out by a licensed vet. As we have explained, however, there are plenty of reasons you may have seen a watery white, unrelated to illness.



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