8 Reasons Why Your Chicken Has Blood On Its Egg Shells

Every chicken owner with laying hens is likely to come across egg abnormalities.

It is common to find eggs with unusual colors, odd textures, or even different sizes.

Finding eggs with blood on the shells is not as common, although it does not necessarily indicate anything serious is wrong with the hen.

It is normal for about one in every 3-4 dozen eggs to have blood on the shell.

However, if your hen consistently lays eggs with bloody shells, this indicates a more serious issue.

If you have multiple laying hens, it is crucial to monitor them to determine which one is laying eggs with blood on them.

Knowing which hen is laying bloody eggs will also allow you to determine if it is a regular occurrence.

Blood spots on eggshells are different than blood on the inside of the egg, and there are a variety of reasons for them to occur.

Keep reading for our list of 8 reasons you might find blood on your hen’s eggshells and what, if anything, you need to do about it.

blood on egg shell

The Hen Is Young and Has Recently Started Laying Eggs

The most common reason hens lay eggs with blood on the shells is because they have just begun the egg-laying process.

The hen may burst a blood vessel as she lays her eggs because her reproductive tract is not yet used to the process.

Blood streaks may appear in the young hen’s first few eggs, or she may produce blood on the shells in subsequent clutches.

Larger eggs will also cause the young hen to bleed more easily.

Eventually, the hen’s vent will become more elastic and stretch to accommodate the eggs and prevent bleeding.

Monitor the hen’s first clutches of eggs to ensure the bleeding has stopped happening.

Once her body is used to egg-laying, the hen will be less likely to break a blood vessel and not keep bleeding.

If the young hen continues to lay eggs with blood streaks on the shells, seek veterinary care to rule out any other underlying causes.

To help ease the discomfort of the hen and encourage her to continue laying her eggs, you may apply petroleum jelly to the area to make the process much easier for her.

Warming the hen’s vent area will make her skin more elastic and make egg-laying more comfortable.

The Eggs Are Irregular

Hens may initially produce small eggs, with larger eggs in subsequent clutches.

If the eggs are larger than normal, there may be blood spots.

It is also possible for the eggshells to have a rough texture if the hen has excess calcium in her diet, so it is important to find the proper balance of nutrients for your flock.

Examine any eggs with blood spots on them, and if they also have a rough texture, you need to increase the calcium in your hen’s diet.

Likewise, a lack of calcium may also cause your hen’s eggs to have fragile shells.

These thin shells will sometimes break inside the chicken and cause cuts in the reproductive tract.

Eggs breaking inside of a hen are not common, but it is still something you need to be aware of since it may cause other health issues.

The best solution is to supply your whole flock with an adequate source of dietary calcium.

Calcium supplementation for the entire flock ensures your laying hens have steady access to the calcium their body needs to produce and lay healthy eggs.

Supplementing the flock’s diet with oyster shells is a great way to ensure they receive enough calcium.

Take care not to give your chickens excess calcium, as this may cause other issues such as kidney damage.

Excess calcium also interferes with a chicken’s ability to use phosphorus, and the bird may suffer from rickets.

For the hen to properly absorb any excess calcium in her body, she needs an adequate amount of vitamin D3.

Sunlight is a great natural source of D3, but it may also be supplied through a dietary supplement.

Vitamin D is also important for eggshell formation.

Chickens rely on their liver to convert vitamin D into a usable form, and you may need to add a vitamin supplement to your flock’s diet to ensure the laying hens receive adequate nutrition.

Check out our detailed list of egg abnormalities in chickens if you suspect this is culprit to learn more.

The Hen Is Older

what causes blood on egg shells chicken

In addition to inexperienced hens laying bloody eggs, it also happens to older laying hens.

As a laying hen ages, it is normal for her egg production to decrease.

Since she is not laying eggs frequently, her vent may lose some elasticity.

Passing a large egg through her reproductive tract may cause the older hen’s vent to stretch or a blood vessel to break, leaving blood streaks on the eggshells.

As long as the bloody eggs are an occasional occurrence and there are not a lot of blood spots on the eggshell, there is usually nothing to worry about.

A large amount of blood covering the egg indicates a more severe health issue, and the hen needs to see a veterinarian to find the cause.

If you have determined the blood spots on the eggs are not caused by anything serious, there are a few things to do to make the hen more comfortable.

Keep the hen’s vent clean by gently washing the area with warm water.

You may also apply an anti-inflammatory cream to the vent area to help ease the hen’s discomfort.

It is also essential to monitor your hen to ensure the other chickens are not pecking at her vent and causing the area to bleed.

The Hen Has Mites

Mites are tiny external parasites, and they will bite your chickens and cause them to be itchy and uncomfortable.

The mites will also burrow underneath a chicken’s skin and feathers.

The most common area for mites to bite a hen is her rear end.

Mites will occasionally become squished when a hen lays an egg, causing blood spots to appear on the shell.

You will need to examine your hen’s rear, legs, and feathers for any signs of a mite infestation, such as bald spots, scabs, and dirty feathers.

Your hen will also exhibit behaviors such as frequent preening or pulling out her feathers if she has mites.

Hanging a white sheet in the chicken coop will let you know if the enclosure is infested with the tiny parasites.

If you discover mites on your chickens or inside the coop, you will have to take steps to get rid of them.

Diatomaceous earth is an all-natural way to eliminate mites on your chickens and in the coop.

Provide your flock with an area for a dust bath, which allows the birds to clean themselves and keep mites away.

There are also coop sprays with natural ingredients to eliminate mites and keep them from reinfesting the enclosure.

Make your spray by mixing: 

  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon of mild dishwashing liquid

Spray the coop walls once or twice per week to get rid of the mites.

A garlic juice spray is another effective method to kill mites on your chickens, and it works in 24-48 hours.

To prevent mites, keep the chicken coop as clean as possible.

You may also choose to add a garlic supplement to your chicken’s feed to keep mites from wanting to bite your birds.

Related: Will bleach kill chicken mites?

The Hen Is Suffering from a Cloacal Prolapse

Cloacal prolapse in hens is a very serious condition, and it occurs when a hen strains too much when laying her eggs or becomes egg-bound.

Older laying hens are also susceptible to a cloacal prolapse due to an aging reproductive tract.

Prolapse is the term for what happens when a hen’s internal organs, usually the oviduct or egg-laying tube, come out of the cloaca when laying eggs.

Cloacal prolapse is usually fatal for a hen because other chickens in the flock may start pecking at the prolapse.

When the other chickens keep pecking at the prolapse, the hen could bleed to death or contract a severe infection.

Cloacal prolapse is also a sign that the hen may be suffering from internal stress caused by an ongoing health issue.

If you notice extremely bloody eggs in the nesting box, it is good to examine the hens’ bums for signs of a cloacal prolapse.

You will have to separate the affected hen from the rest of the flock until you are able to treat the prolapse.

Washing the hen’s vent with a solution of warm water and an added antiseptic will keep the prolapse from becoming infected until it is placed back into the bird’s body.

An anti-inflammatory cream will reduce swelling and help the prolapse shrink.

Quarantining the hen will prevent the other chickens from attacking her prolapsed organs.

The isolation will also ensure the hen’s prolapse heals properly and lowers the risk of infection.

Modern hen breeds are more prone to suffering from cloacal prolapse because they are bred to lay many eggs at an early age.

While a heritage breed may only lay 2-4 eggs per week for several years, modern chicken breeds have a shorter lifespan and lay most of their eggs between 6 months and two years old.

The increased egg production causes physical stress to the reproductive tract and increases the risk of cloacal prolapse.

The Hen Is Being Bullied

why is there blood on chicken egg shells

Every chicken flock has a pecking order, even if no roosters are present.

Hens generally coexist peacefully, but occasionally there will be a more aggressive hen who bullies the smaller or weaker hens.

The vent is a common area for bully chickens to peck because there are fewer feathers and more skin is exposed.

When the vent is being bullied, the area will be red and sore, and it may bleed when the hen lays her eggs.

Regularly check your hens for any sign of being bullied and separate any affected hens from the rest of the flock.

First, you will need to clean and treat the injured area and use a styptic powder to stop the bleeding.

Then, you will have to take measures to deter the bullying, such as using a first aid spray to turn the wounded area purple.

Chickens are very attracted to the color red, so masking the redness of the wounded area makes it less noticeable to the others in the flock.

Keep the wounded hen away from the rest of the flock for a few days to allow the wound to heal properly and prevent it from becoming infected.

Regularly spray the injured area with an antimicrobial spray to prevent infection and promote healing.

Bullying also occurs in crowded conditions or when the chickens become bored.

Provide your flock with plenty of space to live and explore to be less tempted to bully each other.

Being bullied causes a chicken to suffer from stress, which will lower its immune system, so it is important to mitigate the situation as quickly as possible.

The Hen Is Overweight

Overweight hens are more likely to lay eggs with blood spots on the shells for several reasons.

Obese hens lay fewer eggs, leading to the vent losing some of its elasticity.

The eggs the hen does lay tend to be very large, which causes the vent to stretch more and possibly cause bleeding.

Being overweight also increases the risk of the hen developing fatty liver hemorrhagic syndrome, more commonly known as FLHS.

FLHS occurs when excess fat accumulates in the liver and causes the organ to hemorrhage, which leads to internal bleeding.

As the internal bleeding worsens, blood spots may be present on the hen’s eggs.

Blood clots may form in the abdomen, and the liver will lose its ability to convert vitamin D to its active form.

When a hen does not receive enough vitamin D, eggshell quality is reduced, and the shell may have some irregularities.

Vitamin D is a key component in eggshell formation, so it is important to add a vitamin supplement to a laying hen’s diet to ensure she gets the proper amount of nutrients.

A hen suffering from FLHS is also at a higher risk for suffering from a heat stroke or having her liver rupture.

Related: Can a chicken have a stroke?

Daylight Hours Have Increased

Egg production in hens will decrease in the days leading into the winter season.

Hens must get an adequate amount of sunlight to stimulate egg production.

As the daylight hours decrease, so do the number of eggs a hen lays.

A hen may even go for the entire winter without laying eggs if she is not exposed to some form of an artificial light source to simulate sunlight.

When the daylight hours increase as spring draws near, the hen will also resume egg production.

If the hen has not laid eggs for an extended period, her vent will lose some of its elasticity.

The hen’s first few eggs in the spring may have blood spots on them as the vent stretches and becomes more elastic again.

The reason for the blood is very similar to when the hen first begins the egg-laying process, and it is only temporary.

As the spring season progresses, the hen’s body will acclimate to the egg-laying process again, and she will no longer bleed.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?



Growing up amidst the sprawling farms of the South, Wesley developed a profound connection with farm animals from a young age. His childhood experiences instilled in him a deep respect for sustainable and humane farming practices. Today, through Farmpertise.com, Wesley shares his rich knowledge, aiming to inspire and educate others about the joys and intricacies of rural life.

Advertiser Disclosure

We are reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. To be 100% clear, you should assume that we will earn a commission on any product you purchase after clicking on links or images on this website.

Our affiliate partners include but are not limited to Amazon.com.

In addition, we generate revenue through advertisements within the body of the articles you read on our site.

Although we only recommend products that we feel are of the best quality (which we may or may not have personal experience with) and represent value for money, you should be aware that our opinions can differ.

A product we like and recommend may not be suitable for your unique goals. So always be sure to do your due diligence on any product before you purchase it.