I have 4 RI Reds, 2 that were born in spring 2015, 2 from spring 2014. I was given them by a friend in late October 2015 and they all seemed to be laying at that time.
The two older girls quit pretty quickly, followed by 1 younger hen. The other laid all winter! In the last 2 weeks, the 2nd younger hen has started laying again. Also, one of the older hens has recently started up again too, after a break essentially from November-Feb.
Today I caught the older hen 'in the act' and know that my thin shelled eggs are from her. Over the last 2 weeks, every few days I have gotten a very thin egg. At first, they were so thin that the whole egg was jelly and had to be discarded. The past few days, the eggs from her have been very thin and pale, but they are sturdy enough to be kept.
They are all on a high protein layer diet (nutrena naturewise). I have free choice oyster shells available at all times, although they admittedly eat them very little or not at all. The other two hens lay very strong eggs. Everyone is happy and healthy. The two older hens completed a molt through Nov-December and now have nice beautiful feathers.
I am new to chickens-- is this just because she is older? Is she 'getting going' for the season and more prone to lay thin shelled eggs due to her age? Is there a way I can encourage her to eat the oyster shells or add calcium in other ways?
Thanks for the help!