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Two Shell-less Eggs From Same Hen in Under 24 hours

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I found a shell-less egg right under a hen this morning. She was still up on her roost, but when I opened the coop at 6:00 am, another hen was eagerly munching on the egg which was sitting on the floor of the coop. I brought it inside, washed it off, did a bit of research and discovered it was a shell-less egg. OK, no big deal...

 

Well, just a bit ago I went out to close up the coop and that same hen wasn't in the coop roosting with the others. She was, instead, under the  coop. (There is an area under the coop where they can go to get out of the sun / rain.) So I picked her up and put her up on one of the two roosting bars in the coop. I went back about 15 minutes later to make sure she hadn't been pecked off the bar only to discover a second shell-less egg under her (again, being eaten. - the second one in about 16 hours.)

 

The first one, this morning was very smooth, while the one this evening felt more like fine grit sandpaper. 

 

Some background:

 

I have four hens: two IBs, one BSL and one golden laced Ameraucana. The IBs are a little over a year old, but I'm not sure about the other two. We have "borrowed" them from some good friends of ours for the summer so we can enjoy learning all about chicken-keeping. This particular IB also spent last summer with us... Her vent area was moist and a little goopy with poop. 

 

A day or two ago, my daughter left green foam insulation in the coop, which was eaten by the chickens. Well, not so much eaten as snacked on.

 

They do have some crawly parasites in the vent area. I have the powder to treat them and it'll happen tomorrow after work or on Saturday morning...

 

We are in northern Michigan and it's been cold here - last night was one of the first nights that it hasn't dipped below freezing. They are in an unheated, though insulated coop, lit inside with 16 hours of light. (16 hours because that's what they were getting at our friend's place.) They are in a 5.5 X 5.5 coop within a 10 X 10 run. The coop is up on legs so the chickens can get under it.

 

I'm feeding layer pellets with oyster shell mixed in. And they have had an uninterrupted supply of feed and water. 

 

Should I add more oyster shell?

 

Could it just be the stress of moving? (When they came to live with us last year, we got the hens on June 17th but didn't get any eggs until the end of August.)

 

Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. Thank you. I'm still new at this and want to do it right!

post #2 of 3

You may want to offer her oyster shell free choice.

It's possible that it could be stress from the move. If that is the case then offering some vitamins in the water for a few days won't hurt.

Sometimes it is a process of trying different things, shell quality problems can be caused by many different things from calcium/nutrition, parasites to illness.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/common-egg-quality-problems

http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/1/egg-quality-handbook/

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thank you. I put out oyster shell this morning. I also spread crushed up egg shells around their run. I'll watch and see... 

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