Why are my egg shells so thick? When you break them you always have to pick little pieces out of the bowl. I feed them layer pellets and throw in a cup of scratch daily. They have grit all the time.
Thick egg shells
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
Part of it may be that the eggs are so fresh, the egg inside has not lost any significant moisture so the membrane has not pulled away from the shell. I think that is why fresh eggs are so hard to peel when boiled.
I don't know where you are in Tennessee, but some of that state is limestone country, like the part I grew up in. If your chickens have access to outside, they are probably picking up the limestone to use as grit and getting a lot of calcium from that. They also get calcium from the layer pellets. Thick shells just mean they are getting enough calcium and they have the genetics to process it.
My black orpingtons lay a really thick shelled egg, while the others are more normal "thick". So.. I think part of it can be genetic.
However, I have never put out Oyster shell (until recently) and didn't feed a layer feed and STILL got hard eggs from everyone.
I have decided to attribute it to my hard well water which has a high calcium content.
I found a method on a previous thread that has worked great for me. I wish I could remember who to credit for it.
1. Bring water to a boil.
2. Add your eggs (even fresh ones.)
3. Boil eggs for 14 minutes.
4. Place boiled eggs in sink or bowl filled with ice and water--Spoon them out, don't pour them in hot water and all.
5. Peel you easy peel eggs.