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hens laying watery eggs

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I have two hens, a Black Australorp and a Rhode Island Red, who are just over 2 years old and who have been laying very watery eggs for the past few months.  They lay pretty regularly and the exterior of the eggs appear normal, although just this past week the Australorp's eggs have had slight wrinkles or ridges; she's also lost some feathers on her underside.  There was a period last year where her belly was bare for months until we treated with DE.  Again I've treated the hens and coop with DE in case of mites.  As for the Rhode Island Red, she is a rescue hen who just joined the flock four or five months ago; before she arrived, we had no watery egg problems.  Her eggs are jumbo sized with shells a bit on the thin side.  I don't believe her eggs were watery initially, but that this change occurred within a few months of her being here.  I've changed their feed in case of nutritional deficiencies.  There are no outward indications they have infectious bronchitis (no sneezing, coughing, etc.)  My third hen, also a Rhode Island Red, continues to lay firm, well-shaped eggs as usual.  Can anyone recommend a course of action to correct this problem?  Or is it possible that this is due to their age?  It seems strangely coincidental that two hens of different breeds should suddenly start laying watery eggs, and I fear it's more likely that they do have some sort of infection they've passed on to one another.  Thanks for any help.

post #2 of 21

I would have to say they need more calcium.

Have you tried giving them some oyster shells.


Edited by reesepoultry - 7/4/10 at 1:25pm
post #3 of 21

I have a GC Maran that always has laid watery eggs with a meat spot.... and she has always laid JUMBO size.

I'm just going to have to sell her.

When scrambling they are OK, but I hate them boiled.

Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

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Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

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post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Michelle.  I do leave oyster shell out for them and sometimes add their own ground-up eggshells back into their feed (currently In Seasons Farm 16% layer).  Is there another source of calcium you'd recommend?  I forgot to add that they free-roam my yard and garden for several hours a day.

post #5 of 21

The egg wrinkling is probably normal, as the hen ages you may get some odd eggs. Mine are two and sometimes I notice some dents or a little something. If it has been hot, then they may be drinking more water and that could possible be why it is more watery or just because they are getting older. If you did have mites, that could have stressed them out too and maybe caused it hmm


Edited by Tiramisu - 7/4/10 at 1:35pm

Flock of about 20 mixed hens. 3 Lavender Orpington roosters, Bantam Sicilian Buttercups and Iowa Blues.

 

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Flock of about 20 mixed hens. 3 Lavender Orpington roosters, Bantam Sicilian Buttercups and Iowa Blues.

 

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post #6 of 21

If you let them free range. I would think they should be able to find most of the things they need.  I give mine vitamins once a week. Usually when mine have soft shells I give them more oyster shells in there feed. I never give it in a seperate dish I mix it right in there feed. I also mix wild bird seed in my feed. This seems to work great for me.  I rarely get those soft eggs now. I also make sure to grass mine since they have depleted there grass source in there pens.  Hope this helps and you can figure out what the problem is.

Maybe someone else on here has a better answer for you.

Michelle

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

I guess I'll have to rehome my watery egg layers too, sooner rather than later.  I wasn't sure how I'd manage this unless I could be certain this wasn't due to an infection of some kind.  (I hate to think of the two heading to a stewpot.)  So it's reassuring to learn that your bird, Mahonri, has given you watery eggs from the beginning and that it might just be a trait of an individual bird (or an individual bird's aging).  Thanks for sharing your experience!

post #8 of 21

Maybe worms, Have you wormed them lately.  I don't think age 2 would make them have watery eggs. I have hens that are 3 and I don't get watery eggs.

post #9 of 21

Your birds could also have this infection: I believe this is what you thought they had:

Infectious bronchitis

Infectious bronchitis is a highly contagious respiratory disease. The disease is caused bya virus which is moderately resistant, but can be destroyed by many common disinfectants.

Infectious bronchitis occurs only in chickens (Infectious bronchitis is different from Quailbronchitis which affects Bobwhite Quail). All ages of chickens are susceptible to infectiousbronchitis. In laying hens it is characterized by respiratory signs (gasping, sneezing, coughing)and a marked decrease in egg production. Egg quality is also adversely affected. Low eggquality and shell irregularities (soft-shelled or mis-shapened) may persist long after an outbreak.Chickens that have had infectious bronchitis, especially during the first week of life, maynever be good layers.

There is no effective treatment for infectious bronchitis, although broad spectrum antibioticsfor 3 to 5 days may aid in controlling secondary bacterial infections. Vaccines can be usedfor prevention, but they are only effective if they contain the right serotypes of virus fora given area. Infectious bronchitis vaccine is often combined with Newcastle vaccine in thesame vial.

post #10 of 21

Infectious bronchitis Symptoms-  coughing, sneezing, and rales - egg production drops markedly (by as much as 50%). - soft-shelled or misshapen eggs - watery egg white - poor pigmentation of brown-shelled eggs

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