I have a 1 year old New Hampshire Red hen that has started to lay soft shell eggs. They used to be a nice deep brown color, now they are a creamy color and feel like sandpaper. Sometimes when I go to the coop her eggs are already busted and the shell is like paper.
What causes soft shell eggs?
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Some hens do not process their calcium well, no matter how much they get. A lack of vitamin D could be the culprit. A complete vitamin supplement may help her process the calcium she does get.
I've been there with a hen who ate at the calcium hopper regularly and her eggs were always fragile, starting from the time she was about two years old so I can only surmise that she does not process her calcium properly.
Also, summertime and hot weather with their high need for water can cause egg issues, as well as the molt. She isn't in her big molt at a year old, of course, but if it's really hot where you are, that also can contribute to brittle shells in certain hens.
Edited by speckledhen - 5/11/12 at 5:55am
Thanks for the replys. I've placed a seperate feeder in the run with oyster shell in it. I have given them crushed up egg shells before (uncooked) and they've eaten them. I sometimes scramble the eggs and/or boil them and give to them. They enjoy them till the last speck is pecked off the ground.