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What causes soft shell eggs?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

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.

post #2 of 8

Lack of calcium.  Give her a calcium supplement like oyster shells. 

Den
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Den
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post #3 of 8
I agree. It tends to happen a bit more once the hens get older... you can provide oyster shell or you can also crush their egg shell and feed it back to them.
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post #4 of 8

I have heard about feeding them their egg shells, but you have to cook them, or heat them up to a certain degree before you can feed it back to them..is this true?

post #5 of 8
I'm not sure if it's a requirement, but we never have. smile.png Just crushed the shells, usually of eggs that we've cracked and eaten.
"Uns halten nur die Grenzen, die wir uns selbst setzen."
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post #6 of 8

People heat egg shells to kill any germs or bacteria that might be in them.All I can add is be sure to crush them into small enough pieces that there un-recognizable as an Egg to a chicken, you might create a egg eating chicken.Oyster shell is fine too...cva34

post #7 of 8

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

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From now till Sept 1, make any purchase at www.blueroocreations.com  web store, where every artisan is a veteran or spouse of a veteran, and receive a surprise free handmade gift with your order!

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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

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. 

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