2 Broken Eggs with only 1 Hen in Coop - Bad or Normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SesameSt.Chicks, May 22, 2018.

  1. SesameSt.Chicks

    SesameSt.Chicks Songster

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    Hi!
    I'm petsitting for a friend of mine who has a chicken. I've pet sat for this chicken several times before. :) This is the first time - from petsitting, or my own chickens (when I had some) - I've seen eggs in the laying-pan be broken. I looked in the forums, and I saw that this is pretty normal.

    However, a couple issues have still raised concerns for me.

    I check her box every day, but the first time I found a broken egg, another egg had been laid - unbroken. I figured they hit each other, and broke. Or as the forums mentioned, she stepped on it. This was the first one:
    DSC05038.JPG

    The next egg was whole, but had a couple reddish bumps on it, causing me to think all may not be perfect:

    DSC05105.JPG

    Also, the owner tends to be bothered by things on her eggs more than I was. She asks me to wash every egg I gather (I know that's not advised!) and it looks like she may have tried to remove these dots on previous eggs?

    DSC05106.JPG

    Finally, today she laid another broken egg, and it was broken on just one side. A bit like a puncture. Something seems off about this to me, so I wanted to bring it up to the wise group of people here! :)

    DSC05093.JPG

    Close up of the break:
    DSC05097.JPG

    I'm not sure what breed Marilyn is, but this is her (sorry it's a little blurry): DSC05040.JPG

    Her laying box has pine shavings with a sprinkle of insecticide (like the kind you can sprinkle on a dog that has fleas). The insecticide is new since I watched her last.

    Also new since the last time is she's recently been being given mealworms (about 1/2 a cup a day), and bird seed (it looks like it's a mix of black sunflower, peanuts and some other things).

    The final change is she's been able to go in the yard with the dogs, where she has access to lots of grass, mulch, and the flowers and stuff on the perimeter. I don't think any of the yard time might be a problem, but I wasn't sure about the birdseed and mealworms (since I have no personal experience with those).
    Other than that she has the usual fare of chicken pellets, water, and oyster shell, and a few vegetable/fruit scraps. :)

    Hopefully this is no cause for concern, but in case this was indicative of her getting too much of a nutrient or something like that and I could help it by changing how much I gave her of something, then I'd love to be able to help that way!

    Thank you so much for reading and any advice you have!! :)
     
  2. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    Not sure if she's pecking at the eggs and breaking them, which that last one could be? Or if the shells are just thin or brittle. Did you check the shells on those to see if that was the case?

    The brown bumps on the eggs aren't an issue if you/your friend want to eat them. I would actually recommend against your friend sanding off those bumps as that could be doing more harm than good, by damaging the shell and potentially letting bacteria in.
     
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  3. redranger209

    redranger209 Crowing

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    The hen is a black sex link. They’re prone to laying issues. The bumps are just extra pigment and calcium. She may be an egg eater. Tell your friend to lay off the treats and give her layer feed.
     
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  4. featherhead007

    featherhead007 Crowing

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    Only one hen? poor lonely, bored, possibly depressed girl!:hit
     
  5. redranger209

    redranger209 Crowing

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    Whoops, didn’t read it all the way. Just lay off the treats.
     
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  6. SesameSt.Chicks

    SesameSt.Chicks Songster

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    Thanks! I just tried cracking one of the eggs I gathered, and it did seem a little brittle. She's already getting oyster shell for calcium, but I'll do as redranger209 recommended and try reducing her treats.

    I'll see if I can talk to my friend about not taking off the bumps. :thumbsup I thought that might let bacteria in, so thanks for confirming that! :)
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
  7. SesameSt.Chicks

    SesameSt.Chicks Songster

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    Thanks for the info! I didn't know that about her breed. Both the mealworm and the birdseed are issues or just one of them?
     
  8. SesameSt.Chicks

    SesameSt.Chicks Songster

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    I know, and my friend has tried to not have only one chicken for that reason. Until recently, she's had other chickens, but they passed, and so now it's just Marilyn, again. My friend might be looking to get more - like she did last time Marilyn was alone -, I'm not sure. But, until then, at least she gets daily visits from us, and seems to enjoy hanging with the dogs, actually. :) No replacement for company of your own kind, I know, but...
     
  9. featherhead007

    featherhead007 Crowing

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    I'm yelling at the top of my lungs, GET MORE CHICKENS!:barnie:he
     
  10. redranger209

    redranger209 Crowing

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    Both.
     
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