2 eggs a day, one in morning normal, night one soft

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pasesak, May 19, 2010.

  1. pasesak

    pasesak New Egg

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    May 19, 2010
    Aloha from Hawaii,
    I have four 5 1/2 month old Rhode Island Red hens who started laying eggs 3 weeks ago. They lay very nice large eggs, but I think the one that is lowest on the pecking order (her name is Penny) has been doing something rather extraordinary. The first eggs she laid were all soft shell; her comb hadn't fully developed and she had fowl pox. But now, she lays normal eggs in the mornings, but last night I went to check up on the roosters and hens in the coop since one of the hens had a broken wing (Diane Keaton) and I noticed that Penny had laid a soft shell egg in her sleep! She laid 2 eggs in one day, one normal and one soft. I thought this was a fluke, but I was doing my weekly pen cleaning and I noticed in their bedding that were were at least 6 other soft shell eggs that had broken and soaked into the shavings, which is why I didn't notice them sooner. Is this an indicator that something is wrong with Penny? Will laying 2 eggs every day kill her? And why does she lay the soft ones in her sleep? I am truly astonished! I am new to having chickens so every day seems like some new lesson or surprise.
     
  2. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    It's normal for new layers to have strange eggs before they get it straightened out. I've also had one of my hens lay 2 eggs in a day: 1 hard shell in the a.m. and 1 soft shell at night.

    The egg spends approx. 20+ hours in the shell gland, getting it's liquid calcium carbonate layers applied and hardened. That's 20 hours out of 26 hours or so that it takes to produce an egg...meaning, the bulk of time is spent in the shell gland. If the shell gland needs a maintenance break - or there's another egg ahead and ready to make it's way to the shell gland -- I'm just guessing here, but it seems to me the current shell process gets aborted, and the hen will lay a soft shell egg. That means it's just a membrane that covers the insides -- the way the egg looked when it arrived at the shell gland to receive it's hard shell.

    Just be sure to have a good source of extra calcium available. Usually that means offering crushed and well-flaked oyster shell (you can get it at your feedstores), in a dish free-choice style, always available to your hens so they can take what they need, when they need it.
     

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