5 squatting chickens, 2 soft eggs, 1 egg layer and a partridge not in our pear tree...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MyFrancesca, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. MyFrancesca

    MyFrancesca Out Of The Brooder

    79
    0
    41
    Oct 11, 2012
    Akron, Ohio
    So 7/24 my son and his friend found an egg in the coop. Wahoo! First eggs. Then after searching the yard, they found a soft, pong-size egg in the garden. That evening my husband found another soft pong-size egg in a different area of the yard. The ladies had started squatting about 1-2 weeks prior. We have 3 sex links, 1 ameracauna and 1 australorp. All but the australorp were squatting. About every other day I find a perfect, hard shell brown egg in the coop. I do not know who is laying them (I work 8-5 Mon-Fri). Then 2 days ago I went out to feed them scraps and saw them tearing apart another soft pong-size egg. Obviously we weren't going to eat them but someone just laid it right there in the walkway. My ladies free range. They're about 5.5 months old now.
    I was thinking the soft egg was sort of the first egg for each of the hens and then we would see an increase of the hard shelled ones. Maybe I am wrong? Since one is laying hard shelled eggs, is it possible someone else is laying soft shell even though they all eat the same food? Are these soft eggs the first eggs chickens lay before laying? Why am I not getting more eggs from more ladies?
    I'm going to scour the yard tonight and see if they've been hiding them.
     
  2. chickensnewtome

    chickensnewtome Chillin' With My Peeps

    862
    158
    166
    Jun 19, 2013
    Little town in Arkansas
    Hens tend to lay soft or deformed eggs at first. Do you have any shell down for them to eat? They could be lacking in calcium and that is why they were eating their egg. You could provide egg shells for them to munch to.
     
  3. MyFrancesca

    MyFrancesca Out Of The Brooder

    79
    0
    41
    Oct 11, 2012
    Akron, Ohio
    I do give them the shells from our eggs. 3 of them are interested in eating them, 2 are not. But then Iput the remaining shells in our compost, which they have access to and I believe they usually pick through on occasion.
    I switched their food this week from Purina Layer Crumble to Dumor Layer Pellet. They do not seem interested in the Dumor so far but aren't acting like they're hungry so I assume they're eating it. With the crumble, they would mow through it very quickly. These pellets are going much slower.
    So it's possible 3 of them have laid soft eggs as their first eggs. We found a PERFECT egg last night BUT it had weird coloring. Like it was brown but there was a circle on it that was darker brown and it had a very soft layer of bumps of whitish deposits over it.
     
  4. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    4,766
    576
    281
    Aug 29, 2012
    Australia
    Are you crushing the egg shells so unrecognizable? I'd be a little worried there was a connection between you feeding egg shells and them eating the soft egg. Last thing you want to do is accidentally teach them to eat their eggs if you kwim? Could be why you you aren't getting as many eggs as you expected too?
     
  5. MyFrancesca

    MyFrancesca Out Of The Brooder

    79
    0
    41
    Oct 11, 2012
    Akron, Ohio
    We've been feeding egg shells for awhile...at least 2 months. They never seemed interested until recently, around the time they started squatting. But no, I don't crush them...I will for now on. I really hope they're not eating the eggs! Every time the austrolorp sees an egg in my hand she will start trying to peck it. But she does this with anything and everything i have in my hand because I give them so many snacks. She is the one I saw tearing apart the soft egg. I haven't found any shells around the yard yet.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by