A couple of newbie egg questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by flyin-lowe, Apr 10, 2016.

  1. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Of my nine hens I am getting 5 eggs a day now. They have are around 24 weeks or so. I bought them a month ago. Today I let them out to free range for an hour or so while I was out working in the yard. I saw one in the weeds acting funny so I went over and sure enough she laid an egg. I waited about 5 minutes and went to pick it up and it was pretty soft. Not like jello but definitely not as hard as normal. I am assuming a "normal" egg is pretty hard after it has been laid? I went ahead and pitched that one over the fence and when I turned around there was another very soft egg in the yard 10 feet from where the first one. I didn't see who laid that one but a couple of the other hens came over and started pecking at that one. They were eating it before I could pick it up. I went a picked up the shell from that one and it was like rubber and fell apart. I know when pullets first start laying their eggs are not always perfect. I have not had one single soft egg (that I have seen evidence of) in the coop. I guess it is possible if this has been going on they are eating it before I found them??? I have been planning to build a feeder for them to keep oyster shells in but have not gotten around to it. I have been putting a couple of handfuls of oyster shells in the coop on the feeder that I have grit in every few days or so as needed. I know typically you don't get two normal eggs in a day but the odds of two different birds laying to very soft eggs a few feet from each other at the same time seem pretty slim also. Not sure what to make of it. Both eggs appeared to have a normal yolk inside and were normal size just very soft.

    Short of some type of video system is there anything I should look for as far as evidence that one or more of them is laying soft eggs which are then being eaten?
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    With new layers, I wouldn't be concerned about soft eggs. Even if a few of the girls are laying them. It can take a bit for them to work out the kinks in the eggs production department. Them eating them isn't a super huge deal either. I'd have just let them have them and moved on with my day. If it persists, it may be cause for concern.
     
  3. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. I new that egg eating could turn into a bad habit. I just didn't know if it was one of those things that once they got their first taste I would start having problems or if it is not likely to be an issue at this stage in the game.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    New layers and softshells are pretty normal for the first month or so.

    Eating a soft shell or broken egg is fair game, IMO, and will not necessarily lead to egg eating.
    A softshell egg is often laid outside the nest,
    I think it 'feels' different and can take them by surprise or kind of freak them out,
    have seen some strange behavior prior to finding softies.
     
  5. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since they are not developing a hard shell is it possible for them to lay more then one soft shelled egg in a day? (I know anything is possible). I was just wandering the likely hood of 2 different hens laying soft eggs 10 feet from each other a couple minutes before dark? Or is it almost guaranteed that it was another hen?
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yes, I've had new layers drop more than one egg in a day...sometimes right away, sometimes the 2nd comes later in the day.
    Sometimes one is soft and one is shelled, sometimes both were soft.
    It's really hard to know if those 2 softies came from the same bird or 2 different birds, unless you are there watching all the time.
     
  7. Ardj

    Ardj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you give them calcium - oyster shell ? That is a must for a hard nice shell.
     
  8. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes Ive been giving them oyster shells as they will take it. I have a normal gravity feeder with grit in it. Every couple days I dump a handful of oyster shells in there.
     
  9. Ardj

    Ardj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep the oyster shell in a separate container at all time in the coop. They will eat it when they need too. Mine are eating it every day. And a good layer feed.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    What kind of feed are you providing?

    Agrees^^^
     

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