an egg without a shell?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChickieKeeta, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. ChickieKeeta

    ChickieKeeta C'mon C'mere Fluffa Feathers

    387
    2
    146
    Feb 16, 2009
    Cumberland County NJ
    Several times recently I have collected eggs that have yolk that has dried onto them. This morning the eggs were coated with both wet egg white & some yolk. What is going on?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,282
    3,587
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Have your hens been laying for a while. Sometimes hens that are just starting to lay will lay eggs without a shell, just the interior membrane, or a weak shell and the egg could easily break. They usually straighten out real quick. If it lasts more than 2 weeks, something is not right. Usually lasts just a day or two.

    You might have an egg eating chicken.

    Are you offering them oyster shell or another supplement. The eggshells may be weak and easily broken. A hen starved for calcium would them eat eggs or at least a broken egg shell.

    Do you have an intruder eating eggs? I'm thinking rats, skunks, or possum. I'd think they would usually leave an egg shell behind, but maybe the hens are eating the egg shell.

    If you are not providing oyster shell, do so. I also suggest a live trap baited with an egg, or my preference, peanut butter. They already know where to get the eggs but the peanut butter smell should attract them. You can probably get a live trap from a feedstore. Get the raccoon size. Put the trap where the chickens cannot get to it. I prefer a live trap as I have caught squirrel, possum, rats, and doves and I could release the doves unharmed. By law, I was not allowed to kill the squirrels or possum, so I released them at lease 7 miles from my house so they could not find their way home.
     
  3. ChickieKeeta

    ChickieKeeta C'mon C'mere Fluffa Feathers

    387
    2
    146
    Feb 16, 2009
    Cumberland County NJ
    The hens began to lay in Oct '08. I do put oyster shell by their scratch grains. I feed Dumar layer pellets. I also put grit near the scratch grains.

    There are plenty of predators around here. I never thought of them eating eggs. I thought they wanted the feed. There are tunnels under my chicken shed.

    I have hav-a-hart traps. I used them for cats & squirrels.

    Thank you so much for all this info! I have a few good ideas now of what to do.
     
  4. BawkinOnTheBench

    BawkinOnTheBench Chillin' With My Peeps

    257
    3
    131
    Jun 13, 2008
    UT
    And if you get many eggs that are soft or shell-less, I would highly recommend a vitamin supplement. I had that experience with several of these soft and shell-less eggs, even though I was feeding good quality layer pellets and oyster shell. Lacing the food with oyster shell and giving Avia Charge 2000 supplement in the water fixed it for me within a few weeks.
     
  5. sandypaws

    sandypaws Chillin' With My Peeps

    843
    5
    141
    Nov 12, 2008
    desert of calif
    at my place.. if yolk is dryed to the outside of another egg in the nesting box, means ive got a hen EATING EGGS!!!!!
     
  6. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    25,565
    70
    421
    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    When you say you have oyster shell placed "near your scratch grains" that makes me think you have free-choice scratch out for them, too? If so, you need to eliminate this asap. They should only get very small amounts of scratch as a treat only. It's not that nutritious to chickens. They MAY not be getting everything they need to make eggs with good, hard shells if you are allowing free choice scratch to them. Just a thought!
     
  7. sandypaws

    sandypaws Chillin' With My Peeps

    843
    5
    141
    Nov 12, 2008
    desert of calif
    i have always offered scratch to my chickens as "free choice". (usually tossed all over the yard so they have to LOOK for it)... along with layer crumble and oyster shell and all of the fridge leftovers..
    .. and in 30something years ive only had ONE egg with a soft shell and it was this year!!!!

    i think if you are finding this day after day.. to me it sounds like you have somebody eating the eggs..
    good luck
     
  8. ChickieKeeta

    ChickieKeeta C'mon C'mere Fluffa Feathers

    387
    2
    146
    Feb 16, 2009
    Cumberland County NJ
    Thank you for all of the informative replies. I converted a 8 foot by 12 1/2 foot shed to a hen house. There was an aquarium on a stand in the shed that I did not remove. A RIR claimed the aquarium for her roosting spot. I started putting hay in it to make clean up of chicken poop in it easier. Soon it was her nesting box.
    Now all of the hens want this "nesting box." There are sometimes 2 or 3 in it at the same time. I now use shredded wood chips.

    I think it would be a good idea to remove the fish tank and replace it with nesting boxes that are all alike. I am using plastic cat carriers for nesting boxes.They used to use them & now they all want the fish tank.

    They don't get scratch grains all of the time. Maybe once a week.
    Now I will make the oyster shell available at all times. I will also try the vitamin supplement.

    I used to allow them to free range. I have a neighbor complain they sometimes go in her yard & poop. This neighbor has an old obsolete woodstove that spews smoke constantly. I spoke to her about it. Then it was OK for the chicks to go in her yard. She said she was only kidding. However I have kept them penned. I did let them out a few times when the smoke was gagging me.

    I recently spoke to her a couple times about the smoke. This smoke is toxic & causes lung disease. It can cause heart attack in persons with heart disease. I asked her to stop using the woodstove. She refused & asked why I am "hurting her." She has another form of heating.

    I can't open a window, play outside with the dog, tend to the chickens, clean the yard, rake leaves, mow the lawn without breathing thick acrid smoke. In short I can't live my life. She burns 24/7 8 months of the year.

    Low cloud cover the other night. Smoke held at ground level. I have a bad cold & no voice. I asked her to put out the fire. She told me to go inside & make sure my windows are closed. How neighborly.

    I will be building a chicken tractor.
     
  9. debakadeb

    debakadeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    566
    0
    149
    Apr 8, 2008
    SW Indiana
    I have the same problem part of the time (broken eggs in the nesting box). My chicks only want to use ONE nesting box. All three boxes are the same size.

    I may also try the vitimins. What I discovered was that the chickens would eat the eggs if they cracked. Otherwise, the leave them alone. They like to kick most of the straw out of the box and then the eggs hits...and cracks (that's my theory). Most of the time, my egg shells are hard. I'm not quite sure why they are not from time to time but I do know that it happens.

    I've also thought two of my birds lay jumbo sized eggs. The shell of these eggs are different than the others and tend to not be as hard. It may be that because the egg is so huge these chicks need the extra nutrients.
     
  10. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    25,565
    70
    421
    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    Kittygirl, sorry about your smoking neighbor! Gosh, I think I'd look into local ordinances if I were you. If it's really that bad, I would think other folks would be complaining as well. Another suggestion - maybe you can find out the brand of her wood burner, contact the manufacturer, and see if they make some sort of smoke arresting device for it? Then, you could give your neighbor the information. Just a suggestion.

    Sounds like you have things well in hand with your girls now. Hope things are going better w/eggs!

    Debakadeb - I've had the same issue occasionally, and I thought the same thing as you mentioned. When one lays an egg, then another gets in, they turn around and scratch and turn and scratch while getting ready to lay, and I've actually seen and HEARD an egg crack that they push to the side and it hits the wall. I have been considering lining the walls of my nest boxes with indoor/outdoor carpet; just stapling it lightly on, so it wouldn't be too hard to remove every few months to clean them thoroughly. This way, when/if they kick an egg to the side and it hits, it wouldn't be as likely to break. Maybe that would work?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by