Another 19-week old starts laying: but problem???


12 Years
Jul 22, 2008
South Central MA
One of my NHRs began laying yesterday, to my utter amazement as she is only 19 weeks.

But here's the problem--or is it a problem?

1. She layed at 3:30 in pm--right before my eyes, I should add! (Unfortunately, she laid it outside and on the ground.) I thought chickens laid in the am. But maybe since this is her first. She was in the next box, however, in the am, but left nothing of course.

2. As she laid, I saw an amount of what seemed like albumen-like fluid also come out with the egg.?? Egg is very soft-shelled--almost like the shell is made of plastic shower curtain material. The softness of the shell I attribute to the fact that, since I didn't anticipate even ONE, never mind TWO, to start laying about 3 weeks early, I didn't get them on Oyster shell or layer feed. My feed brand states switching to layer feed at 20 weeks of age!! From what has happened, I should have started them at 18 weeks.
SO, do you have any thoughts about this thin shell and the albumen-like excretion?

(In the light of these unusual events, all seven of my birds (5 RIR, 2 NHR) are now on layer feed and have calcium chips free choice...)

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated, friends

Hangin Wit My Peeps
11 Years
Apr 20, 2008
Birnamwood, Wisconsin
The only thing I can tell you is that hens will lay at all different times of the day. My welsummer lays one day in the am and the next in the pm and than skips a day. I find that if she lays after 3:30pm there will be no egg the next day for us.


Loves naked pets
11 Years
Aug 17, 2008
Expect a few days/weeks of weird eggs, tiny eggs, crazy shaped eggs, funny places eggs are laid etc. & don't be worried-it's all normal. After their grace period, things will settle down & they will lay nicely.


~Crazy Egg Lady~
11 Years
Jul 11, 2008
Both are totally normal, I would put them all on layer pellets now !!! Not gonna hurt to do it a few weeks early than what the bag tells you !!!!


11 Years
May 14, 2008
NE Wisconsin
My hens have been laying for about 3 weeks now. I've been lucky, all the eggs have had nice strong shells, even before I gave them oyster shell.

Anyway, they all lay at different times. I have 3 or 4 hens that lay around 10 in the morning. Then a few more lay in the early afternoon, and I have a few more that lay around 4 o'clock.

Mine also lay wherever they feel like it. It's always interesting to play "let's find the eggs hidden behind the waterer and the nest boxes," but I'm hoping they'll stop doing that eventually.


13 Years
Apr 7, 2008
Northern Wisconsin
I read on other sites that chickens produce an egg every 27 hours or so . . . and though I only have 2 hens (out of 8) laying so far, it seems to bear out. If I get an egg at 8:00 a.m. from a hen one day, I find one around 10 or 11 the next day. If their egg is due late in the day, they lay it the next morning. Once more hens start laying, I'm sure I'll lose track of their schedules, but so far, it's right on target.


Intentional Solitude
Premium Feather Member
15 Years
Feb 3, 2007
Blue Ridge Mtns. of North Georgia
Go ahead and put her and her age group on layer; wont hurt a thing. And weird eggs are just her processing plant gearing up and working out the kinks.
I've on occasion gotten an egg after 6 p.m. They lay any hour of the day.


Hilltop Farm
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
My Coop
My Coop
Not to worry. In the beginning they may lay soft shells, but as long as they are getting a calcium supplement such as crushed oyster shells etc. they should harden. They can lay any time of the day. It takes approximately 25-27 hrs between eggs and sometimes they will take a day off and no egg. I have RIR's the first to start was 17 weeks and the last to lay was at 27 weeks from the same hatch. I started my girls on layer when I got my first egg.


Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
May 14, 2008
North Phoenix
My Coop
My Coop
We got a couple of those weird soft shelled eggs... and none of mine laid until after 20 weeks, but now they are all getting bigger and the shells are all hard and beautiful.

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