Another no shell egg post

wolfpup

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
112
16
83
Once a week I get a no shell egg from one of my three girls. I get two eggs a day from the three of them - regular as clockwork - and one shell-less egg once a week. One egg has an extremely strong shell (brown egg), one egg has quite a thin shell (white-ish egg) - but not as bad as it was.

They have free access to mixed grit (some oyster-shell in it) and oyster-shell - which they don't go for. I regularly give them their own eggshells back and I also use an eggshell improver - they are all ex-batts under 2 years old. They are on layers pellets, with plenty of greens - today it is lettuce and water cress, yesterday it was cabbage and lettuce. I add both eggshell improver and oyster-shell to the layers pellets, as well as one or two ground eggshells, with some chicken spice as well. The oyster-shell is always left.

When I found the shell-less egg today I cooked up some scrambled egg - with three ground up eggshells in, I added a tin of mackerel fillets in tomato sauce (they love it), more eggshell improver and also added a lot of oyster-shell to it.

I have just given them this mixture and watched them devour it - all except for the oyster-shell. All three discarded the oyster-shell, the dish is empty - with an untidy ring of oyster-shell all round the dish. I might as well just throw away the oyster-shell, which I am unhappy about as it was very expensive.

I have no idea which hen is laying these eggs, all three have red 'lobes' by their ears so I also have no idea who lays the brown or white egg. Is there anything else I can be doing to improve the shells please? I have read the other posts and it appears as if I just might have a hen with dodgy insides - but it cannot hurt to ask. I would not consider culling the hen even if I knew which one it was.
 

warmheart

Songster
7 Years
Sep 30, 2012
428
31
118
Norton, MA
We have a similar situation. The "oyster shell" gets rejected because.... it isn't actually oyster shell. We looked at the bag more closely, and it's got oyster shell in it-- but also coral calcium or somesuch. What this means is that the chips are too chunky for the hens to want to eat them.

So, we went to the feed store and looked-- and everything Agway sold as "oyster shell"-- was the same size chunks, and mixed with the calcium stuff. I'm not sure how to find pure "oyster shell" anymore.

I would hold off on the greens, any cooked eggs, any scratch grains-- no treats at all-- for 2 weeks. See if holding off on treats gives your soft-shell-laying hen a chance to make good shells. I'm 110% in favor of natural treats on a regular basis, but in some cases, they can interfere with calcium uptake, when a hen already has calcium uptake issues. Some fabulous, healthy greens are high in calcium, but also contain nutrients which can block absorption. Gaaah!
he.gif
And bread, for another example, has enough salt that for some hens, it can create soft-shelled eggs if given too often... and only the hen's body can tell us what's too often.

What we do:

1.Everything you are doing with the crushed eggshells. We toast 'em, and crunch them up fine, and add them to the layer pellets.

2. Buy some Calci-Boost powder, and add it to the water. This REALLY helps! You do need to only give it for 4 - 5 days out of the week, and give them a break with just pure water for the other days. I think I bought it here, maybe:

http://www.allbirdproducts.com/newproductpages/calciboost-powder.html

3. Give whatever greens you like, but in a smaller amount, and less often. Again, natural treats are fantastic for them-- but with a soft shell layer, scale back on treats some.

Best of luck!
thumbsup.gif
 

Habibs Hens

Cream Legbar Keeper
7 Years
Mar 31, 2012
3,084
127
213
London, UK
My Coop
My Coop
shell less eggs is a sign of Newcastle Disease

if not calcium issue

in eary stages

get some Virkon S and give the whole area and coop a good wash

another sign of ND is twisted Neck so get this cleared up before that happens as then they wont survive


ND happens with Free Range a lot its main contributor is Stagnant POOP drained bodies of water that gets drunk by the chicken
 

hollys chooks

Chirping
7 Years
Aug 7, 2012
162
9
71
Adelaide, South Australia
I have a dodgey chook who lays eggs without a shell. She started doing this after her first year of laying and did so for about six months. She has stopped laying altogether for the past 6 months which I'm quite happy about as it means no gooey mess in the nest box. I assume it is a hormonal thing as her comb and wattles decreased in size by about half when she stopped laying. As my other three chooks lay just fine (and one of them is her sister) their diet must be adequate. I guess she just doesn't work properly.
 

wolfpup

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
112
16
83
Thank you for the answers so far - I will certainly look out for the calci-boost powder - but am in the UK so it really isn't feasible to purchase from this site.

Silverfox - the hens are ex-bats, I got them about 4/5 weeks ago, previously they were in a sanctuary whilst their feathers regrew and regained their strength. The coop was brand new. They are not free range - they have a run - my two dogs would kill them if they could get at them. Also their water is hung about 8 inches off the ground - high enough so any scratchings do not go into the water. Their feeders are also hung off the ground. Their base layer is hardwood woodchip - which is hosed down on a regular basis, with no puddles anywhere near them even in the heaviest rain. I contacted the sanctuary and asked them if any hens there are showing signs of ND and the answer is no. The sanctuary takes any sick hens back and nurses them back to health for the new owners without charge - so it is unlikely to be ND - but thank you for your advice.
 

wolfpup

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
112
16
83
Warmheart - I just double checked their oyster grit - and it is pure oyster-shell. It states "Oyster-shell grit is soluble grit. Chickens need soluble grit to product harder and more attractive shells. Oyster-shell grit gives hens all the calcium they need"

As this is soluble (as I've just found out) I have now put some in the bottom of their water - and will keep adding it to their water. Its far better than chucking it away!

This site is the manufacturer/supplier of the grit http://www.agrivite.com/page/chicken-lickin-oystershell-grit
 

Habibs Hens

Cream Legbar Keeper
7 Years
Mar 31, 2012
3,084
127
213
London, UK
My Coop
My Coop
Warmheart - I just double checked their oyster grit - and it is pure oyster-shell. It states "Oyster-shell grit is soluble grit. Chickens need soluble grit to product harder and more attractive shells. Oyster-shell grit gives hens all the calcium they need"

As this is soluble (as I've just found out) I have now put some in the bottom of their water - and will keep adding it to their water. Its far better than chucking it away!

This site is the manufacturer/supplier of the grit http://www.agrivite.com/page/chicken-lickin-oystershell-grit


I se your in UK by the sounds of it

chicken liken is not the best but then oyster shell Is oyster shell

I think its nothing to worry about but rather the hens just getting accustomed to their new home

give its a month or so and see

my ex bats didn't restart laying until the new season this year and I got them in November last

now I get 1 hen 1 egg per day
 

wolfpup

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
112
16
83
HI silverfox

Can you recommend a better supplier than chicken likin? I am new to the hen keeping game but want the absolute best for my girls
 

Habibs Hens

Cream Legbar Keeper
7 Years
Mar 31, 2012
3,084
127
213
London, UK
My Coop
My Coop
HI silverfox

Can you recommend a better supplier than chicken likin? I am new to the hen keeping game but want the absolute best for my girls


I have tried a few different ones and depending on your location ther are a few great mills

one is Masons in Lancashire

another is Humphries in Newbury

the Grit that I have found to be good is

the only products that I like are

Dodson & Horrel

but then Allen & Page small holder range is good too

both veg society approved a D&H is appointed by her Majesty and supplies them

I tried Marriage and didn't like it and also BOCM farmgate and didn't like it much either

currently im trying out Jondo Grit




Fancy Feeds is a farce it no different

and don't bother with organic as it won't make a difference when you feed the hens grass and veg that is not organic also its becomes pointless

I have never tried nutipeck but I heard its the same as chicken licken


The Best food I have found is Humphries but unless you can find a supplier its 3 tonne minimum order from the mill

because of that I use Masons Feeds

I hope this helps and I will let you have a search about for best prices unless you want a few link to the prices I have found which are pretty good as im a cheapskate also and look for the cheapest supplier


oh and one more thing don't buy from PETS at HOME they where on panorama for cruelty and I wont support them
 
Last edited:

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom