Anyone tried vet treatment for brittle egg shells?


11 Years
Apr 11, 2008
We have a flock of 4 suburban hens, and one of our 2 barred Plymouth Rocks has been laying soft-shelled eggs for quite a while now. Chicory is 2 years old; she laid lovely eggs at first, and then during her first laying summer we noticed (what we assume to be) calcium deposits on the shells, then some months later the shells became more and more brittle, frequently breaking, and were sometimes dropped in the yard or from the roost at night. After coming back to laying this spring after winter, her eggs looked good for a week or two, but now it's back to brittle, broken eggs. All the birds have access to oyster shell and are free range, so they get plenty of sunshine, and she's the only one with this problem.
Chicory's a pet, so after trying different home remedies I'd read about (Avia Care, extra calcium via yogurt or cottage cheese, ) last fall I took her to my local avian vet, who suspected she had an infection. She then went on Baytril for bumblefoot, which didn't help the eggshell problem. The vet then suggested putting her under, taking a culture, and flushing out her reproductive system with antibiotics. He said not treating it wouldn't affect her health unless she had a bad egg accident, and that it wasn't contagious. She has a nice red comb and looks and acts really healthy. I didn't really want to put her through all that stress at the vet, but lately I've noticed a few incidents where she really seems uncomfortable, and then lays a broken egg (I watched her lay a broken one in the grass), so I'm worried this may affect her health. At other times lately she sits in the nest box and nothing happens, but she comes out feeling perky.

Has anyone tried (successfuly or not) this type of treatment recommended by my vet?
Thanks for any help,

Chicken Chaperone

10 Years
Dec 18, 2009
Ellis County (NE) Texas
You might want to use the 'search' here to look up 'brittle shells' I imagine there will be some
good info for you there. I wish I had some more practical advice for you but maybe someone
will chime in with something. In the meantime, do try the search you can find a wealth of experience and
knowledge there.
Good luck!


Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
16 Years
Jan 25, 2007
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Do you give them free choice oyster shell? That's all I do to get hard shells. That and other then free range and scraps tossed out, they don't get too much extra treats. Try and keep them on the formulated diet 24/7 for a few weeks and see if it re balances. Otherwise, could be genetic, in which there is nothing you can do.


10 Years
Aug 10, 2009
Lancaster County, PA
Oyster shell is the only thing I've ever tried, and as long as I keep it out the girls have strong shells. If I get lazy and don't refill the dish, I shortly get thin shelled eggs.

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