BO has thin shell issues over the last week...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jeffross1968, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Our Buff Orp has been laying since last July. We have always fed starter/grower, because we have a mixed age flock, but we provide crushed oyster shell free choice. They also free range close to 12 hours per day. About 1.5 weeks ago, I found egg yolk in the laying box. Then nothing for a few days, and now almost every day for the last week, I'm finding very thin shelled eggs, sometimes broken, in the laying box.

    Today, I waited for her to lay and as soon as she did, I chased her off the nest so it wouldn't be broken to inspect it. It's very thin shelled. I merely had to tap it with my fingernail for it to crack.

    She did go through a minor molt, and we have a newish rooster who has been mating the hens pretty hard the last month. The only other change has been a different brand of oyster shell. The OS that we used to get was in small bags, and white. This time, about 3 weeks ago, I purchased a larger bag at the local co-op and this stuff is a dark grey...all the other 13 currently laying hens have perfect shells. The problem hen has been laying normally, 5 or 6 times per week and looks otherwise healthy.

    So...I'd like to hear what kinds of things could be causing this, keeping in mind she's laying at a normal rate.
     
  2. CSWolffe

    CSWolffe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City
    I had a similar problem with my SL Wyandotte. She stopped laying for about two weeks while she molted, and as she started laying again the problems started. I found a white egg below her one morning(looked like it slipped out before pigment could be applied), found a shell-less egg there another day, found another shell-less egg in the nest box after she left it, found a small, thin shelled egg in the nest box after she left it, and finally I found a small, deformed egg(thin, knobby shell only partway around an open on one side).
    I researched and researched, hoping to find some cause. Could have been lack of calcium, infectious bronchitis, genetic abnormalities, or stress.
    This morning she laid a slightly smallish, but perfectly formed egg. I am hoping this entire episode was nothing more than her system starting up again after her molt.
     
  3. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Well hopefully the same thing will happen here. I'm going to keep my eye on her. I sprinkled some of the oyster shell directly into their food this morning to see if that might help. I can't imagine she's just not eating it all of a sudden though...
     
  4. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Unfortunately this is still happening. She took a day off on Monday, laid yesterday morning like clockwork, but it was thin shelled and had been crushed, likely by her own body weight. I almost wish there was another symptom I could point to, but it has us quite concerned...
     
  5. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SE Pa.
    She may not like the new oyster shell. Try feeding some egg shells to her. Or she may be having a problem processing the calcium. In that case giving her some vitamins may help.
     
  6. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    She laid one without a shell today. Hoping the shell isn't inside her. I'll try the egg shell, and maybe switching back to the other oyster shell.
     
  7. grandmachicken

    grandmachicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 15, 2008
    Williamson, GA
    I have a BO who has been doing the same thing for the last month or so. Feed is unchanged, no other hens with the same problem. I do have a new dog who has not yet learned that chickens are not play toys :( and I have lost a few. Maybe it's the stress? Good to know she is not the only one having trouble. But I hope it goes away soon! I hate finding egg yolk in the nest!
     
  8. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Well, I switched back to the white oyster shell, and today fed her and the rest of the flock a whole bunch of egg shell mixed into some oatmeal. So...we'll see if things turn around for her.
     
  9. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Well, it's been a good 3 plus weeks and she's still laying thin shells. I've switched back to the old brand of oyster shell, we've fed her lots of egg shells, and she is showing zero other signs of anything wrong.

    Really desperate to find some answers...
     
  10. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Calcium absorption may be the problem. Vitamin boost and or changing her ph level may help.
     

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