Broken Egg Daily

lucilles1

In the Brooder
Feb 23, 2021
4
18
21
Wiltshire, UK
Morning all,

Really in need of some advice...... we have 5 Marans all around 8 months of age and going through their first moult. Over the past 6 weeks we have had a slow increase of eggs from one initially per day, through to now 5 daily like clockwork. The third chicken that started laying had soft patches on the shell so i added oyster shell and crushed egg shells to trying and strengthen the shells. The egg now seems to have progressed to a broken egg every day. it was varying in location, but is now consistently laid in the same corner everyday, with atleast one more egg on top. It is no longer just cracked but now completely smashed.

Over the past 24hrs i have been going in at various times to see if i could get to the egg before another is laid and today managed to collect two first thing, then went back two hours later to find the other 3 eggs had been laid and still one is smashed. I am really concerned one of them is breaking it on purpose, but surely if this was the case they would break all of them?

I have added some rubber eggs into the nesting areas and when i was collecting today one started pecking at it.

I am at a complete loss as to what to do :-( has anyone else experienced this? any ideas or suggestions?

Its worth noting they are moulting really badly now. Do i need to give them any additional supplements?
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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Morning all,

Really in need of some advice...... we have 5 Marans all around 8 months of age and going through their first moult. Over the past 6 weeks we have had a slow increase of eggs from one initially per day, through to now 5 daily like clockwork. The third chicken that started laying had soft patches on the shell so i added oyster shell and crushed egg shells to trying and strengthen the shells. The egg now seems to have progressed to a broken egg every day. it was varying in location, but is now consistently laid in the same corner everyday, with atleast one more egg on top. It is no longer just cracked but now completely smashed.

Over the past 24hrs i have been going in at various times to see if i could get to the egg before another is laid and today managed to collect two first thing, then went back two hours later to find the other 3 eggs had been laid and still one is smashed. I am really concerned one of them is breaking it on purpose, but surely if this was the case they would break all of them?

I have added some rubber eggs into the nesting areas and when i was collecting today one started pecking at it.

I am at a complete loss as to what to do :-( has anyone else experienced this? any ideas or suggestions?

Its worth noting they are moulting really badly now. Do i need to give them any additional supplements?
It's extremely odd that 8 month old pullets would be molting. Are you in the southern hemisphere? (Never mind! I just replied to your intro thread. You are in the UK. Consider updating your profile with your location on planet earth).
Are you positive about their age? Hens (birds 1 yr and older) molt their first autumn/winter. Pullets don't.
Pullets also sometimes start out with thin shells or even shell-less eggs. When they do here, I do a "calcium infusion" treat 3 times a week until everyone has strong healthy shells. I toss a handful of oyster shell into Greek yogurt and mix it up and put globs of that around as treats. They need extra calcium to form the egg shell so their bodies don't leach calcium from their bones.
Does the broken egg shell feel thin and weak or is it the same thickness as the others?
What are you using for nesting material?
What exactly are you feeding them?
I would keep the container of oyster shell out permanently for free choice feeding. I keep two containers out, one next to the feeders and one next to the door out to the pen. High traffic, 'in your face' zones.
 
Last edited:

thepick4uchicks

Songster
May 23, 2020
1,009
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You could try giving them some Soldier Fly Larvae. It’s like Crack though for chickens. They love them too much almost but they don’t require much of them to help them produce strong egg shells. They are a little expensive but up against all other store bought or Amazon purchases they are not too bad for the good they produce. They are more bang for your buck than mealworms. Really.
 

lucilles1

In the Brooder
Feb 23, 2021
4
18
21
Wiltshire, UK
I got them at the beginning of December and they were 5.5 months at that point, they came from a friend so age is accurate. They are definitely moulting too, they have feathers coming out everywhere.

I am feeding Layers Mash with Poultry Spice mixed in, they also have two bowls of grit and oyster shell for free eating.

The rest of them have really good shells, beautiful colour and solid. Its just one we seem to have a problem with.

I looked at the shell that was broken today and it looks to be hard but because it is smashed i cannot see if it still has a soft spot in the middle. There always seems to be another egg on top (covered in it) so not sure if it is just another chicken sitting on top to lay that is breaking it or whether there is an egg eater at large. But surely they would break all of them?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Guessing one bird has a weak shell...can be hard to find the culprit.

I got them at the beginning of December and they were 5.5 months at that point, they came from a friend so age is accurate.
You got all your birds(how many total) at the same time?

They are definitely moulting too, they have feathers coming out everywhere.
Everywhere...or just around the neck?
Can you see pin feathers coming in?
Pullets can have a partial molt their first fall/winter.

I am feeding Layers Mash with Poultry Spice mixed in
What is the protein percentage of your layer feed?
What exactly is "poultry spice"?
 

lucilles1

In the Brooder
Feb 23, 2021
4
18
21
Wiltshire, UK
Guessing one bird has a weak shell...can be hard to find the culprit.
Yes, not sure which one but only one
You got all your birds(how many total) at the same time?
All at the same time, 5 in total
Everywhere...or just around the neck?
Can you see pin feathers coming in?
Pullets can have a partial molt their first fall/winter.
i don't know re Pin feathers (im a newbie) but they seem to be losing feathers from varying locations, look a bit shaggy at the moment
What is the protein percentage of your layer feed?
What exactly is "poultry spice"?
Poultry Spice
https://www.battles.co.uk/catalogue/detail.aspx?pid=944&ps=1&gid=391&pg=A9iqiaFfeWAtTlFtlTfcDw==
A mineral supplement to give to poultry to improve all round condition and performance. The aromatic blend of highly palatable spices will encourage them to eat their ration and so help keep them strong and healthy. The high mineral content will promote good egg shell quality. Invaluable to help birds get over the moult. Will help to keep condition on during cold weather. Easy to use just add to their daily ration.

Layers Mash
https://www.smallholderfeed.co.uk/products/layers/natural-free-range-layers-crumble-meal/
Crude Protein:16.0%
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
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i don't know re Pin feathers (im a newbie) but they seem to be losing feathers from varying locations, look a bit shaggy at the moment
Pin Feathers

I'd cut out the spice stuff....along with any 'treats' they are getting.
The layer feed is meant to be the sole ration and should have everything they need.
Might want to put out a separate feeder with Oyster Shell tho, some birds need a bit more calcium.
 

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