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Broken Eggs? First Eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kohchicks, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. kohchicks

    kohchicks Just Hatched

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    May 24, 2016
    California
    Hi all, I'm newish to chicken keeping and my girls are just starting to lay.

    My SO and I went away on an overnight trip and came back late last night. I counted the chickens when I got back but didn't really check anything else until this morning. In the morning next to the door (not where I would step) I found what looked like a broken yolk. Later on I found a broken eggshell across the yard so I assumed it was a healthy one time thing, as long as the egg still had the shell. (The hen I believe the egg came from has been laying consistently in the nesting box for the past few weeks when she started laying).

    However now I have another hen trying to lay for the first time, going in and out, staying for long periods of time, but I still haven't found an egg in there. My other hens didn't have any issues like that a few weeks ago.

    I found a second broken egg on the floor this afternoon but I'm not sure what's going on. I think it's because:
    1) first Hen didn't want to lay in the nesting box with a roommate OR
    2) second hen laid her first egg or two in random places on the floor and eventually gets cracked or trampled on OR
    3) something may be wrong with one of them?

    Anyone have any idea what's going on and what I should do? Thanks in advance

    [​IMG]
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Cracked eggs or eggs laid on the floor will often get eaten. Do you have just two hens? And only one nestbox? Some new layers are nervous and don't understand what is going on, so her behavior isn't unusual. Make sure you have ceramic eggs in your nestboxes. Things will usually straighten out after a few weeks.
     
  3. chickluvinfreak

    chickluvinfreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not all chickens will lay in nesting boxes when they first start laying. So it could be like you say and their getting broken because of the hard surface. Worst case scenario you have an egg eater who is breaking the eggs. Hard to tell which it could be. You could take an egg blow it and fill it with mustard. Than put in the coop and see if any of the chickens try eating or breaking it. If they do they'll get a suprise when they taste the mustard. And hopefully that would stop their craving for eggs. If it's because a hen isn't laying in the box you can buy some ceramic eggs to put in the nesting box. Hens are more likely to lay where their are already eggs. Also how many nesting boxes and hens do you have? She could not be laying in the box because you don't have enough for all of them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
  4. kohchicks

    kohchicks Just Hatched

    39
    3
    14
    May 24, 2016
    California

    Thanks so much for the quick reply. I have 4 however my White Rock has been laying consistently in the nesting box and already had her egg today; my BSL hasn't started showing any egg laying behavior. They're all 19 weeks (more or less by a few days)

    There are 4 nesting boxes but it seems they all like to lay eggs in one nesting box in particular. Not sure why. I'll try to see if I can get them to spread to the other 3 nesting boxes, but any other ideas or comments let me know!

    Thanks
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,906
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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    They seem to fight over the same boxes. Putting the ceramic eggs in can help. I move mine around, and my hens will follow the fake eggs and switch boxes. Your birds are pretty young yet.
     
  6. kohchicks

    kohchicks Just Hatched

    39
    3
    14
    May 24, 2016
    California

    Ooh the mustard sounds like a good deterrent, thank you! I have 4 hens, 4 nesting boxes, but they all seem to like the one nesting box. Like you and oldhenlikesdogs said maybe I'll just spread around faux eggs to the other nesting boxes.
     
  7. chickluvinfreak

    chickluvinfreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Their so funny when they only lay in one nest box, I wish I knew why they do that too. Hope your plan works and good luck :)
     
  8. kohchicks

    kohchicks Just Hatched

    39
    3
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    May 24, 2016
    California

    Hmm now I just peeked through the window and saw the smallest shelless egg on the ground. By the time I went outside they already popped it open.

    Are multiple shelless eggs ok? I was planning on keeping them on starter until I finished but it's been a few weeks and I still have the one or two that haven't started laying yet. Do I need to separate them so they eat the proper food?
     
  9. chickluvinfreak

    chickluvinfreak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Starter/grower is the best feed when keeping multiple ages. But you do need to supply crushed oyster shells as a calcium source for the laying hens. Since they are laying age (just not layers yet) you should be able to switch them to a layers feed. The feed will usually have directions on the back saying at what age it wa developed for. So I would check your bag of feed first. How many shell less eggs have you gotten, are they from the same hen? It is normal when they first start laying but shouldn't happen more than once or twice.
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,906
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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Yes multiple soft eggs can be normal. My guess is the sensations and probably cramps as the eggs move down causes some to express them early. It can take a few weeks for some to straighten out and get used to it.

    I don't feed layer anymore as I think it isn't enough protein. Layer is recommended to be fed as the sole ration. If you add anything extra to their diet, their daily protein can drop to deficiency levels. Young birds are still growing so keeping them on a non medicated grower or switching to an all flock ration is what I recommend. A separate dish of oyster shells will provide the extra calcium needs.
     

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