Calling all egg experts. Why did my chicken lay a shell-less egg?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kataloo, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. Kataloo

    Kataloo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hattie Pattie layed 2 eggs today, the second one was shell-less. Pattie is one of my two Buff Orpingtons. I happened to come outside at the right time and saw her do it. She had already laid an egg today in the nesting box, but when I saw her this afternoon, she was walking kind of funny in the yard and was all fluffed up. She squatted and out came a shell-less egg.

    Could this be because of stress? She has had some less than ideal living conditions for about 3 days while I have been gone during the day i.e, a windy heavy rain storm with the windows of the coop being left open. She has had crushed egg shells and Purina Layena to eat; however, I just switched over to the Layena because I wanted to use up my Purina Starter Crumbles. The food got stuck in the feeder and she had to wait (at the most) 12 hours to eat. I thought I had fixed the feeder problem, but this happened two days in a row. My chickens usually free range unless I am gone.

    After she laid the shell-less egg, she was going to eat the egg. If I hadn't grabbed it I am sure it would have been a snack for her. Would this have started her on egg eating? She had only been laying about 2 weeks. Some of her earlier eggs have had a very tough membrane.

    Last question: Is the egg okay to eat?


    Thanks all you eggies. Can't wait to hear what to do.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickens (especially those new to laying or older hens) sometimes have "glitches" in their reproductive tract that cause them to lay strange eggs. Since she only started laying a coule of weeks ago, her system may not be quite used to it. Stress can bring it on as well. Not enough calcium is another reason.However, since you're also giving crushed egg shell, this shouldn't be the problem. If I had to guess why she laid the soft shelled eggs, I'd say that it was because of the stressful conditions.

    In my experience, chickens will often try to eat soft shelled eggs. But, mine have never developed egg eating habits from it.
     
  3. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Out of the Woods Premium Member

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    I would not eat an unshelled egg. Sometimes, hens will lay an egg without a shell because they are just starting to lay, or they are lacking the nutrients you make an egg shell. The egg shell is made of calcium, so, your bird could be lacking calcium. Some good ways to give your chickens plenty of calcium include: grinding the egg shells and feeding it to them or I'm sure you could give them diary products.
     
  4. Kataloo

    Kataloo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. I was hoping it was just a novice problem. With laying two eggs in one day it makes sense to me that the egg didn't have the time to form the shell. I don't think it is the calcium. The other buff orpington who just started laying two days ago, have signs of too much calcium. I think they gorged on the crushed egg shells when the feeder got clogged. I only have 4 hens. 2 B.O. and 2 EEs. The EEs are the same age. Shouldn't they have started laying?
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  5. Kataloo

    Kataloo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was thinking I would eat the egg, cuz its the same thing minus the shell. But after reading your post, it makes me leery of possible contamination when passing through the system. I think I will feed it to the dog. Same question; shouldn't the EEs already be laying? Both Henny Penny and Hattie Pattie have done the "submissive stance" a few days before they started laying. Will all chickens do that? Is that a sign that they will begin laying very soon?
     

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