Can’t form an egg?

Amurr

Chirping
Apr 25, 2020
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*Edit* ok, we’ve officially established that I’m wrong for adding a few teaspoons of oyster shell. I’ll change that. 🤷🏻‍♀️ But I still need ideas on the problem.

I adopted two hens that were said to be about 1.5-2 years old. At the time they were not laying because “they just came out of a molt.”
They’ve been with me for 7 weeks.
Freckles started laying for me about five weeks ago and she’s been consistently laying 5-6 eggs a week since.
Dot, the other hen, spends time in the nesting box almost every day. Most days she doesn’t lay anything at all. About once a week she drops a broken egg with a very porous brittle shell that is also partially encased in a thick mucous membrane.
What is wrong with this little lady?

I always supply oyster shell but have recently started sprinkling a tiny bit directly into their food as well to encourage Dot to consume more. I also mix fresh water with electrolytes for them every single morning.
 
Last edited:

Amurr

Chirping
Apr 25, 2020
76
118
91
Don't mix it in their food. Is it winter where you live,? Chickens don't lay in the winter due to shorter daylight hours. What do you feed them?
Dot sounds like she has a reproductive problem, I'm not familiar with those, I'm sorry.
A few teaspoons mixed in won’t hurt anyone I don’t think. Because her “egg” is so brittle I thought maybe her issue was calcium deficiency and was hoping to encourage her to consume a little extra. I could be wrong.
It is winter here but we supplement light and literally everybody else is laying but her.
I feed a balanced layer crumble and they get veggie scraps from the kitchen like spaghetti squash, strawberry tops, chopped lettuce etc. (in moderation)
 

ChickenCanoe

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Since the feed is layer feed (4% calcium), extra calcium in the feed actually could hurt, especially since she isn't laying much and utilizing the calcium anyway.
The ratio of calcium and phosphorus is important as is sufficient D3.
An imbalance of those minerals one way or another can actually cause shell problems.
A hen, especially one already eating layer feed, needs to have the ability to choose extra calcium if she feels the need.
A disease or defective shell gland is also possible.
 

Amurr

Chirping
Apr 25, 2020
76
118
91
Since the feed is layer feed (4% calcium), extra calcium in the feed actually could hurt, especially since she isn't laying much and utilizing the calcium anyway.
The ratio of calcium and phosphorus is important as is sufficient D3.
An imbalance of those minerals one way or another can actually cause shell problems.
A hen, especially one already eating layer feed, needs to have the ability to choose extra calcium if she feels the need.
A disease or defective shell gland is also possible.
Thank you for that information! I will stop adding to their feed. I’ve only be doing that for about a week so hopefully I haven’t caused any extra damage at least.
 

ChickenCanoe

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Nov 23, 2010
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You're good. Just relax and don't jump to conclusions. When things are awry, go back to basics. Cut out everything except layer feed for hens actively laying or grower/all flock feed for those not laying. Things should straighten out.
 

rosemarythyme

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Jul 3, 2016
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I do mix in oyster shell for private meals for known problem layers, however Dot's problem doesn't appear to be related to not wanting to eat oyster shell, so adding it into the feed wasn't giving you the results you need. My guess is there's something wrong with her reproductive system and I don't know if there's a fix for that.
 

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