Chicken layed shell-less egg. Help?

krista74

Songster
5 Years
Jun 4, 2014
1,576
302
158
Victoria, Australia.
It's normal if it's an occasional thing, rather than all the time.

It's also normal if it is a 'new' laying hen who is still trying to iron out the kinks in the egg-production factory.

But if it's a hen who has been laying a while, and all of a sudden she starts laying soft shelled or shell-less eggs all the time, it may be a concern.

If that is the case, make sure you supply a good quality layer feed and some oyster shell, as well as grit.

If the problem escalates, you can also buy a calcium supplement to add to their food or water, but I stress that is only if they are consistently laying bad eggs.

Otherwise, if it doesn't happen very often, I would just remove them from the nests and throw them away - the eggs, not the chickens! - if you leave them in the coop you risk the girls trying to eat them, and the last thing you want is for them to develop a taste for eggs.....

Krista
 
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chickenlover432

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 19, 2014
350
20
91
Proud Aussie
Thanks!! I've started giving her a mash with shells in it. She is a new layer and this is the first time it's happened. Thank you for responding, I'm glad it's nothing serious!
 
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aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Just offer the shells(oyster shell and/or dried crushed chicken egg shells) in a separate container, she will eat what she needs.
 

chickenlover432

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 19, 2014
350
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Proud Aussie
This is the second time it's happened. This time there was a shell but it was so light it's split open. When will this stop happening? I'm feeding them crushed egg shells in their mash...
 
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rockhouse chick

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 5, 2014
7
1
34
I have had 5 no shell "squishy" eggs, as my kids call them. I added oyster shell to their food about a week and a half ago. But had two more this week. We don't know which girl it is though. They free range all day. They have only been laying about 2 months. Hopefully ours will get better too.
 

krista74

Songster
5 Years
Jun 4, 2014
1,576
302
158
Victoria, Australia.
When I spoke to my vet about this he told me that despite offering a quality feed and oyster shell to my chickens, there are some hens who simply require additional support as far as calcium is concerned. After getting 2 soft shelled eggs each day (from two different chickens, of course) I put all the girls onto a Calcium/Vitamin supplement that was mixed into their feed ration. It's been two weeks now and I have not had a single soft shelled egg in the last six days, which (to me) is a massive improvement. I guess that is always an option, but I wouldn't recommend it if you only get the occasional soft shelled egg - that is particularly common in new layers, and should sort itself out in time.

I have also read several times that some vegetables and feeds can actually inhibit the absorption of Vitamin D and Calcium in chickens. Vitamin D is important as it enables the body to absorb the Calcium when it is consumed, rather than having it pass through the hen. One such food is spinach - and true to form, I found that the more spinach I fed my girls the worse their egg-shell quality became. Another issue is when you allow free access to grain as the main feed source, rather than a formulated layer's pellet. Grain does not contain enough Calcium in it's own right, and despite leaving free access to oyster shell, many chickens simply don't/won't eat it, thereby resulting in a calcium deficiency and subsequent soft-shelled eggs.

Something to think about anyway! As you can see, I did a lot of reading trying to resolve this issue myself
big_smile.png


Krista
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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I just found this article, searching for something else, that has a great rundown on calcium in chickens.
The author is a avian vet that has backyard as well as commercial chicken experience.
 

chickenlover432

Chirping
5 Years
Feb 19, 2014
350
20
91
Proud Aussie
I just found this article, searching for something else, that has a great rundown on calcium in chickens.
The author is a avian vet that has backyard as well as commercial chicken experience.
Thanks for that!! It was very interesting. Do you know how long do they lay the soft or no shelled eggs?
 
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aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Quote: They do it until their bodies get everything in line to lay a good hard shell.
Several of my pullets this year laid a number of soft/thin shells over 2-3 weeks, now they're cranking out gorgeous eggs almost everyday.
Rule of thumb, IMO, is that it can take up to a month or so for the new layers system to get all settled in.
 

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