Completely shelless egg

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BrownEggFan, May 31, 2010.

  1. BrownEggFan

    BrownEggFan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Central PA
    I was watering my birds this morning and thought I'd check the nesting box. Well, I opened the lid and there was a completely shelless egg!! These hens are all seasoned layers and I feed 21% layer mash with calcium AND free choice oyster shell. The six hens and my roo get about a cup to a cup and a half of grain a day (wheat, corn or buckwheat). I noticed a wet spot about 5" in diameter on the floor of the coop the other day, but didn't think much about it until this. There was no membrane at all...it looked like someone picked up the egg and cracked it open then poured the yolk and white right into the straw in the nesting box. I picked it up and threw it out so they wouldn't eat it. Any idea why this may have happened and what should I do if it continues?
     
  2. doueik

    doueik Out Of The Brooder

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    May 29, 2010
    Dearborn heights MI
    the hens could be eating the shells because there not geting the protien and stuff you should try to feed them more. Or give them a little more food.
     
  3. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    There are a couple of reasons it could happen:
    1) not enough calcium in diet - use oyster shell or other supplement
    2) new layer just doesn't have the egg works working yet
    3) older layer just getting a little worn out
    4) some folks say that a hen who has been frightened at night will lay the egg prematurely without the shell
     
  4. BrownEggFan

    BrownEggFan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Central PA
    I have oyster shell available free choice as I noted in my original post and I also have the feed available 24 / 7. These hens are all about 1 to 1 1/2 years old, so I don't think they are getting worn out yet. I just got home from a Memorial Day picnic and I had one more egg in the nesting boxes...it has a cracked shell. [​IMG] What could be causing this??? They should be getting plenty of calcium and protein. Would some Vitamin D supplement help to absorb the calcium?
     
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Sometimes they just get a glitch in the system for reasons we can't fathom. Could be stress related...[​IMG] I certainly wouldn't worry about it unless it begins happening on a regular basis, because it sounds like you're doing everything "right."
     
  6. underground chickenman

    underground chickenman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2009
    Orlando, Florida
    Has anything about their diet changed recently? New brand of feed? If not, it could be a bad batch of feed, meaning it doesn't have the protein and calcium it says it does. Also, I don't know where you are, but if it is getting hotter there like it is in Florida, they tend to eat less quantity, so your scratch may be interfering with the amount of feed they are eating, since they usually prefer the scratch. Although it doesn't sound like a lot, a cup or so of scratch among six layers could be enough to put a dent in the nutrition, especially when they eat less in hot weather.

    I would suggest the getting another bag of feed (check the date) and stop giving them grains for a few weeks. Instead, give them black oil sunflower seeds as a treat, but even then, don't go too heavy and only throw it in the run later in the day so they have time to consume a good amount of feed.

    Let us know how it goes.

    UGCM
     
  7. BrownEggFan

    BrownEggFan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Central PA
    Chickenman, thanks for the input. I haven't changed the feed, in fact, I just finished the first bag I purchased. I'll stop giving them the scratch for a while and see if that helps. I'm located in Pennsylvania and we have had above average temps and little rainfall lately. I'll keep you posted.
     
  8. kittykorat

    kittykorat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 12, 2009
    Central MA
    I had one of those a few weeks ago... no clue why. Mine are 9 months old. I think it was just a glitch. It didn't happen again.
     
  9. BrownEggFan

    BrownEggFan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Central PA
    UGCM,

    I followed your advice and backed off the scratch for a while. Now I only give a small amount in the evenings when I get home from work. I haven't had another shelless egg since. Now if I could just get rid of the skunk that was in the nesting box eating the eggs Saturday night!!
     
  10. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Hmmm, maybe there's something to the old wives tale about the hens being frightened at night after all...or could have been the diet. Interesting, thanks for the follow up.
     

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