cracked egg shells in nest

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by treeclimber233, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. treeclimber233

    treeclimber233 Chillin' With My Peeps

    118
    0
    129
    Nov 12, 2007
    I have been finding cracked eggs in my nest boxes lately. I had a terrible time with egg-eating so I talked my husband into building me some roll away nests. That has really slowed down the egg-eating but now I am finding cracked eggs in the box. (I am still in the training stage--removing small amounts of hay daily so the eggs don't all roll away like they should). I am wondering if when the egg is laid the hen stands up somewhat to drop the egg do they hit hard enough to crack but not break???
     
  2. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    5,928
    46
    293
    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Unless they have really loooooong legs they will not crack! Come to think of it I have never seen a chicken with 16 inch legs.

    If shells are that fragile you more than likely have a dietary issue. First thing that comes to mind is make sure they have free choice oyster shell available at all times. Supplimenting kelp will help also.
     
  3. chickenranchwife

    chickenranchwife Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with kstaven, add some oyster shells to their diet, it will definately help.
     
  4. treeclimber233

    treeclimber233 Chillin' With My Peeps

    118
    0
    129
    Nov 12, 2007
    The only pen I am finding cracked eggs in is the only pen that has free choice oyster shell in it. They are all fed the same diet so I don't know what is going on.
     
  5. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    7,505
    19
    301
    Jan 30, 2007
    WV
    Try changing the hay to pine shavings...thats what I use...Are the shells thin?...
     
  6. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

    946
    12
    161
    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    could they be freezing and cracking?
     
  7. SunsetChickens

    SunsetChickens Out Of The Brooder

    32
    0
    22
    Feb 1, 2008
    Menlo Park, CA
    One of our RIRs started laying really thin-shelled eggs. We were worried that she was pecking them, but nobody actually seemed to be eating the eggs. The same end of the egg always broke -- the one with the air gap. I figure that without that underlying membrane, the shell itself was just really weak. They looked like this:
    [​IMG]

    As Carmelita's laying cycle has become more regular and the shells have become thicker, the problem seems to have disappeared. (We also put some packing material — like this — down in the nesting boxes to cushion the eggs. We're careful to make sure they don't eat it, but they don't seem at all interested in it.)
     
  8. gmc

    gmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    115
    0
    129
    Nov 24, 2007
    Clay City, KY
    Do what you want, it’s all good advise, but what kind of nest boxes do you have? Some hens do stand up to lay; the drop will most certainly crack an egg. What kind of nest arrangement do you have? If a hen cracks an egg while laying, guess what? Yeah, it’s eaten; a hen most certainly considers an egg that is cracked useless and will consume it. I had the same issue; a piece of cardboard with hay in the nest solved it. Don't put shavings in the nest, they hate it. Put hay that offers all the interesting things to admire while building a little ring to lay one's egg. Over crowding, limited nesting space, the wrong type-nesting box can all cause what is perceived to be egg-eaters. I have never seen a hen eat an egg that wasn't defective for some reason or another. My thoughts, a lot of good advise here, thou.
     
  9. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    7,505
    19
    301
    Jan 30, 2007
    WV
    I've used shavings in my nestboxes for 6 years...they love it...
     
  10. chickenranchwife

    chickenranchwife Chillin' With My Peeps

    tree,
    How cold is it where you are? Is there a chance they are freezing? If they freeze they will crack.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by