SA gardener

In the Brooder
May 23, 2020
37
39
36
Johannesburg, South Africa
A friend of mine has Australorp hens that are laying eggs that look like this. He says that they are "cracks" that sometimes proceed to become tiny holes. Any idea why they look this way ?
He feeds them laying mash but has not started supplimenting them with calcium yet
They are laying for the first time (first egg was 2 weeks ago). So I was thinking perhaps it's not calcium
IMG-20200813-WA0006.jpg
IMG-20200813-WA0007.jpg
 

MadamPoofyBrow

Songster
5 Years
Jun 15, 2015
1,384
789
226
I have gotten a few eggs like this, especially when they first start laying and haven't been started on laying feed yet. I always assumed it was a lack of calcium, but I am curious what others will say.
 

wyoDreamer

Crowing
9 Years
Nov 10, 2010
5,162
7,881
471
NE Wisconsin
Do the shells seem to be thin?
I had a new layer laying eggs like that, but I did a number of changes to my coop after they all started laying (I had 12 pullets all start within 2 weeks) and the thin eggshells stopped. I will still occasionally get a thin shelled egg, but it has become a rarity.

Things I had changed about my coop:
- I changed my nest boxes so they were bigger and more of them. They still used 2 out of 6, but at least not all 12 laying in 1 box.
- I offered free-choice oyster shell and grit. I picked up a couple of metal baby pig feeders and filled them with oyster shell and granite grit. They will pick through it for 5 minutes and find the exact piece that they want, lol.
- I moved the nest boxes away from the pop-door where it was in the sun-light, to the wall closer to the people door. The new location is across the room from the pop door and window, so it is darker and not as hot in the summer. That also made it easier and quicker for me to gather eggs.
- I started to use old grass hay instead of fine wood chips. The birds were scratching the wood chips out of the nest boxes, so I figured they didn't like it.

I don't know if the thin egg-shells were just new layer issues or if any of the changes made a difference or not, but I am glad that they stopped.
 

Mamatomany123

Songster
Mar 14, 2020
2,198
2,669
203
Midland, tx
How do the egg shells feel when cracked? If hes feeding layer feed then he doesnt need to add in oyster shell. the feed has the proper amount of calcium needed. Also, hows the weather? Hot weather can really make a mess of things.
 

SA gardener

In the Brooder
May 23, 2020
37
39
36
Johannesburg, South Africa
How do the egg shells feel when cracked? If hes feeding layer feed then he doesnt need to add in oyster shell. the feed has the proper amount of calcium needed. Also, hows the weather? Hot weather can really make a mess of things.
Winter to spring transition currently. So it's very mild, average morning low of 6°C (43°F)and midday high of 22°C (72°F)
Day length = 11 hours
 

wyoDreamer

Crowing
9 Years
Nov 10, 2010
5,162
7,881
471
NE Wisconsin
My chickens do so much better when they have access to oyster shell and they get layer feed every day. I think some chickens may just need more available calcium - the amount in a prepared feed will be based on "average" chicken needs, so some have low supplemental needs and some have a high supplement need..
You don't have to use oyster shell if it is not available, you can also save egg shells and feed them back to the chickens. I would wash the eggshells really good, dry them and crumble them into a bowl for free-choice.
 

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