Crispy Egg Shell

MotherHen75

Songster
Dec 18, 2018
286
265
151
South Carolina
So out of all our girls, our orpington is our favorite. If you sit down, she comes right into your lap and puts her head on your shoulder like a big hug! I might be fretting over nothing but i want to make sure she’s healthy and will live a long good life. She’s just over a year now, but i’ve noticed her eggs are kind of crispy. Easy to break and if you were to try to dent the egg, it would just break in half rather then make a small hole. She’s free range over 4 acres, is she not getting enough nutrient or something else? Again it could be nothing but i want to be sure.
 

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azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
24,595
36,191
1,122
Colorado Rockies
Have her eggs been thin shelled since she began laying? If so, she may have a genetic defect in her shell gland. If this is a recent issue, she may just be absorbing calcium inefficiently. Sometimes if a hen eats too much spinach, that can cause poor calcium absorption.

The solution is a few days of calcium supplement. I use calcium citrate because it's most easily absorbed. Get the kind with vitamin D added. Look for it in the people vitamin aisle. Give one tablet a day until eggs are normal again.
 

VictoriaTemple

Songster
Aug 27, 2018
670
1,283
232
Southern Chester County, PA
Does she lay often, or rarely? Does she have access to a calcium supplement like oyster shell? My blue Cochin does that, but I haven't got it figured out yet. She lays very infrequently, maybe one every two weeks, and was sold to me as a "cockerel". Had all the mannerisms of a young (prepubescent) cockerel, then dropped an egg in the middle of the yard! I always figured her hormones were off. No clue what to do except love her. Sorry.
 

VictoriaTemple

Songster
Aug 27, 2018
670
1,283
232
Southern Chester County, PA
Have her eggs been thin shelled since she began laying? If so, she may have a genetic defect in her shell gland. If this is a recent issue, she may just be absorbing calcium inefficiently. Sometimes if a hen eats too much spinach, that can cause poor calcium absorption.

The solution is a few days of calcium supplement. I use calcium citrate because it's most easily absorbed. Get the kind with vitamin D added. Look for it in the people vitamin aisle. Give one tablet a day until eggs are normal again.
Is there anything that I can do if it is a genetic defect? Honestly, that's likely Megiddo's problem.
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
24,595
36,191
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Colorado Rockies
Some genetic defects will correct after a chick has had time to grow and mature, but by this time, your hen is likely stuck with this. Try the calcium. It could solve the problem. If the problem is due to a genetic flaw, then occasional treatment with calcium may be in her future.

I have an EE with a thin shell problem that is likely genetic. It does resolve with calcium, but I need to treat her repeatedly when her eggs start drifting back to be thin shelled.

Only treat as long as it takes for the shells to thicken to normal.
 

Perris

Still learning
Jan 28, 2018
4,352
19,012
777
Gower, Wales
I'd like to try this, but how @azygous do you treat just one bird in a free range flock? (One of my layers seems to ignore the oyster shell and lays thin or soft shelled eggs, while the rest of the flock's are fine.)
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
24,595
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Colorado Rockies
After identifying the hen with the thin shell issue, I pick her up each morning, pry open her beak by pulling down on her wattles or the skin under her beak, and just pop the calcium tablet directly into her mouth. She swallows it easily. That's all there is to it.
 

MotherHen75

Songster
Dec 18, 2018
286
265
151
South Carolina
She lays pretty frequently, a couple eggs a week. Not completely daily though, they are bound to take their breaks. We have oyster shell bits laid out for them and in their food, i haven’t seen them eat it directly though. I think she’s been laying like this her whole life, it’s probably a genetic defect.
 

MANNA-PRO

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