Egg cracks all apart

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by WesleyBeal, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. WesleyBeal

    WesleyBeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've noticed an issue with a few eggs, and I haven't been able to find out what causes it.

    I also haven't found the issue listed among common egg issues, so I'm hoping someone can identify the problem.

    I get some eggs that when you go to crack them open, the whole egg shell just sort of crumbles/cracks apart.

    I confess I haven't yet remembered to examine the shells to determine how thick or thin they are compared to others. They haven't struck me at the time as being overly thin, but I haven't looked closely.

    I've wondered if the shells are too porous.

    Has anyone else encountered this? Know what causes it?

    I do sell a few eggs now, and don't feel good about people paying when there are some defects like this.

    Thanks in advance.....
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    How long have your hens been laying? The longer they lay for the season the more brittle the shells can get as they deplete their calcium reserves. They pull it out of theirs bones if there isn't enough dietary calcium being consumed.

    You should always have a separate dish of free choice oyster shells available, but even than the shells will get thinner, especially if the hens don't take breaks from constant laying.

    The next season after the molt the shells should be strong and thick again and than slowly get thinner, and usually the color lightens up too.
     
  3. WesleyBeal

    WesleyBeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you.

    My hens (pullets, I guess) are 40 weeks old, and have been laying about 17 weeks now.

    They've got oyster shell, free choice. In fact, I get calcium deposits on eggs more often than anything else.

    They don't have any artificial light.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Hmm, have never really read about the issue.
    I've found it to be inconsistent across the flock.
    Some of my eggs crack nicely in 'half', others not so much.
    The ones that don't break nicely in half usually have thinner shells with tougher membranes.
    I'd say it may have more to do with the tougher membrane than the thinner shells.
    Will be curious to see if anyone else chimes in with their experiences.
     
  5. WesleyBeal

    WesleyBeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good thinking. Now that I've decided this is going to get figured out, I'll be cracking some eggs and looking at membranes soon.

    Once I (hopefully) determine what it is, I want to figure out if it's a dietary issue, or a genetic issue. It does make the egg harder to work with. You end up with a handful of egg and shell, rather than just shell with the egg in the pan (bowl, what-have-you).
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Curious WB, if you are a one handed egg cracker/splitter?
    I use both hands and thumbs to open the egg.....makes for less of a mess if you get a funky one.
     
  7. WesleyBeal

    WesleyBeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not that good. I use one hand to crack, and both to open/split. These eggs, when they occur, either break apart in your hand when you crack, or (more often) you end up crumbling the shell in both hands when splitting.

    Checking my eggs, before long I hope to be a one handed crack+splitter.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Thing about home grown eggs is that are often variations in shell thickness, depending on individual birds.
    With time you can almost feel the thin shelled ones before cracking, but not always.
    I start with a light tap to crack in case it's thinny...sometimes need one or two more taps to get the thicker ones to crack.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
  9. WesleyBeal

    WesleyBeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I cracked a few eggs yesterday. I think I'm over thinking this. Suspect it's just a thinner shell, with membranes that seem to be fairly strong on all the eggs.
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I overthink a lot of stuff, always want to know Why and How...Exactly!
    .....
    just gotta know when to stop sometimes, not everything has a finite explaination. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017

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