Egg issues...advice please?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MontanaDolphin, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2013
    Columbia, Virginia
    I have a flock of 9...1 Barred Rock cockerel and 2 Barred Rock pullets that are 23 weeks old, and 6 Commercial Black pullets that are 19 weeks old.

    My first to lay was Sansa, one of my CB's. She was 16 weeks old (1 day before she turned 17 weeks old) when she popped out her first egg. Second to lay was Boring Girl, one of my BR's. She laid four days after Sansa at 21 weeks old. Since then, someone else is laying, but I'm not sure who...I'm thinking it's Athena, my other BR, because her eggs are bigger than the other eggs, and it's the same color as Boring Girl's eggs, and they are both BRs. Sansa lays an egg every morning, as does Boring Girl...but she didn't lay one day out of the past 3 weeks. Athena (if it's her) lays sporadically...I've only gotten two eggs from her in the past week.

    Over the past 3 weeks since they began to lay, I've found 3 soft eggs. One was in a nesting box, the other two right under the roost on the coop floor. I hadn't been giving them oyster shell then, but I started smashing up egg shells and giving that instead. Then last week I bought a bag of layer feed, and have been mixing it with the chick start I still have, but also giving them smashed egg shells. So I figure it's not lack of calcium, but kinks in the new to laying system that need to be worked out.

    This morning I went to open the run door, and I found two soft shelled eggs OUTSIDE the run. I let my chicks free range from 6 p.m. until they put themselves to bed, usually around 8:30 p.m. So these eggs had to have been laid last night, right? I mean, something couldn't have dragged them out of the coop and not eaten them? The yolks of both eggs were still intact. If something took the eggs from the coop, they would have eaten them. Which leads me to believe they were laid between 6 and 8:30 p.m. last night. But why? I know that's a silly question, but I don't understand why one or two of the girls would lay soft shelled eggs outside the run that late at night. My other girls only lay in the mornings. Do chickens lay in the evening as well? Also, who laid the eggs? One of my currently laying hens? But they laid eggs yesterday morning, so that would mean two more eggs for them in the same day. Was it one or two of my other girls who laid their first eggs, but since they are brand spanking new, their egg laying system is out of whack? Theories, please!! And why are they soft if they are getting calcium in their feed, as well as egg shells?

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  2. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    All that abnormality sounds pretty normal for new layers. Everyone does things differently but i would switch to totally layer feed and add oyster shells (free choice in another dish). My girls who are 1-2 years still occassionally have a woopsi egg that is soft and I have one crazy bird who doesn't always listen to her body and drops a perfectly good egg in the middle of the run or outside while free rangeing. I have collected eggs that were laid at all hours and some birds will announce their egg and others don't.

    It can make you crazy trying to figure out who is who and if everyone is actually laying but it can also be fun. Enjoy & I hope this helps.[​IMG]
     
  3. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was advised to not switch to layer immediately, but to wean them to it...in other words, this week I'm doing 1/4 layer to 3/4 starter, next week it's half and half, the following week is 3/4 layer to 1/4 starter, then finally completely layer feed. I was also told that crushed egg shells are a perfectly good substitute for oyster shell...is that not true??
     
  4. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 30, 2012
    River Valley, AR
    As I said, whatever works for you. If you are mixing in the feed that is fine and I also refeed my shells but I also offer the oyster shells. My chickens use both. The oyster grit also acts as stones for their crop so they have grinding surfaces. Depending on your terain and what is available where they are free ranging, they may need that as well. Oyster shell is cheep. I bought a 50lb bag (that was all they sold at the Co-op) and just used it up after almost 2 years. They don't take a lot but they do take it. (my flock has fluctuate from 20-35-13 currently.)

    Mostly at the stage your girls are at I expect it is their system development and not lack of calcium that is the cause of thier soft eggs.

    Don't worry too much. They will figure it out most times.[​IMG]
     
  5. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They figured it out pretty quick. Found two extra eggs in the nesting boxes today...which makes 5 for the day. The kinks have been worked out!!
     
  6. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 30, 2012
    River Valley, AR
    [​IMG] Yeah! Like your avatar pic.
     

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