Egg Laying Problems !!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AJ Farms, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. AJ Farms

    AJ Farms Chirping

    Jan 16, 2012
    Egg Laying Problems

    Here are the top problems you may experience with laying hens and how to fix them!

    1. Floor Eggs

    Problem: Your new layers are laying all their eggs on the floor and the eggs are getting cracked, dirty and broken. The last thing you want is your chickens eating these eggs and getting a taste for their eggs. This leads to cannibalism and all the problems that go with it.
    Solution: Put your nests out before your pullets begin laying so they become used to the boxes. Once the girls start laying, raise the boxes about a foot and a half off the ground so they have to jump up to get in them; this discourages sitting the boxes for reasons other than laying. If your girls continue to lay outside the boxes, you may have too few boxes and will need to add more.

    2. Dirty Eggs

    Problem: You go out to pick up your eggs and they’re covered in dirt or chicken feces! You’re having to wash all your eggs and scrub some even.
    Solution: Check your hen house and see if there is a mud puddle nearby that your hens are trekking through. Discourage them by blocking it off and drying it up. If there is feces ending up on your eggs, you need to keep your roost cleaner and change your nesting boxes more often. Chickens have no sphincter muscles, they will poo when they poo, nesting box or no nesting box.

    3. Egg Shell Troubles

    Problem: Bloody Shells
    Reasons: There is no real solution for this unless you know the cause. Bloody shells caused by pullets laying too early will be resolved as they mature. Bloody shells caused by too much protein will be solved by choosing a lay mash with a lower protein content. The final reason could be coccidiosis, if this is the cause you will need to treat the disease before you can see clean shells.

    Problem: Chalky or glossy shells
    Reason: These are caused by a malfunction in the chicken’s shell making process. There is nothing wrong with these eggs, though they can be shocking or a cause for concern at first. They will not hatch, but are safe for eating.

    Problem: Odd-shaped or wrinkled eggs
    Reason: These eggs are often caused by rough handling, cracking in the ducts as the eggs are formed, by age and by vaccination. If an egg cracks as it is being formed it will form a wrinkle. Some hens lay odd shaped eggs as they age, and some diseases and vaccines may cause your hen to lay odd-shaped eggs for a time. There is nothing wrong with these eggs so you do not need to be concerned.

    Problem: Thin Shells
    Reason: New layers, summer layers, and sick hens may all lay thin-shelled eggs, as well as those who are not getting enough calcium in their food. If it is not summer, consider that your food may be too low in calcium or too high in phosphorus and add a calcium supplement such as oyster shells to see if that corrects the problem.

    Problem: Soft or Missing Shells
    Reason: There are a number of reasons that a hen may lay an egg without a shell. If your hen has not recently been frightened or excited, there may be a deeper underlying cause for this problem. Vitamin D is a cause of consistently soft shells. If your hens are laying eggs consistently missing or with soft shells consider including a Vitamin D supplement. They can also be a sign of Newcastle’s disease and infectious bronchitis.

    Problem: Broken shells
    Reason: Boredom can be a reason hens break eggs, keep them occupied with treats. Hunger or lack of nutrients can be another cause, check to make sure your feed meets all their nutritional needs and supplement where necessary. Accidents also happen, but it is important that you clean up broken eggs as quickly as possible.

    4. Too Few Eggs
    Problem: Production has dropped and you need those eggs!
    Solution:There is no real solution though reasons can range from the wrong types of hens, weather being too hot or too cold, and your hens becoming older. If you can figure out the reason there are some solutions. Hens that are meant to be laying in the winter can be “tricked” by adding warming lamps. As hens age their production drops off, just as it does in human females.

    Hope this helps!

    God Bless & Happy Holidays

    edited by staff
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 25, 2012
    1 person likes this.

  2. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Songster

    Mar 11, 2011
  3. AJ Farms

    AJ Farms Chirping

    Jan 16, 2012
    Your Welcome! God Bless & Have A Happy Season Greetings!
  4. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Songster

    Mar 11, 2011
    you too! :)
  5. tielle007

    tielle007 Hatching

    Jun 12, 2013
    Hi. I just started my backyard flock with three poulet about 10 weeks ago. One, a black sexlink, has already begun to lay, yahoo! Unfortunately, I have a question about my New Hampshire Red.

    Three days ago, while she was pecking around the grass, she dropped a chalky looking egg. "Cool!" I thought, she just needs to do it in the nesting box and I hope the chalky stuff goes away. That night I closed the ladies into their coop. In the morning I opening the door and noticed what appeared to be two more eggs on the floor of the coop. I opened the coop to get them out. One egg was small with a soft and squishy shell and the other eggs was super small, misshapen and wrinkly on one end with a soft squishy shell. It has been three days since this occurred with nothing else happening from her. Does anyone know what I should do or what is going on? Help?
  6. eggcatcher

    eggcatcher Chirping

    Mar 21, 2010
    I speak from ignorance and wonder if I've totally messed up my chickens. I wasn't getting good production from my 5 leghorns. Couldn't figure out why. Finally realized I'd unplugged the light timer and had the light on 24/7. I know stupid. I don't know how long it was that way. Once I realized what I had done. I plugged it back into the timer which "shortened" the day and they went into moult. It's been months now and I maybe get one egg a day. My girls aren't so young about 2 years. Have I messed them up and they won't produce much anymore due to the trauma of their cycle being messed up and the age. Should I give up and get new chickens. If so it would be a big lay out of money but I don't want to raise baby chicks again I need girls that are laying now. I looked but didn't find any sellers close to me i.e. Lexington KY. I have mobility problems and can't drive more than about 20miin. I know a lot to ask. Any help will be appreciated. I keep trying to be patient but I wonder if I'm just paying to feed pretty birds that will never give again.

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