Egg Yolk in Nest Boxes, No Shell

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Trillium233, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. Trillium233

    Trillium233 In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2013

    I've got a silly-sounding question, so please humor me... Lately, when I've checked our nest boxes, I've occasionally found eggs and bedding with yolk splashed all over them.

    -There are no shells to be seen anywhere.
    -This happens during the day. There has never been a mess in the box first thing in the morning.
    -I'm out in our barn a lot, but I never seem to catch a chicken in the act of breaking or eating an egg.

    Could I have a hen dropping shell-less eggs for some reason? I give all our birds oystershell free-choice. I dunno... Help a newbie out?

  2. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Songster 5 Years

    Jul 22, 2013
    You actually can have shell-less eggs. I haven't done much research on it but it can happen. Trying doing a search in the search bar near the top of the page, might find some information there.
    1 person likes this.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Forgetting to put the shell on is common with new layers. Do you see any thick membrane? An egg without a shell usually looks like a water balloon, and I think the birds often break them as they exit the nest. I'm not aware of anything to do about it, it usually just works itself out in a few months as the hen's system figures things out. Feed either a layer feed, or a non-layer feed and offer oyster shell or egg shells back to boost calcium.
    1 person likes this.
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member 7 Years

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    It is quite possible that the hens laid soft shelled or shell-less eggs, but in my experience egg yolk smeared in the nest box means the egg got eaten. Whether deliberately or "accidentally", i.e. the egg broke, or it was a shell less egg and the hens went hmm, what's this and discovered it's edible. I would suggest trying some of these techniques discussed here:

    Even if they haven't learned this bad habit yet, prevention is much easier than cure!
    1 person likes this.

  5. Sophia5

    Sophia5 Chirping

    Aug 5, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  6. Trillium233

    Trillium233 In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2013
    Thanks, all! [​IMG]

    The birds have been laying since this past December. I feed layer crumbles and always have oyster shell on available to the birds, free-choice. I'll keep an eye on things and read the links given above.

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