Eggs breaking, if laid at all!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lizzie201296, May 9, 2011.

  1. lizzie201296

    lizzie201296 Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2010
    Our two hens laid an egg each, every day, all through the snowy weather. But now, one of them isn't laying at all (not sure which) and the other is laying very very pale shelled eggs, which often break in the nest (not like soft eggs - the shell is there, but it is obviously so weak it just breaks under her, maybe when she gets up). There have been a few soft-shelled eggs lying around the coop, but not many.
    We feed them pellets that have all the nutrients and stuff in them, (Broadfeed) and they have a grit hopper (with grit + oyster shell) daily handful of corn, water with citrus drops (special chicken ones recommended - it's like a vitamin thing).
    They have a lot of space, enough nest space for both of them, get cleaned out daily with a big clean once a week (mite spray etc).
    We lost our other hen last year due to an egg breaking inside her, it was horrible and I don't want it to happen again! After that happened we made sure they always had lots of grit+oyster shell because we were told it could have been due to a lack of calcium.

    Any ideas?

  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I'm sorry you are having issues with this. One of mine went through a "phase" of soft shelled eggs and snapped out of it. The only suggestion I have is to maybe offer the grit and oyster shell separately. It might be easier for them to get all the oyster shell they need if they don't have to separate it from the grit. I'm not sure...
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Here are some other sources of calcium you may want to give to your chickens.


    1. Spinach
    2. Turnip greens
    3. Mustard greens
    4. Collard greens
    5. Blackstrap molasses ( can cause runny stools in chickens)
    6. Swiss chard
    7. Yogurt
    8. Kale
    9. Mozzarella cheese
    10. Milk (goat's milk and cow's milk)
    11. Basil, thyme, dill seed, cinnamon, and peppermint leaves
    12. Romaine lettuce
    15. Broccoli
    16. Sesame seeds
    17. Fennel
    18. Cabbage
    19. Summer squash
    20. Green beans
    21. Garlic
    22. Tofu
    23. Brussel sprouts
    24. Oranges (Some people do not feed citrus to chickens)
    25. Asparagus
    26.Crimini mushrooms
  4. GoDawgs

    GoDawgs Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2011
    Atlanta burbs
    I got a couple cracked eggs, and then two soft eggs in about one week (and we have only four hens).

    I've been mixing some of the oyster shell into the feed, and also putting out a bowl of milk each day for them. After doing this for just a few days, we are noticing a HUGE difference in the strength of the egg shells. They are all very hard and take more effort to break than store bought eggs.
  5. Barrdwing

    Barrdwing Chillin' With My Peeps

    What do you suppose that insufficient protein levels in the feed might be part of the problem as well? I am seriously considering adding in some extra protein sources for our girls during high summer and winter. There aren't nearly as many bugs during those times, and that seems to coincide with decreased shell quality. They've got a hopper with nothing but oyster-shell in it at all times, and they definitely eat it up, so I really have to wonder if there's more to the equation than just insufficient calcium. Proteins are responsible for a lot of functions in the body, including carrying calcium around, so I can sure see a protein deficiency playing a role in weakened shells.

    Incidentally, our girls are absolutely crazy about freezer-burned vanilla ice cream.
  6. valerie0001

    valerie0001 New Egg

    May 4, 2011
    When I had this problem with my 8 chickens, I added 1 1/2 cups of oyster shells to their food each morning, and in the late afternoon I treated them to shredded mozzarella cheese and several scoops of cottage cheese. They enjoyed the afternoon treat to no end! and I started getting harder shells again.
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Does the feed have a source of animal protein, such as fish meal?
  8. lizzie201296

    lizzie201296 Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2010
    Gotten a bit more serious now... could anyone please look on my most recent post RE the swollen butt below the vent, really don't know what's happening to them! One isn't laying and has a big red swollen thing below the vent, and the other has started laying harder eggs now (been using a calcium supplement) but seems very mopey, and neither are eating much! Help! :'(

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