Eggs tasteless, odd texture, and thin shells.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sommrluv, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. sommrluv

    sommrluv Songster

    Jul 17, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    I'm having issues with my flock.

    The past couple months we started getting thinner eggshells, lighter yolks. There was one chicken that was REALLY aggressively picking on the other chickens and we gave her a few 2 year old chickens to a friend. In May, a chicken died with no prior symptoms, and no signs of stress.

    Now last week, another chicken just dropped dead. I would say the past two weeks, our shells have been thinner, yolks lighter, and whites runny. The texture of the cooked whites is "flabby" and unpleasant in the mouth. I guess you could call it chalky, it reminds me of the white stuff in a fresh-boiled lobster (not taste, but texture)...random analogy, I know, lol.

    Are the chickens just older? they are probably 2-3 years old which I did not think was "old" for a chicken. They are producing 4-6 a week for each chicken. They free range once a week, have free choice oyster shell, cold fresh water with cider vinegar available at all times.

    The only problems lately have been with finches & starlings breaking into the coop and eating the feed. We've been working to eradicate them.

    Thanks for any suggestions.


  2. sommrluv

    sommrluv Songster

    Jul 17, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
  3. wayneh

    wayneh Chirping

    Jan 25, 2011
    N. E. Alabama
    Do they have a good quality feed available. They may not be gettinng enough nutrition from freeranging.
  4. ericnash

    ericnash In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2011
    Do you give them crushed oysters for protein?
  5. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    I'm guessing either the Summer heat is getting to them a tad and they are not free ranging nearly enough to be able to get the sort of texture you are looking for in the eggs. Wondering about the feed to? scraps -veggies-fruits???

    Oyster shells for CALCIUM-to harden shells?
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011

  6. henney penny

    henney penny Songster

    Nov 21, 2009
    Northern Maine
    I`m having the same problem,hope we get some answers.Mine have free acess to good feed,oyster shell and free range for an hour everyday.They get sraps to.
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  7. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Songster

    Oct 31, 2008
    Any signs of mites or lice? When was the last time they were wormed?

    Chickens do drop dead now and then, and the summer's heat doesn't help any, but if the whole flock isn't doing well, I'd look for health and nutrition problems. Try supplementing with Black Oil Sunflower Seeds and see if that helps the protein level.
  8. Backyard Barb

    Backyard Barb In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2011
    Im sorry [​IMG] We had trouble with the wild birds eating the feed until I hung a bird feeder in a different part of the yard. Now the wild birds go the bird feeder and leave the feed alone.

    I have no idea. We have had trouble with Egg Drop Syndrome. One bird came in with it and now 3-4 have it and one of our birds caught viral anemia but has recovered from that. Try to keep the wild birds away.
  9. epeloquin

    epeloquin Songster

    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    Tough one but I would probably be looking at the heat too. If they're too hot they won't eat right which would account for the poor eggs. Plus the heat can kill them. As I understand it, chickens can die quickly from the heat. 2 of my girls (BR) do not like the heat at all. I have a fan in their coop and sometimes I soak them in a basin of water if they're really heated up.

  10. sommrluv

    sommrluv Songster

    Jul 17, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    Sorry I was MIA, Thanks for getting some answers here.

    To answer:

    Feed -- We're currently doing a higher protein gamebird feed. It's what we fed the winter of 09-10, and we normally switch back to layer feed. When we did this year, production (on what was 10 birds at the time) went down to two eggs a day for ten days. Switched back to gamebird, and it ramped up within 48 hours. They don't eat a lot of it between kitchen scraps, free ranging, etc.

    Calcium -- they get free choice oyster shell, their own shells back maybe 5 X a month, plus occassional yogurt/cottage cheese treats.

    I don't think the heat is as bad as it has been, it was over 100 here for weeks last year and they were fine. Drop in production but that was it. It's been in the eighty-ish range. We have shade cloth over portions of the run, and a fan in the coop running night/day.

    I was concerned last month that they might have had that Bronchitis thing, we had two wrinkly eggs, but they never appeared again so I just called it a fluke.

    I have not treated them for mites in two months (I didn't see any, I just spray occassionally) and I haven't wormed them since fall (precautionary). I'm leaning more towards the wild birds causing an issue? They are starlings, finches, and something my husband calls spatzies or rat-birds. If only my terrier killed the bad birds faster...she only gets a few a week (not chickens).

    I did check them for mites, couldn't see any, but there has been some feather pulling. My vet was closed for a fourth holiday, should I call him? I honestly don't want to spend $100 to take a chicken to the vet, I'm more inclined to cull, scour the coop/run and start over with new chickens.

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