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eggs, then "soft-shell" eggs found, then nothing?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gretchen, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. gretchen

    gretchen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2007
    I was getting three eggs a day from 3 of my Ladies who are laying (still waiting on the other 4) . Then Wednesday I got nothing ( I saw two of them in the box during the day but nothing was left ). Yesterday I went out early in the morning to let them out and there were 2 soft shell eggs under the roost (like they "dropped" out during their sleep ) then I was raking leaves and there were 2 more soft shells in the leaves. now today there is nothing again, saw 1 in the box but no egg. I checked outside, no softies or hiding. When they do lay the shells are really hard, so I don't think it's lack of Calcium. Could it be new ones laying there firsts? But why are the regulars not laying? Just when I thought I knew what I was doing....
     
  2. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    I believe it takes them a while to get their bodies geared up to regularly lay normal eggs. Some individuals seem to have more problems with soft shelled eggs than others. Usually if they lay a soft shell there will be a delay before they can lay another good egg. What I have seen with one of my ducks is that she will lay the soft shelled eggs in the late afternoon or evening and not lay the next morning.

    I have also noticed that when my girl free-ranges she is less likely to be eating enough of her layer feed and therefore she will lay soft shelled eggs on days after she has been free-ranging a lot. I think providing calcium in the form of oyster shells placed in various locations would help, in my case anyway. Not sure what your set-up is.
     
  3. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    If you aren't already supplementing with calcium, do that free choice - it should help.
     
  4. horsewishr

    horsewishr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2007
    West Michigan
    I don't think it's a calcium issue. I think it's a timing issue.

    When they drop eggs from the roost they're, in effect, laying a "premature" egg. The only softies I've ever gotten have been dropped overnight. I have free-choice calcium available, and my hens have never touched it.

    I'm assuming these are young hens? I still have one that occasionally goofs up and drops a soft one overnight. If she holds onto them until morning, they always have hard shells.
     
  5. gretchen

    gretchen Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 18, 2007
    Yes, they are young. I also think Calcium levels are fine... the ones that make it are hard to crack... I also have Calcium available and throw it on the ground they free range on. It just seems really odd to get 4 all grouped together like that. I have had them do it before (under the roost) but never 4 in one day.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2007
  6. DrakeMaiden

    DrakeMaiden Overrun with Drakes

    Jun 8, 2007
    Kitsap County, WA
    My duck laid 2 soft shell eggs in one day. It was a bit strange. I thought she would need 2 days to recover, but after one day, she layed a normal egg again. Go figure.

    I was wondering if there was something she was nibbling on out in the field that might cause "miscarriage."
     
  7. roosterlou

    roosterlou Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2007
    New Hampshire
    I was hoping to find something on the internet that had to do with a softshell egg. I have my first bunch of laying chickens - some white leghorn and some easter egg chickens. They are 22 weeks old and I am enjoying finding the eggs. Today I was horrified to find one of these soft things in the nesting box. I don't have to worry that one of the hens has a disease? Can I eat the soft egg or throw it away?
     

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