Ever have a hen that does this?


Always Grateful
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Apr 11, 2010
She is 1 yr. old. Laid real well at first, winter came, slowed down, starting to lay on a reg. basis again, but...first a good egg, then a very soft shell egg that breaks when laid, or, she will just lay the yolk! What to do what to do? Yes, she will eat the oyster shell that is put out for the hens. I hope she breaks this bad cycle soon!
I have got a hen who is doing about the same thing, shell-less eggs, soft-shell eggs.... I need to figure it out but they free range and I am not sure who is doing it. She has all the essentials that the rest of them have, so I think it may be the individual bird has a glitch in her egg making hardware. I hope yours and mine come around.
Found this, maybe it'll help:

Most people immediately think that Oyster shell grit is what a hen needs if she is laying soft shelled eggs but a dietary deficiency can also be the cause of a ‘soft' shelled egg. Whilst chickens need grit to grind their food down in their gizzard and calcium to form their egg shells, they also need a correct level of protein in their diet as well as minerals and various other vitamins. Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) is used for the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus to be able to form egg shells as well as strong bones. Vitamin D is found in Cod Liver Oil but they shouldn't normally need this if they are fed the correct formulated layers feed and have free range and sunshine on their backs.
Corn treats and kitchen scraps

Wheat found in mixed corn typically contains about 10% protein. This isn't a sufficient amount for a hen that is producing eggs. Keep corn as a treat only. Kitchen scraps are a bit of a mixed bag of what a hen needs so whilst this is an efficient way to recycle them and save on feed costs, scraps should not really exceed 25% of a hen's diet. Scraps should be mixed with layers mash to make a crumbly mixture. The best way to ensure a hen is getting the correct diet is to use a balanced layers feed and then supplement this with greens and a vitamin and mineral drink that can be added to their water during the peak months of production.
Any suggestions on mineral/vitamin supplement to water? I am also having hens with hard, then soft, eggs. They have layer feed, grit and oyster shell, and are free ranged so lots of bugs and goodies.
Yes...mineral drink? My hens are on a layers feed, but...I have been giving them a corm meal type of food I can get here..soo, guess what they like better? Hmmm, guess I will slow down on the that stuff, so they will eat their layer food..they have slowed way down on the layer feed since they have been loving the other. Little spoiled stinks.

Thanks, anyone know of the mineral drink..that would be a great thing to add. I like to do the egg mixture with the plain yogurt at times, but maybe I should be doing that more often..protein.
Now that's interesting too..will have to look up on of these ideas..I just want the little stink to stop plopping egg yolk, or a real soft shell that breaks when she lays it.
I do have the poly vits..should give them more often. Will have to see how often that should be given.
I have one Splash Orpington who lays a thin shelled egg and has since day one. Sometimes they are cracked or broken when they hit the nest, or while I am washing them (yes I wash my eggs since I sell most of them). Then I have another hen who is the shell-less layer. They are free range, they get a very good balanced lay mash, I supplement with calf manna almost daily, they get veggie and bread scraps from the house. Between all those things, I would think that my girls are getting quite a balanced and varied diet. So, I don't know what is missing. I will have to see about a vitamin/mineral supplement to add to their water, or maybe break into that sea kelp I bought last year (which is supposed to contain ALL the minerals available).
Here you go, I found this seemed to give some good info!

The first pullet egg may be soft-shelled until her system gets into its stride. If it continues, make sure that the birds are getting a balanced diet such as that provided by a commercial free-range or organic layer’s ration. Such feeds will usually contain calcium and phosphorus in the right ratio (around 3.5-4% calcium to 0.3% phosphorus). Providing a little crushed oyster-shell or calcified seaweed will ensure that any deficiency is rectified, for the birds will not take more than they require.

A shock can also make a hen lay a soft-shelled egg. My own observations are that if a flock is caught in a sudden shower of rain (for they are sometimes too dim to run for shelter), a few soft-shelled eggs are often produced the next day, but by the following day, they’re back to normal.

It is when soft-shelled eggs or misshapen ones are produced regularly that there need be a cause for concern. Veterinary advice should be sought. Conditions that adversely affect eggs include Newcastle disease (a notifiable disease to the authorities) and Infectious bronchitis, but there would be disease symptoms showing in the birds themselves if either of these was present. Hybrids are normally vaccinated against them.

Egg drop syndrome (EDS) is also a viral infection that results in a reduced number of eggs, as well as an increased number of pale-shelled eggs. Birds do recover from it but egg production may not get back to its previous level and there may still be a proportion of deformed ones produced. It can be vaccinated against
Good info..thank goodness she is acting well, no symptoms of illness at all. She's a Deleware, 1 yr. old..just starting to pick up on laying since she slowed down for the winter..maybe? She is a very big bird. I didn't know that Delewares got so big! She lays often, it's just that every other day it's soft. My husband put a piece of carpet down in all of the nest boxes, under the ceder chips so that when the eggs drop, none break..hers still do. Oh oh, I hear her balking now! Best hurry and go check it's normal so the others won't eat it if it's soft!

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