sammyg21

Chirping
Jan 3, 2016
30
5
64
Rocklin, Ca
I have 6 gals in my flock and one of them consistently lays thin shelled eggs. There was a short period of time where the flock had a duck feed (wrong feed was purchased and not noticed until egg production for everyone went down)We went back to our Purina Lay pellets and her shells are still pretty thin. She's been laying for about 6 months. Is there anything else I can do?

Edited to add: I offer oystershell in a separate container (I used to add it to the food but they would pick it out and leave it) so they have access to that whenever they want it. I also break down egg shells and add that to their feed
 
Last edited:

B Redhawk

Chirping
May 24, 2017
84
74
80
do you have some crushed oyster shell set out as free choice? usually thin shells are an indication of not enough calcium but along with calcium there needs to be enough manganese, zinc and other trace minerals available or the chicken can't utilize the calcium. so you may need to give trace minerals as well as a free choice supplement.
 

sammyg21

Chirping
Jan 3, 2016
30
5
64
Rocklin, Ca
do you have some crushed oyster shell set out as free choice? usually thin shells are an indication of not enough calcium but along with calcium there needs to be enough manganese, zinc and other trace minerals available or the chicken can't utilize the calcium. so you may need to give trace minerals as well as a free choice supplement.
They have access to oyster shell at all times and I crumble up egg shells and add that to their feed. I'll have to look into a mineral supplement. Thanks!
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
26,873
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
I would suggest that you get them on a good multi vit. I have found that when a hen is laying weak shelled eggs, simply adding calcium is not enough. Many nutrients are co dependent on other nutrients for good absorption, and calcium is not exempt.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
20,477
30,142
1,026
southern Michigan
Egg shells mixed with layer feed is not a good idea; the layer feed shouldn't have anything mixed in, and egg shells aren't the best for good shell development. Just have the oyster shell in a separate container, and consider shifting to a richer (higher protein) diet. Some hens will produce thin shelled eggs no matter what you do because it's genetic, so that's possible too. Mary
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
26,873
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
FP, a recent study stated that egg shell works just as good as OS as a calcium supplement. Egg shell quality did not differ when comparing eggs from birds supplemented with OS to the eggs from birds supplemented with ES. However, one can't depend on simply feeding back the egg shells, as eventually it will be a diminishing return. I've had my adult flock on starter for the last 9 weeks. Only twice in that time have I given them OS. They have been able to free range. This morning, I had to FIGHT my way into an egg so I could cook it for breakfast.
 

Fabidon

Chirping
8 Years
Jun 25, 2011
32
5
77
I'm back and still having the same problem with weak shells. I have 9 chickens with 6 being the younger, more productive egg layers but several are laying huge eggs, Jumbo; XXJumbo and even XXXJumbo. I am feeding Purina Layena crumbles with oyster shell available at all times plus they are free range during the day. We feed them some veggie and fruit scraps and as recommended earlier, mix their feed with water to make it a mush in the mornings. I think the extra size is causing the weak shells because the more normal sized eggs have strong shells but I don't think I can make them produce smaller eggs if they are genetically geared for such large ones. The six younger birds are all sex-link Rhode Island Red/Leghorn crosses. One last thing, we do not get double yolked eggs, just more white with typical yolks. Any ideas?
 

Fabidon

Chirping
8 Years
Jun 25, 2011
32
5
77
Thank you for that input....they are just a little over two years old, is that considered "older"? Their eggs have increased in size since they started laying but they are so big now they won't fit in "Large" egg containers.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
20,477
30,142
1,026
southern Michigan
Yes, they are 'older' hens. Commercial producers cull birds earlier; those of us that keep our nice hens just have to deal with whatever they decide to produce, and thinner shells will happen. I think that Flock Raiser with oyster shell on the side works out better, for my birds, rather than a layer diet. Mary
 

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