Free Ranging and Soft Shelled Eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LindsaySinai, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. LindsaySinai

    LindsaySinai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2011
    San Diego
    I used to let my chickens free range a good deal of the day but I redid a portion of my yard and they discovered they loved to dig it up. They lost the privelege to free range unless im out there supervising them and the weather hasnt been that good so I havent been working in the yard...which means they havent been out. One of my hens started laying soft shelled eggs and did so for a solid few months before I gave her back to my Aunt. Now one of my chickens that hasnt been laying long all of a sudden started laying soft shelled eggs and has been almost every day for the past week or two. I let them free range a good deal of the day yesterday and she laid a perfect egg today. Could it be related at all??? Maybe the grass has something in it they're not getting in there coop...or overall just happier??
     
  2. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 5, 2010
    I've noticed something similar from time to time. It may be that whatever you're feeding them when confined isn't quite high enough in calcium. When out on grass etc the birds will forage and eat a lot of calcium via both leafy greens and bugs to make up the difference.

    It could also be access to sunshine increasing their vitamin D production, making it easier for dietary calcium to be absorbed. Vitamins and minerals have complex relationships so there could be other factors as well.

    If you can't free range them because of predators like hawks (a problem I have here) it's all the more important to ensure their feed is complete and rich in calcium. I chop wheat grass for the birds and that seems to help with shell strength as well as yolk colour. Dandelion is also useful as are other leafy greens. And of course shell grit, both in the feed and via a hopper.

    Hope this helps,
    regards
    Erica
     
  3. LindsaySinai

    LindsaySinai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2011
    San Diego
    Quote:Thank you!!
     

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