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Frequent soft shell eggs... Why?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kylen2007, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. kylen2007

    kylen2007 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2015
    Hello! I have a flock of 17. I Roo 10 hens and 6 pullets. My pullets are ISA browns. I have never had them before and are supposed to be comparable to leghorns as far as productivity. They started laying right after Christmas and over the past 10 days I have consistently been finding a soft shell egg (frozen like a rock!) on the poop trays under their roost. They have been great layers. I faithfully get 5 eggs from them daily. I know double yolkers are common in pullets as their hormones are balancing out but can that alao be the reason for multiple soft shells? I mean these girls are laying machines and only 19 weeks. Do I need to change anything diet wise? They are on a high protein and calcium diet. I do a 2:1 ratio of meat bird feed and layer feed. I also have pyster shells out for who ever needs extra. I am hoping they grow out of it before summer when they eggs wont be freezing so no one decides to eat them. Last thing I want is an egg eater!
  2. FiveMileFarmer

    FiveMileFarmer Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 13, 2015
    i have never had this problem. I was going to say to put out oyster shells for extra calcium, but it looks like you already are doing that.

    I would say just wait and see what happens, young birds often lay "messed up" eggs when they first begin laying. If the problem persists even when they are full-grown, I would look for a vet.
  3. kylen2007

    kylen2007 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2015
    I think they are just pumping them out too quickly bc they are young. With my JG and EE inused to get a double yolker daily. My ISA Browns lay faithfully by 9am. I put them to bed at 6. I am wondering if they are trying to make two a day instead of double yolking. crossing my fingers its hormonal. Thanks!
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    A hen’s internal egg making factory is fairly complicated. When a pullet first starts to lay it’s not that unusual for something to be wrong with the egg; soft or no shell, double-yolkers, no yolk or no white eggs (usually really tiny), extremely hard shells, just all kinds of weird things.

    Most of the time a pullet goes through a certain routine when she starts to lay. About a week before she lays her first egg she starts checking out potential nests so when that first egg is ready she knows what to do. I find having older hens already laying helps with this. But sometimes a pullet will drop an egg wherever she happens to be, on the roost or just walking around. It’s as if she has not yet learned to control the process. Once she gains control she will find a place to lay the egg but until then you can find an egg anywhere.

    There can be something else at work too. There are different triggers that tell a hen when to start an egg through her internal egg making factory. It takes about 25 hours, give or take a few hours, for the egg to go through her internal factory. One of those triggers is daylight. If it is too late in the day, the egg should not start its journey so it doesn’t have to be laid at night. I think this is a big reason we so often find pullets laying eggs from the roost. Her triggers are just not working right.

    It sometime stakes a while for them to sort all this out but normally not more than two weeks. What’s kind of remarkable to me is that so many actually get it right to start with. I’m hoping one of your pullets is just going through a debugging process and will sort her egg making factory out.

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