Hard shells and thick membranes

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nomonewbies, May 12, 2011.

  1. nomonewbies

    nomonewbies New Egg

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    Oct 5, 2010
    I read a lot of posts here from people who are concerned about soft shelled eggs. I have just the opposite problem. We have 23 BO hens and 2 BO roosters. It seems like all the hens are laying since we get 18 to 2 eggs per day. The only "problem" if it is a problem is that the shells are very thick and hard and the inner membrane makes breaking and egg (like for an omelet or something) a real chore. Once the shell is cracked, it actually takes a knife to cut the membrane, otherwise the shell breaks into small pieces before the membrane can be torn open. I think, (although nobody has actually fessed up) that it is the reason we can't really sell more eggs. Could it be the diet? We feed them 16% layer crumbles (and have recently started phasing in layer pellets) and have both grit and oyster shells available at all times. They go out in the 300 sq. ft. pen every day and dutifully return to the coop every eventing 10 minutes after sunset. We throw in grass and weed clippings often and occasionally add some breadcrumbs. They are fantastically funny and docile chickens and we could ask for better behaved birds. The roosters are doing their thing as well. The only problem is the thick shells and membranes. Is this actually a problem? Does it need correcting and, if so, what?
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    [​IMG]
    It's normal for a backyard chickens egg. [​IMG]
     
  3. Mandy1296

    Mandy1296 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2009
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    I am noticing this same type "problem" with the thickness of the membranes of some of my eggs.

    Pro's: Eggs seem to stay fresh for a lot longer and when a shell gets cracked - goopy mess doesn't leak out before you make it to the garbage.
    Con's: They are harder to peel, even after I wait over a week to boil them, they are sometimes a booger to break open, I have to crack the shell, then puncture the membrane and tear the egg open.

    I occasionally have a shell-less egg, and I can pick it up and handle them without them breaking. They are like little water balloons.

    Not to get into hatching, but I also think this has a relation to my hatch rate, as it's dropped this year dropped sharply ( by almost 40% I'd say.) The mostly I find that the poor things can get the shell cracked - but the membrane doesn't puncture. By the time they can get through it, it's been too long and they are too tired to get out. (I've paid extra special attention to humidity etc.)

    I don't see a correlation to the age of the bird so much, I think that maybe some birds just lay eggs with the thicker membranes?

    Anyone else noticing a change in your membranes like this??
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Try this trick to hard boil fresh chicken eggs - Bring a pot of slightly salted water to a full, rolling boil. Lower the eggs into the water with a slotted spoon. Once all the eggs are in shut off the heat, cover and let sit for 17 minutes. Then immediately cool the eggs off with ice water. Perfect hard boiled eggs, easy to peel.

    The reason for the tougher membranes compared to the store bought eggs has to do with the age of the eggs. Eggs from the grocery store can be several weeks to a month and a half old (or older). The older the egg, the weaker the membrane.
     
  5. Mandy1296

    Mandy1296 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the tip gritsar, I'll that this weekend! It's the age of the egg you say? I can see that - at least with hatching. before this year I had fewer chickens and had to hold the eggs longer before setting in incubator. I'll try just holding the eggs longer before I do anything with them. Last Thanksgiving time I gave a friend at work a dozen eggs. At Christmas time she was walking out with that same carton of eggs, upset with herself that she'd forgotten them in the fridge all that time. I swapped the old eggs for a fresh dozen and did the water test on them. At about 5 weeks old, only 2 came off the bottom of the bowl! Those eggs did great for peeling!
     
  6. Bakequery

    Bakequery New Egg

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    Apr 30, 2014
    We, too, have noticed thick membranes. The Barred Plymouth Rocks and the Easter Egger eggs are fine but the eggs from the Speckled Sussex all have thick membranes. The only solution I can see is to make scrambled eggs from them as you can not get an intact yolk for an over easy egg.
     

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