Hello- Help, Please!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by LeboChickenMama, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. LeboChickenMama

    LeboChickenMama In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2017
    hi, I have had my chickens since a week before Easter. I believe my chickens are about 20weeks old. I have 3 Rhode Island Reds. I was very surprised to walk out yesterday and clean their coop to find an egg sitting in the nest. Today I went out and found a soft shelled egg. I popped it open and there were what looked like 2 deep orange yolks and 2 fuzzy light yellow (looked like almost chicks). The egg from yesterday was just a beautiful normal egg, but after this mornings findings we cracked open yesterday's egg and sadly it was wasted:( I am not certain that all my chickens are hens, I also don't know what to make of this situation.

    I feed my chickens good food and calcium, we hadn't even started with the later feed bc we didn't think they were ready. Are my chickens too young for eggs? Why did she start laying? And do they start to mate this young? Any help is much appreciated!!!

    Attached Files:

  2. andreanar

    andreanar Crowing

    May 16, 2014
    Finger Lakes, NY
    I don't know what to say about those weird looking eggs! But I can tell you that yes, your hens are ready to lay! They certainly are old enough. Could you put a photo up of the chicken standing in the background of the first photo? A whole body shot of the bird standing, photo showing the side view. Is it hot where you are? Could the egg have being sitting for a few days in the heat before you found it? Ive never had soft shelled eggs, so I'm not sure if they are usually weird looking inside. But I wonder if you have a cockerel and if the egg sat in the heat, could it have started to develop.
    rjohns39 likes this.
  3. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Crowing

    Jul 19, 2015
    Coastal Bend, TX
    Welcome to BYC!

    Your chickens are certainly old enough to be laying (as evidenced by the egg) and mating, if you have a male. I can't tell from your picture because it is too small. As long as you are putting out calcium (oyster shell) there is no need for layer feed. Soft shell eggs sometimes happen. Right now I have one that has laid two soft shelled eggs in a row even though she gets the same feed and has access to oyster shell just like everyone else. Make sure your oyster shell dish stays full.

    Developing chicks look a lot different than that and you would see a lot of veins, so no worries there.
  4. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

    Jan 30, 2015
    Hi and welcome to BYC - thanks for joining us. As mentioned, its perfectly normal to expect funky eggs when a pullet first begins to lay. It can take a while until they get their egg-laying plumbing in sync.
    rjohns39, LeboChickenMama and apryl29 like this.
  5. apryl29

    apryl29 Crossing the Road

    May 8, 2017
    NE Ohio
    I've had several soft shell eggs and was told it's normal for new layers to have them. I also had a bout of soft shell eggs after one of my birds was attacked by a coyote. Stress and heat can effect them too. Give her some time. Most pullets start laying around 20 weeks. So she's not too young. Her body knows when it's time, it just takes them a few tries to get it right. Here's a few pics of my soft shell/ no shell eggs. The small normal ish looking egg was from the other day. One of my eggers laid it as her first egg. The others were soon after the coyote attack, but the one w/ the tails was the strangest one.

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    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  6. LeboChickenMama

    LeboChickenMama In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2017
    Hey, thanks a bunch for the reply, the egg was fresh. Every morning I let the chickens out of the nesting area and I just cleaned their coop yesterday. Here are some pics of each chicken

    Attached Files:

    rjohns39, andreanar and apryl29 like this.
  7. LeboChickenMama

    LeboChickenMama In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2017
    Woah!!! Thanks a bunch for sharing!! Now, I'm not so nervous. I don't think she has been under stress unless one of my hens is a rooster and is being aggressive which I have not witnessed. It's summer here in the NE but it's like a cool 69 degrees. And yesterday it only went up to 75, so I don't think it's heat.
    rjohns39 and apryl29 like this.
  8. LeboChickenMama

    LeboChickenMama In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2017
    Phew thank you!! I am happy to know they weren't baby chicks! I appreciate all the help!
    rjohns39 and apryl29 like this.
  9. rjohns39

    rjohns39 Wrangler

    Aug 20, 2015
    Smith County, TN
    Welcome to BYC, glad to meet you :frow I would probably start transitioning them to layer as it has significantly more calcium and agree with the advice you've gotten so far.
    apryl29 likes this.
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Some folks put layers on "grower feed," with a separate container of crushed egg shell. Hens will take the egg shell only if they need it. Grower feed has more protein than layer feed and is better for hens as well.

    If you don't have a rooster, you hens will not lay fertile eggs.
    rjohns39 and andreanar like this.

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