Hen continues to lay soft shell eggs - what's wrong ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by missypebble, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. missypebble

    missypebble Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    She's almost a year old Buff Orpington who used to be a really good egg layer - solid shell, nice size egg and never had trouble with egg laying before. About 2 months ago, suddenly she stopped laying for about a little over a week. During that time, her diet hadn't changed. I always have oyster shell and grits freely accessible to the chickens and give them nuts, black oil sunflower seeds, dried worms, etc. as treats. So after stop laying for more than a week, she laid two "fart eggs". Then it took her over a week or so to lay a normal egg again. I was thrilled.... Then suddenly, about 10 days or so now, she has been laying soft shell egg almost every other day. In between these days that she laid soft shell eggs, she laid several normal eggs. There was a day when she laid a normal egg in the morning, then around midnight, she laid a soft shell. Yesterday she did not lay, and now I came home, another soft shell egg. To make matter worse, she had already picked up a habit of eating these soft shell eggs and had taught another chicken how to eat it as well.

    I am feeding her Purina Layer, and a separate container for grit and oyster shell. For treats, I still give them nuts, dried worms, grapes, a little bit of organic yogurt. The last 2 weeks we have had good rain here so for a few days I started digging earth worms and gave them some. They hadn't had earth worms for several days now.

    I am really worry and I don't know what else to do.
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    You can try a vitamin boost.
  3. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

  4. karlamaria

    karlamaria Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Western montana
    My chickens do not eat the oyster shell so we give plenty of yougurt , and calcium enriched veggies. She may need more yourgurt sounds to me like she needs more calcium.
  5. missypebble

    missypebble Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Thank you both for your time and suggestions. I have always mixed ACV to my flock's waterer on a daily basis and I've done this for at least half a year or so now. Recently, I crushed a tablet of calcium with vitamin D to mix in with the ACV & water for them to drink. The other two hens are laying ok, with good shell, but this hen continues to lay soft-shell egg for the past 2+ weeks. I'll keep trying different as suggested and see if it helps. I am mainly worrying about her overall health as I've read on here several articles/ threads talked about serious illness that leads to death when hens lay soft-shell or no shell egg. I have no idea this is something that's been stressing me out very much!

    Oh the "joy" of raising/ keeping chickens as pets!!!
  6. Delta2 23

    Delta2 23 Flock Master

    Sep 4, 2008
    She might not be eating the oyster shell.

    Either that, or perhaps you have a "dodgy chicken", as someone I know calls it. These just seem to lay soft-shelled eggs, no matter what you give them to try and change it. I have one. She is perfectly healthy otherwise, and just has a tendency to lay weak-shelled eggs.

    To break the egg-eating habit, try filling one of the eggs with something bad-tasting like mustard. This usually deters the chicken from eating anymore after she tries this "egg".
  7. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    You might have already seen this...
    Here's some information about shellless eggs


    Some foods that are good sources of calcium

    1. Spinach & Swiss Chard
    2. Salmon & Sardines (canned with bones)
    3. Mustard, Collard, Kale & Turnip greens
    4. Shellfish
    5. Blackstrap molasses (can cause runny stools)
    6. Corn Tortillas
    7. Yogurt
    8. Mozzarella & Cheddar cheese
    9. Milk, Buttermilk (goat's milk and cow's milk)
    10. Basil, thyme, dill seed, cinnamon, and peppermint leaves
    11. Romaine lettuce
    12. Rhubarb
    13. Almonds, Peanuts & Brazil Nuts

    14. Black Beans, Dried Beans (Cooked)
    15. Sesame seeds
    16. Fennel
    17. Cabbage, Bok Choy, & Chinese cabbage
    18. Summer squash
    19. Green beans
    20. Garlic
    21. Tofu & Soybeans
    22. Brussel sprouts & Broccoli
    23. Oranges (Some people do not feed citrus to chickens)
    24. Asparagus & Okra
    25. Crimini mushrooms
    26. Foods Fortified with Calcium: Some Orange Juice, Breads, & Cereals

    Good luck,

  8. chookhead

    chookhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 7, 2011
    they could be vitamin d deficient lol
  9. pfarrell442

    pfarrell442 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 31, 2013
    Hi. I am having the same problem you reported on last year. Were you able to fix it? i have 3, 1-year old LegHorns. They used to lay without issue but now Dolores, my smallest one is often laying rubber eggs, getting a shell stuck after passing the yolk and in between it all she lays normal eggs. Well normal in the sense that they are shelled. they have always been porcelain thin. now, since the first rubber egg, when she does lay a solid egg it has a wrinkle on the shell. its a raised wrinkle that is the same each time. could there be an internal issue? she otherwise seems fine. i feed all my girls good layena, they free range and eat grasses and plants, i give them yogurt in oatmeal with honey every morning. they also get oyster shell. i do notice that Dolores is often picked on and probably gets less to eat for running away from her sisters. i hand feed her mealworms and yogurt with apples in the morning sometimes. we also love to go earthwormin' in the garden now and again. she is a great little chicken and i love her for her spunk. i wish she' smack the others when they pick on her.... keeping an eye on them all. but for the soft eggs and the random stuck shell.... i am worried she will never be 100% again.

    I give all the girls a vitamin boost in their water too.

    were you able to figure your issue out?
  10. Van Kirby

    Van Kirby New Egg

    Sep 15, 2011
    What vitamins do you suggest?

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