hen laying egg and shell separately?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sydney13, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    i have a 1 1/2 yr. old Jersey Giant hen who recently has developed some strange laying behaviors. about a week ago I found an egg on the dropping board that didn't have the shell but was wrapped in a delicate membrane. It was laid while she was still on the roost probably in the early morning. The next day I found another shell less egg in the nest box which I assume was laid by her again. A day or two latter their was a shell in the nest box but no egg. Its possible this was unrelated, just I a hen who crushed her egg and then ate the inside but I guessing it was from the jersey giant. During the next few days I came across 2 more of these egg less shells in the nest box and on the ground. Last night I went out to check all the birds were in and noticed the Jersey Giant was missing (she always goes in). I eventually found her under a bush and moved her back into the coop. Other than her not going in last night her behavior is perfectly normal.
    Any ideas on why she is laying eggs without the shells and then shells without the eggs (at least I think thats her) [​IMG] ? The only causes for this I have read of is from a young pullet starting to lay, lack of vitamin D or calcium, or heat stress. She is not a young pullet (been laying for a yr.), she is on layer with free choice oyster shells, she has plenty of sun shine and it definitely it is not hot right now here [​IMG]
    Does this sound like just a passing thing or could it lead to something serious?
    Any info is greatly appreciated [​IMG]
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Hmmm...well, you need to find out if you have an egg eater. I was wondering what you meant by eggless shell (I was picturing cracking an egg into a skillet and it being empty...lol) - so you're saying you're finding the busted shell and the yolk/white gone or eaten??? So you need to find the culprit if that's happening (egg eating). Or check for eggs several times a day so that there is less chance of one getting eaten.
    As for soft shelled eggs, jello eggs, etc., if you're not supplementing layer feed with oyster shell, then try it - it'll probably clear things up. You can just offer it free choice, and generally your pullets/hens know whether they need it or not. Layer feed should have enough calcium, but some girls need extra. You're finding them below the roost because they're "oops" eggs - a hen usually doesn't seem to expect them. Sometimes they're in the nest, but usually not. New layers are more prone to oops eggs than mature layers, and it usually works itself out within two weeks or so...
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  3. sydney13

    sydney13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Quote:By egg less shell I mean that it's just a flat, crushed shell with no sign of there ever being an yolk or white. Something I should have mentioned is that the shell I find is not your typical crushed egg shell but instead its not as hard and thick, much thinner and flexible. That would make me think it has something to do with her odd laying rather than another hen happening to be laying real thin eggs and then eating them. I have a dish of oyster shells next to their food (which is layer) although Ive never seen anyone eating
    it because I guess they get enough calcium from foraging and the layer feed. I offered her a handful of oyster shells but she showed no interest in them.
    Maybe this could be an internal laying issue? It does sounds like this "egg drop syndrome" but that's supposed to be very rare in US so I'm guessing not...
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Hmmmm.... Well that's a new one on me - eggwhite/yolk-less egg shells. So you're thinking that perhaps the yolk is staying inside the body cavity and the shell is being passed??? I'd have to go back and refresh my memory on the laying tract for that one [​IMG] I'd almost be more inclined to think that her egg organs have become diseased or dysfunctional as a first guess. But I wouldn't guess anything until it's become a habit...so I wouldn't presume anything unless it's been going on for several weeks, so I'd give it another week or two before worrying too much.
     

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