Hen laying thin, light colored shell eggs, why?

faith2221

Hatching
6 Years
Jan 25, 2013
7
1
9
I have 3 hens almost 2 years old, -
All layed great until about 2 months ago. I have 1 hen laying light colored, thin shelled eggs. They have a bunch of bumpy deposits at one end of the egg. When you tap on them you can feel how fragile they are. Here are photos.



She has been wormed and they free range but also have access to a good chicken feed. I haven't had this problem with any of the other hens and she did lay normal eggs up until 2 months ago. I give them oyster she'll also.
 

couuntrygirl13

Chirping
7 Years
Oct 22, 2012
106
5
86
United States
When chickens are in molt, they lay unusual eggs. She also could be lacking nutrients. Try giving her vitamins. They can be found at your local feed store.
 

Mary Poopins

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 22, 2013
55
3
33
I could be the lack of light.
Have they been cooped up lately?
 
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faith2221

Hatching
6 Years
Jan 25, 2013
7
1
9
No they free range full time. The days are getting really long so I can't imagine it being a light issue.
 

topdog24

Songster
5 Years
Apr 8, 2014
935
276
196
Jena Louisiana,
It could be their age, some breeds only lay for a year and a half to 2 years, it could be coming to the time for them to stop, their egg factory may be worn out,
 

Mrs Tizzler

Hatching
5 Years
May 1, 2014
6
0
9
I have a hen who lays eggs like this. We've also noticed she's one of our most prolific layers (practically daily) and every 5-14 days, with no changes to diet and plenty of oyster shell, lays a thin shell/no shell egg. I've been reading lots of threads tonight and think it may be just be a problem with her shell gland and definitely specific to just her, the others lay just fine. Incidentally, she's the Queen Bee and the scrawniest and bossiest of the entire small flock!
 

topdog24

Songster
5 Years
Apr 8, 2014
935
276
196
Jena Louisiana,
A little research to help you out IE
Q: Why did my chicken lay a shell-less egg?

A: Chickens need a lot of calcium to create good, hard shells, so most incidences of shell-less eggs in an adult hens are related to not having enough calcium in the diet. Young hens may lay a shell-less egg or two right as they begin to lay eggs for the first time, before their systems have "gotten into the groove" of laying. If your girls are on a proper diet of lay ration and have oyster shell free choice, they should have all the calcium they need. They also need Vitamin D and a proper balance of other vitamins so they can process the calcium. Lots of snacks or scraps can throw off the nutrient balance of their diets or give them too much salt.

Disturbances at night while they are sleeping--a predator prowling around, or a big storm, for example-- can also sometimes upset their system and cause shell-less eggs. If that is what's happening, some of the other girls' eggs may have bands or "checks" on them, as the laying process was disturbed briefly before resuming its normal course. If disturbances are the problem, when they cease, the shell problems should cease, too.

Another possibility has to do with the salt in their diet. Too much salinity can cause shell-less or thin-shelled eggs. So, sometimes if they are drinking water that is highly softened, it can contain a problem amount of salts for them.

It could also simply be a defective shell gland; it that is the case there is nothing to be done about it.

Lastly, infectious bronchitis can also cause thin shelled eggs, or eggs with no shells. Chances are good you would have noticed respiratory symptoms. If you suspect your chicken has a case of IB, you should get her to a vet for a diagnosis immediately. There are some other illnesses, such as egg drop syndrome, that could cause the same thing. If you have eliminated everything else, your vet may be able to help you.
 

topdog24

Songster
5 Years
Apr 8, 2014
935
276
196
Jena Louisiana,
More info on this subject


Q: My hen's egg shells have rough patches, and sometimes little hard pimples on the shell. Should I be concerned?

A: If your chicken is young, sometimes rough shells occur for a while until her egg-laying cycle has settled. Older chickens may also lay eggs with rough or pimpled shells. In the winter, sometimes a chicken may be getting excess calcium as laying slows down and they are less able to graze; this excess is distributed over the shell, sometimes in "pimples" or rough patches. You may try increasing high-protein treats like sunflower seeds. (Lots of corn or scratch usually has low protein, and will cause your hens to reduce their laying.) Presuming you have oyster shell free choice, any hens that need more calcium can get it.

Sometimes, rough shells will be caused by water shortages, which may happen in the winter if the water freezes. When that happens, the egg sort of "stalls" in the reproductive tract for a while, getting excess calcium distributed to its shell. The same thing can happen if your chickens are scared by an intruder or even a very loud storm! Chickens can go "off" laying due to a disturbance, and when they resume their first eggs, may be misshapen, missing a shell or have a very rough shell. This is usually an occasional thing, although older hens are more prone to it. It is not usually a cause for concern.
 

Michael Apple

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 6, 2008
3,495
578
318
Northern California
I believe it is very important to prevent parasites, bacteria, protozoa from causing intestinal damage when birds are maturing the first year. This is why I have repeated the necessity of using coccidiosis preventatives such as Corid (Amprol) on many occasions. Any damage that occurs affects the ability for the intestinal tract to absorb nutrients. There are also genetic and viral problems that can affect egg quality too.

So long as viruses aren't the root of the problem, and no irreversible intestinal damage has taken place, supplementing vitamins and minerals can remedy the problem. Couuntrygirl13 mentioned abnormal eggs during moult, and that is true at times. Some others made good points about natural light being a factor. I rarely had this problem but found that calcium gluconate added to water at 1 tablespoon per gallon with vitamins helped improve egg quality in a few days. Calcium gluconate or carbonate is worthless without Vitamin D3. You may find yourself supplementing water 5 days a week during moult, and maybe 2-3 days a week on average during breeding season. When birds slow down with egg production during the colder months, people predict when laying will increase, so they begin supplementing a month before.

I always provide oyster shell. That does not mean all hens are going to eat enough of it. I have one flock that rarely touches it when mixed in feed. Using an improper balance, or too high or too low amount of vitamins can also prevent the absorption of calcium. High amounts of phosphorus, phytates, excessive fiber, oxalic acid are all food components which will block the absorption of calcium. Especially in a diet deficient in vitamin D.
 
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