High velocity eggs!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by becstalls, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. becstalls

    becstalls In the Brooder

    May 22, 2010
    Hi all. I'm new to the BYC world, and just started my first flock this past spring. My ladies are finally laying [​IMG] but there seems to be a problem with cracking. Many of the eggs are turning out to have a small somewhat circular crack at one end. I've been mixing oyster shell into their feed since I started them on a layer feed mix (half layer feed, half grower until they started laying last week, now all layer) so they are getting calcium. Maybe it's not enough? Or is their not enough padding in their nest boxes? I try to put a nice cushion of pine shavings in, but they scratch it all out, even though there's a lip. I don't want my eggies being cracked anymore! [​IMG] Can somebody tell me what the best fix is? I have no idea what to do. [​IMG]

    Also, how long will these cracked eggs keep? Should I try to store them at all or eat them same day?
    Thanks in advance!
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    How big are your nests? And how many nests do you have for how many chickens? I have 5 layers, and they use two nests. I have had good luck with small nests, just enough room for them to get in and lay. Not room for two chickens at the same time. I put hay in my boxes, that I bend and shape into a nest. They don't really kick it out, and there is enough cushion to prevent cracking on laying.

    I would put your cracked eggs in the fridge, as long as the eggs are not real dirty, use them as I would any egg. If you are concerned, simply crack the egg into a cup before cooking it to make sure it is not rotten. Cooking will kill most germs, so unless you are eating them raw there is not much to worry about.

  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Could just be new layer issues.

    Your thoughts are good and I'd start with the easiest options. I think a softer landing for the eggs would be my first project.

    Here some other ideas:

    Hope this helps


    There are other options for calcium also:

    2.Turnip greens
    3.Mustard greens
    4.Collard greens
    5.Blackstrap molasses- (Can cause diarrhea in chickens. Used as a flush)
    6.Swiss chard
    9.Mozzarella cheese
    10.Milk (goat's milk and cow's milk)
    11.Basil, thyme, dill seed, cinnamon, and peppermint leaves
    12.Romaine lettuce
    14. I don't know why 14 is empty???
    16.Sesame seeds
    19.Summer squash
    20.Green beans
    23.Brussel sprouts
    24.Oranges- (Some people do not like to feed their chickens citrus)
    26.Crimini mushrooms

    Good luck & Welcome to BYC
  4. becstalls

    becstalls In the Brooder

    May 22, 2010
    Thanks for the speedy responses! The floor measurement of my nest boxes is 12 x 12 inches in four of the boxes and 12 x 10 on the two on the end. So far they like the smaller two the best. They are tall enough for the hens to walk in. I've tried using straw, but they wind up kicking that out too. I do think they are trying to arrange it into a nest. Should I just put a higher lip on the front edge to keep them kicking it out in the process? (lip is currently 2" high)

    Oh, and there are six boxes to 9 hens.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  5. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    If they want it out I think 2 inches won't be much of a barrier, but it can't hurt.
    Some people use a piece of carpet or shelf liner in the bottom of the nests.
    Are the shells fragile?
    I found it fascinating when I read that hens stand when they lay. Had never really thought about it.

  6. bburn

    bburn Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    Just a thought....try pine shavings in the nest boxes. I have one of those astro turf pads in mine plus the pine shavings and no cracks.
    All my hens lay really hard eggs....with the excpetion of a new one that I believe to be stressed and maybe not as healthy as the rest. Still watching her.

    Good padding for the eggs will help. Plus all the treats that Imp listed. Not all at once or more than once a day. But I do think it helps to add the treats that are good for them. Mine kind of ignore the oyster shell....not in it much.
  7. Mak

    Mak Songster

    Dec 12, 2009
    Londonderry, NH
    This is what I got:


    Keeps nice padding under the eggs. I put a double handfull of shredded paper on top of each pad so that the hens who like to arrange a nest can do so. Once a week or so, the paper goes in the compost, the pad gets hosed down, and fresh paper goes on top again. the only time I get cracked eggs is when Edna decides she just can't make it down from the roost and lays from up there.
  8. dee88

    dee88 Chirping

    Jun 26, 2010
    A cut piece of cardboard below the nest area would act as a padding!
  9. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I used hay for nesting boxes. They only move it around some to create the "nest" depression. About 2 to 3 inches of hay, basically the bale comes apart in batts, I use one batt per layer box. As the batts are interconnected hay strands they can't scratch it out.

    I started my girls on oyster shells at 20 weeks. They are just now laying (23 weeks) and the shells are extremly thick. Am going to cut back on the mix into feed. So what I'm guessing is the calcium your giving has yet to work through the chickens system to show in shell thickness.
  10. becstalls

    becstalls In the Brooder

    May 22, 2010
    The egg shells don't seem to be too thin--they're definitely thicker than store bought. I have a 2" lip already that's not helping. I'm considering 4". I'm liking all of these base padding ideas though. How difficult does everyone find it to keep them clean? Especially the cardboard!


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