I'm getting soft shelled eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SnuggleBear, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. SnuggleBear

    SnuggleBear Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    Apr 22, 2011
    South Central Kentucky
    My girls are mixed breed bantams and just six months old. I am getting a few soft shelled eggs, maybe one or two a week. They free range and I feed them scratch grains. What do I need to give them to take care of this.


    Thank you
    rs
     
  2. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    7,480
    180
    298
    Feb 12, 2009
    Ohio
    You need to feed them layer not scratch. They need calcium. You see a difference when you switch to a layer feed. If not you need to find the one that is doing it and cull, sorry.
     
  3. Jessshan8

    Jessshan8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,077
    106
    168
    Feb 13, 2012
    Kalispell, Mt
    I would recommend going to the feed store and getting some crushed oyster shells, Place that in a bowl where they have ready access to it at all times. Do not mix it with their food though. They will take what they need and that should solve your problem. Layer feed is good for all around nutrition and calcium. this can be quite spendy though. I free range my chickens as well and do not feed layer feed to them but ground feed from a local farm at a much reduced cost from layer feed for me. Mine get the appropiate protien intake from eating bugs and other critters (chickens will eat small rodents if given the opportunity). Good Luck!
     
  4. Capvin

    Capvin Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,007
    59
    178
    Apr 13, 2011
    Lake Placid, FL
    I have to agree that feeding scratch as the main source of food (other then free range) is a big mistake. Switch to Layer feed and the suggestion regarding oyster shells is fine. In addition I usually grind up all of the egg shells and mix it with yogurt as a great source of added calcium. For the most part all of the eggs I get every day are very hard shelled. In fact, it is sometimes difficult to crack them like normal eggs. Howerver, once in a while one of the hens will drop a soft shelled egg and they will usually do it while they are on the roost. I ignore that as something that is normal as long as it is not very often.
     
  5. Jessshan8

    Jessshan8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,077
    106
    168
    Feb 13, 2012
    Kalispell, Mt
    I too agree that if chickens are not free range they should be fed layer ration to ensure that they are getting enough nutrition in their diet. "snugglebear" however stated that her hens were free range and I used this as the premise of my response. Adding spent egg shells to their diet is also a great idea along with the yogurt "it is an awesome treat for them!"
     
  6. SnuggleBear

    SnuggleBear Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    Apr 22, 2011
    South Central Kentucky
    Thank you for all the information
     
  7. SnuggleBear

    SnuggleBear Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    Apr 22, 2011
    South Central Kentucky
    That's when I am getting mine
     
  8. SnuggleBear

    SnuggleBear Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    Apr 22, 2011
    South Central Kentucky
    Yes they are free ranged, that's why I thought the scratch grains would be fine
     
  9. real_redhead

    real_redhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    670
    6
    113
    Jun 6, 2011
    Roanoke, VA
    I had that problem when mine first started laying but I have always fed them chicken food, mine like the laying pellets, and they free range in the afternoon. I did add some oyster shell as well and then once they started laying on a regular basis the soft shelled eggs stopped until today! This morning when I went to let the girls out here comes my EE (Millie) with something in her mouth, I looked and realized it was a soft shell, I grabbed it out of her mouth and then looked in the coop and there was another soft sell, there were 2 eggs (I could tell because slightly different colors), So I will be making sure that they get oyster shells again!

    Oh yeah, I forgot, I would feed them back the egg shells, I would heat them in the microwave for 30-40 seconds to dry them out and then crush them up so they wouldn't realize they were the egg shells. They loved that! Good luck
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by