Just assuaging my concerns - eggbinding/soft shell

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dillydunks, Sep 15, 2014.

  1. Dillydunks

    Dillydunks New Egg

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    Sep 15, 2014
    Hi! Long time reader, first time poster.

    I have 2 RIRs that are about 9-10 months old now that have been laying beautiful, solid eggs with nice bright yolks ever since they started to lay - there have been two eggs waiting in the nesting boxes every day since, throughout winter.

    Today I let the girls out in the morning as I always do, and didn't notice anything different; they are always champing at the bit to get into the garden. One in particular might as well be a rooster, she crows and caws if I don't get out there to let her out by a reasonable hour. I didn't check the eggs in the morning this morning.

    I went out there to check on them at about 4pm, and one of the girls was in the enclosed area, sitting on a stump in there looking like a statue. Sometimes they find a spot they like and park there, but when I approach they usually go crazy, because usually I have something for them (I don't really give scraps or anything like that, mostly I just "treat" them with the red hen layer pellets (the blue bag), that is much more grainy, which they love, while their standard diet is the golden yolk layer pellets.

    But this pm, the noisy girl was very slow moving and didn't want to get off her log. I eventually enticed her with her usual treat, but she was very ginger. I picked her up to examine her, and her chute was "active" - the muscles were working, but there was no obvious egg or egg shaped mass in her abdomen. She did look "puffy". I was pretty sure it was an egg having noticed by this stage that there was only 1 in the morning, but because I wasn't really sure what it was and what to do about it, I was going to take her to a bird vet just to be sure the first time. I booked the appointment and was ready to rush off to the vet, but by the time I got back out to her to get here in the carrier, she had laid (on the stump she had been on earlier). She was back to her old self, full of energy, eating her pellets and drinking water.

    The egg itself was of regular shape and size, but much lighter in color (all of their eggs are brown, this one was quite light brown), and soft and what I would describe as "powdery". It was still a "shell", but cracked extremely easily. The egg inside was normal. I've checked all of the other eggs I've brought in in the last couple of days; they are all normal - brown, lustrous and strong.

    Up to this point I have never given the chooks any calcium or grit supplements; from reading the supplier guides on the laying pellets, it states that they should get everything they need from the pellets, and thus far that seems to have been the case. Am I just misinformed? Should I have been giving them calcium supplement from the start?

    I plan to go and buy some oyster shell in the morning, but unfortunately I am a nurse and I am of course working tomorrow afternoon and the following morning - the exact period where I will want to be around and checking on her to make sure she is ok. If it is a calcium problem and not just a one-off, how quickly should I expect a turnaround if she starts eating the oyster shell tomorrow morning? I plan to dry and break up some egg shell and put it out there now so it is there for her when she wakes up, then I'll go and buy oyster shell when the shops open up.

    Thanks for any advice in advance;

    Duncan
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  2. hollys chooks

    hollys chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sometimes chickens have a bad day and lay a weird egg. As your girls have been laying so well, this is most likely the case. See what happens tomorrow before getting too worried.
    Offering an extra calcium source is a good idea, the oyster shells put out separate of their food will allow them to supplement if they need. Hens are very good at knowing what amount of what food they need.
     
  3. Dillydunks

    Dillydunks New Egg

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    Sep 15, 2014
    Well, I got up to check on the girls nice and early this morning, and found 2 eggs waiting for me. One was still very clearly discolored and a little bit oddly shaped, but the shell was much harder and that shiney quality that yesterday's did not. They now have eggshell available to them and I will be getting oyster shell a little bit later on.

    Here's hoping it was just a temporary calcium supply issue?!
     
  4. Dillydunks

    Dillydunks New Egg

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    Sep 15, 2014
    Here is this morning's egg, compared with the girls' "normal" eggs. I hope you can see the weird detail on the bigger one.. it's almost what I would call wrinkly..

    Anyway, as I said, this morning's egg is, while still soft, stronger than yesterday's was.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I had planned to get the girls some oyster shell but literally none of the pet supply stores I know of around me sell it. One of the stores sells something called "true grit" which is supposedly ok for all birds, which looks like broken up mini beach shells only a deep red color.. it claims to have many minerals and vitamins including calcium... does anyone know of this stuff?

    Or, does anyone know where I can get oyster shell for poultry around north eastern suburbs in melbourne Aus?
     
  5. hollys chooks

    hollys chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Can't help with Melbourne, I have bought shell grit from fodder stores here in Adelaide (rather than pet supply stores) but now I have marble chips like commercial feed makers put in some feeds, but i got that from a local breeder and i'm not sure it is available from retailers.
     

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