Laying an egg on the poop board?!?!


6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
I checked my hens about 9pm because I thought one was thinking about laying (she was in a nest box.). I had to run out and checked them when I got home at 10pm. To my great dismay I found this on the poop board

One hen was pecking at it and another had yolk in her comb. What is the deal and am I now stuck with two egg eaters? I know one egg broke about 4 days ago because I didn't have enough bedding in the box that got eaten then had an egg laid on top of it that was untouched, but haven't had a problem since. I'm sooo frustrated! What do I do?
That looks like it is a soft shelled egg. If they are new layers, they are likely to lay a few strange eggs until they get the whole egg laying thing down pat. A soft shelled egg is probably more likely to be laid in an odd spot, or even just slip out of them at night.

And the fact that they ate this is not a reason to feel you have, pr will have, a flock of egg eaters. Chickens love eggs, raw or cooked. But they don't seem to be able to make the connection between the contents of a broken egg and that hard roundish thing they lay. Some experienced chicken keepers will give them a cracked or poopy egg to eat, without ever ending up with a flock of egg eaters. When egg eating happens, which I don't think is all that common, they have learned a new behavior, which is to break the eggs in order to eat them.

Mostly I'd say, be patient. See if they gradually come around to laying normal eggs in nests. You could add oyster shell (offer separately) if you wish, in case some of them need more calcium than what is in their layer feed. You can also give the flock an occasional calcium boost by adding one Tums to the water, but don't do this daily by any means, as it would be too much calcium.
Thanks for the advice. I've got oyster she'll down free choice next to their food and feed them back their cleaned/dried/sanitized egg shells. I'll just keep an eye out and hopefully it won't happen again. I think it must be from one of my white leghorns since bit was white. They are only 10 months but have only given me nice hard eggs up until now so I was surprised. Thanks for the reply!
Despite feeding layer rations and oystershell free choice I still get the occasional soft shelled egg on the poopshelf and sometimes a regular egg. There is no science to these things, hormones fluctuate and chickens will do whatever their bodies tell them to do. Don't worry about it, especially when they're young. They'll sort themselves out and start laying real eggs soon.
So is it weird that a totally different hen did the same thing in a nest box not 24 hours later? This ones also about a year and a half, so she's not new to laying. I was so disappointed to because its one of my Marans and I was so looking forward to a big, chocolately egg when I saw her all snuggled up in the box. Is there any illness that causes soft eggs that I should be watching for, lol?
Mine go through periods like that. Are you sure they're eating from the oystershell? Maybe sprinkle some in the feed just to make sure?

Also if they took a break from laying , the first few maybe soft shelled, until the "factory" got started up correctly.
They've been cleaning the oyster shell dish so I'm sure they are eating it. The leghorns have been laying straight for two weeks. The maran I just got yesterday. I got the two Marans for $10 because the lady said they weren't laying enough but when I got there it made me think its just stress. They had both bee. Pecked clean on their necks and there were 6 adult hens in a 2'X3' coop. And their run was tiny and shared by 10 or so new young chicks and several ducks. Hopefully everybody is just stressed and needs to settle in.
That could well be it. I had one hen in chicken jail for a couple of days. After I let her out, today her next egg was on the roost (with shell). She just needs to re-discover the nest boxes. She is simmered down considerably, though, so I think it was a good move to remove her from the flock for a couple of days.
Dang it. My third soft shelled egg thats eaten in three days. And I went from 7 eggs to just 3 a day. Today's egg was on the roost. It's at least two different hens. I'm not seeing any reason for stress at the moment and they are getting plenty of calcium. I'm hoping more eggs aren't being eaten that I'm just not seeing. This is soooo frustrating!
I think the soft shells are more of an issue than egg eating. With the introduction of the new will throw everyone off. At least that has been my experience. Gook luck!

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