Laying soft eggs...at night?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by crazeetxn, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. crazeetxn

    crazeetxn Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2010
    West Texas
    Morning all -

    Since I've built a door to close off the nesting boxes, I now go out in the mornings to open them up. I've noticed the last couple of days when I go out that there is an egg in the middle of the coop. It is very soft so I know she's lacking some calcium. I've increased the oyster shells to solve that problem.

    I'm just curious why she is laying at night. The others--9--lay during the day, and when I get home from work or the boys get home from school, we have anywhere from 3-7. All are healthy eggs, hard shells, etc. They're on schedule. She's not. I belive it's my one winged girl, so obviously she can't get in the nesting box to lay. She used to lay in the corner and we'd always get some good eggs from her at the same time we got the other ones.

    Why would she be off schedule? I'm going to build her her own nesting box on the ground and maybe a little perch for her. She seems like she's eating because she looks healthy anyway.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,
    Troy
     
  2. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Does she have access to oyster shell?

    Generally soft shell eggs occur during times of stress in a mature layer. Could be something as simple as the start or end of a molt.

    Could she have mites (regular song birds can introduce them to your flock)? If she sleeps on the ground when all the others are on the roost she would get more on her as the mites fall from the other birds to the ground.

    There is another theory that says hens laying at night are stressed at night - as in something like mites or mice are disturbing their sleep and the egg that is laid is the next day's egg too early and so without the full shell.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  3. bburn

    bburn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    Maybe she is laying right before you get in there in the morning? Guessing here.....a nest box down low for her might be the thing to do. I built one for my quarantine girls that are in the tractor to get by with. Used a plastic tote, cut a hole in it and put bedding inside and put the lid on it. It is being used.

    One of my new ones is laying soft shelled eggs. I am giving good yogurt, boss and really high protein feed for a while to see if it helps.
    Let me know what works for you on the soft shells.
     
  4. crazeetxn

    crazeetxn Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    Sep 20, 2010
    West Texas
    I have seen a couple of mites around when I was out there at night...can't find any DE around here though, but I know I have to do something. I may give her some yogurt by herself and see if that helps any. She looks fairly healthy on the outside and I don't think the roo messes with her because she still as all her feathers in tact...

    Course yes, down here in Texas, I guess she might be starting to molt, but I've only been around chickens for about a month now, so I'm still figuring this all out [​IMG] They're a couple years old though...

    Thanks for the thoughts and I'll see if I can't get her to improve somehow..
     
  5. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    If you've seen mites you need to dust all chickens and the whole coop to get rid of them.

    DE is supposed to help prevent them, but if you are infested already, you need to get some dust to kill those buggers fast. Your little hen is being drained nightly and doesn't have the energy to lay proper eggs. I'd feed her some cooked cow liver or drain the blood from some raw steaks or hamburger (whatever you are having for dinner) and cook that up for her to supplement her food to help keep her from going anemic.
     

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