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laying softshelled eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by buff, May 11, 2010.

  1. buff

    buff Songster

    Apr 29, 2010
    Shippenville, PA
    I have a chicken that lays a softshelled egg at least once a week. My questions are: How do I figure out which chicken it is if at all possible? How and why is this chicken laying softshelled eggs? And I have a chicken that seems to breaks the egg when it goes into the nesting box and eats it. When I gather the eggs and their is yellow stuff all over the eggs in that nesting box I knew what happened, because sometimes I even find some of the egg shell not eaten. My chickens are free range chickens so they get grass, bugs, and I also have shelled corn, oystershell, grit and fresh water for them to eat anytime they want, and I also give them bread once in awhile for a treat and dig up worms for them as a treat. So, if anyone has any suggestions or any ideas of what is going with my chicken please tell. I would appreciate it. I always thought they just layed softshelled eggs when they begin to just start laying eggs. I am still learning new stuff all the time about chickens.

  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:Soft shelled eggs happen occasionally. Even with seasoned layers. Are you giving the layer feed? Are they eating the oyster shell?


    Someone here said they put different colored food colors in the chickens vents to see which chicken layed which egg. Sorry I don't know the details.

    About the egg eating- Can be a tough one. Try fake eggs in the nests. Some people have filled eggs with liquid soap, hot mustard, horseradish. Make sure the nests are dark. Try rearranging the coop if possible. Collect eggs as often as possible. As a last resort you may consider roll away nest, so the egg eater can't get to the eggs.

    Good luck

  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    This might be some good reading for you to determine why.

    Soft shelled Eggs

    Finding out which is harder. It sounds like not every one of her eggs may be soft shelled, but they might be. You can put food coloring in the vent every morning to figure out which one is laying which egg, but the evidence will likely be gone if a chicken is eating the soft shelled ones. If she is always laying a soft shelled egg, you could maybe do this and eliminate the ones that are not laying the soft shelled one.

    I don't know your set-up or how many hens you have. You could lock each one up until you catch one laying a soft shelled egg, but that may not be practical for you. I really can't help you on that. Sorry.
  4. buff

    buff Songster

    Apr 29, 2010
    Shippenville, PA
    [​IMG] thank you for the helpful information and the links to go to get more information on why my chicken was laying shelless eggs. It was helpful. I also figure out which chicken was do the shelless eggs because I just happened to be out there when she did it.
  5. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Songster

    Sep 4, 2009
    Besides the food you listed, do they also eat a balanced layer feed?

    If not, I'd add a good quality layer feed, if I were you. Temporarily remove the shelled corn. Keep offering the crushed oystershell flakes, the grit and continue letting them free-range. Your softshell hen may be having trouble with her shell gland. Giving her the extra calcium (oyster shell) and making her eat a balanced layer feed, without extra treats, can help her eventually get back to laying good shells. The extra treats likely fill her up, without providing the calcium she needs.
  6. James_Lucier

    James_Lucier In the Brooder

    Sep 9, 2009
    May I add a question to this thread? I got some great advice here a couple of months ago, so I thought I would check here again with this problem - related to soft eggs.

    We have two chickens about 8 months old.
    We feed our extra parrot greens (mixed vegetables of all kinds) to the chickens in the morning (sometimes with a teaspoon of joghurt for each bird, and at night we give them about a half cup of heated vegetables from the mixed frozen supermarket bag. They eat Layena and oystershell mix.

    We were getting nice eggs, but about three weeks ago we started finding soft shelled or no shelled eggs from Patty, our Barred Rock hen. She seem to lay mostly eggs like that now, about one every day or two. When she lays a good egg, it has extra calcium deposits on the shell.

    Should we look to diet, or something more serious?

    On a lighter note, Gracie, our Sussex hen, was trying to jump onto my Motorcycle when I arrived and was putting it away, so yesterday I sat her on the seat, and she was very pleased to just sit there and 'own' the seat, looking at the controls, looking at the view from up there. I think I may have a biker chick in the family...
    Last edited: May 23, 2010

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