Learning lots but still many questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by davidsgirl, Oct 12, 2014.

  1. davidsgirl

    davidsgirl Hatching

    Oct 7, 2014
    Hi All - been reading lots of posts about soft-shelled eggs. Three out of my four girls seem to be doing well laying very nice eggs, but one of them lays more soft-shell than good and the dominant one who has been laying great just layed a soft-shell off her sleeping perch. They get a high-quality organic feed, oyster shells and aplecider vinegar in their water. I just read on a thread about giving them milk - does it matter what kind (skim, 1%, 2% or whole) and how much? Can they get too much?

    Another question - does changing their routines during the day too much stress them to the point that they would lay a soft-shell egg/ For example we left the house before sunrise yesterday and didn't get back until almost noon before I could get to their morning routine? Are they seriously scheduled animals?
  2. CountryFlock

    CountryFlock Songster

    Apr 24, 2014
    United States
    Their egg laying is seriously scheduled. Their egg cycle is based on UV exposure. If you have UV light or any light during the night turn it off because that can cause egg deformities and health problems if their is UV exposure during the night.

    For the milk, IDK, dont give them soymilk. Soy is not good for chickens. Just regular milk I guess.
  3. davidsgirl

    davidsgirl Hatching

    Oct 7, 2014
    No, there is no light on during the night. Just questioning whether the feeding schedule in the morning will throw them off enough to cause a stress-induced soft shell egg? Are they that susceptible to a schedule change from day to day? For the most part my schedule is consistent but there are some days that it will be off.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I think I remember reading, who I don't remember but it was someone who's judgement I trust, that ACV can inhibit calcium absorption.
    Instead of adding another supplement, I'd cut out the ACV for a week or two and see if that helps.

    They should have feed/water available 24/7. I put enough crumble in the feeders to last a bit more than that so they don't run out if I'm late replenishing. Not sure if the change in schedule caused the problem you have now or not, maybe-maybe not.

    I assume they are new layers? How old are they and how long have they been laying? New layers can lay alot of softshells during the month or so it takes them to get everything in working order.

    Funky eggs can happen once in while, 2-3 funky eggs not to worry about unless there are other indicators of illness, lethargy, isolation, not eating drinking pooping within the normal ranges.

    It can be hard to know what causes stress and what doesn't,
    some things are obvious and under out control(crowding, new additions, changes to housing, etc)
    some not so obvious(pecking order issues that are hard to spot, predator event that you didn't see, etc).
  5. davidsgirl

    davidsgirl Hatching

    Oct 7, 2014
    They are about 3 weeks to a month into laying. And the last one in the pecking order seemed
    to have been laying the soft shell eggs but I think I've figured her out. I've been
    separating the bottom two in the order to feed in the morning (from the two dominant ones)
    and giving them their feed mixed with yogurt, fresh homemade applesauce and just added some
    milk so they can eat in peace. The lowest (smallest) in the order looks like she's putting on weight and I think, finally layed a good egg! Yeaaa! I do love to watch and figure out
    animal behaviors to create good environments for them to live - have always done that with
    horses and now enjoying the challenge with these new girls in my life!

    Thanks for the thoughts on this challenge. I'm sure I'll be back with more questions soon -
    considering the winter is coming:)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: