My chicken is laying weird eggs! Is she sick? Pic, video

MissCindy

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 24, 2014
33
3
26
Franklinville, New Jersey, USA
My Coop
My Coop
I have a hen who keeps laying eggs with a soft spot. The shell is mostly normal except for a circle of extremely thin shell, about the size of a penny. No other hens are having problems, and none of the other shells are thin. I did have an issue a few weeks back where a few of the girls had weaker shells than usual for a little bit (maybe a week), but that stopped... I don't think it's a nutrition problem if it's just one hen laying such an odd egg... could a sickness cause this? Stress? I've seen the article here on BYC that explains a lot of egg problems and causes, but there's just nothing like this one in there, or anywhere else I've searched. This has been going on for maybe three weeks (?) now. It's not every single day, but it's definitely often, sometimes for 2, 3, or 4 days in a row.

Here's a picture of an egg from last week. Notice the dark area around where the shell is broken - that's the soft spot. The shell is extremely thin in that spot only - it's so thin it's like an old, crumbly piece of paper. The membrane is always normal and intact. We've gotten some eggs where the shell in that circle was so thin that it actually looked like a dented egg because the shell just fell in on itself without really breaking.



Now here's some video of an egg we got today. It bubbled out!! It's crazy! The bubbled spot is still thin, I actually broke it right after I stopped filming because I put my fingernail over the spot and gently pressed it to try to feel if it was hard or not.

0.jpg


These soft spots are always in the same place on the egg, the egg is always slightly flattened in shape, and they are always darker where it's soft. I just can't find any information on eggs like this. Is she sick? Is this stress? Why would one hen out of 16 healthy, normal layers spit out these oddball eggs? I can't pick out who the culprit is, they're all behaving normally (except my broody, who's in broody jail this week - but that's another story!). Any ideas??
 

Charlene a

Hatching
May 8, 2015
4
0
8
Arizona
I just found an egg fully in tack.the weird thing is that it didn't have a shell!when we broke into it , it was just like a normal hard shell egg! What could cause this phenomenon? Soft on the outside, without a shell?weird stuff is going on with one of the hens!
 

blkjak

Songster
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
734
76
120
Manitoba Canada
I have a hen with the same issue. She has laid 3 eggs in the last 2 weeks that have been shell less. I am not sure which hen it is but I suspect it is a Isa brown hen. I am not worried about it but it is a little bit of a shock when you gather eggs.
 

Nupe

Songster
5 Years
Jun 13, 2014
593
213
156
Georgia
What are you feeding? Do they free range? Do you have an extra calcium supplement available to them? Sometimes it could just be the hen at the bottom of the pecking order is getting less feed.
 

SkyWorld

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 5, 2014
87
22
57
I am not an expert on raising chicken, however it is not unusual for weird eggs to come out of chickens. I have six hens about 1 year old now and as they were coming into the egg laying season we were getting shell-less eggs, fairy eggs and shriveled up stuff. I had to work the diet by adding oyster shells and giving them the egg shells. For awhile we were getting one or three eggs a day and now we get 4 to 6 good eggs a day. I still find an egg now and then that is a soft shell especially when one of the birds is not feeling well. Hang in there and I hope my answer helps or someone with better chicken street cred can help you.
cool.png
 

MissCindy

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 24, 2014
33
3
26
Franklinville, New Jersey, USA
My Coop
My Coop
I just found an egg fully in tack.the weird thing is that it didn't have a shell!when we broke into it , it was just like a normal hard shell egg! What could cause this phenomenon? Soft on the outside, without a shell?weird stuff is going on with one of the hens!
That's actually something that happens now and again, for a few different reasons. It could be from a young chickens who hasn't worked all the 'kinks' out out her laying process yet.
wink.png
Sometimes an older hen will lay one of these "rubber eggs" if her diet is low in calcium, or if she's been under stress. Make sure you are giving your girls a balanced feed that contains calcium, and offer another source such as oyster shell (or even ground up eggshell fed back to them)! Some plants are high in calcium, too, like chickweed. We have a ton of it around here, and my girls go mad for it!

If you just got one egg like this, I'd guess it's probably a fluke, due an an upset overnight (something may have spooked the hens, like a predator or even just a loud noise). If it's a recurrent issue you should definitely increase the calcium in their diet. :)
 

MissCindy

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 24, 2014
33
3
26
Franklinville, New Jersey, USA
My Coop
My Coop
What are you feeding? Do they free range? Do you have an extra calcium supplement available to them? Sometimes it could just be the hen at the bottom of the pecking order is getting less feed.

I feed them Dumor layer crumbles from Tractor Supply, which is a complete feed. They have oyster shell available, they free range all day and eat lots of weeds, grass, and bugs. We have a lot of clover and chickweed in the yard, too, which is high in calcium, and sometimes I like to bring in huge bunches from outside our fence just to treat them, since they like it so much :) .

I switched a few months ago to a layer pellet, and ALL the chickens wound up with thinner shells, not just one, and not just in one spot. Even with oyster shell available. I just don't think their systems were digesting the pellets well enough. That's my guess anyway. I had tried the pellets for two bags, and went back to the crumbles, and their thinner shells stopped. Because of this, I really can't imagine it being the feed that's causing one chicken to lay an egg with one thin spot... it's just so weird!

You bring up a good point about bottom of the pecking order birds - though my none of my girls who lay brown eggs are on the bottom! We have an Ameracauna that's a bit tattered from being too sweet and shy... I know she's about as low on the pecking order as it goes, poor girl. Maybe one of my red star hens is not quite as low but still low enough to have it affect her? But then why would it be just one spot?? The rest of the shell is normal strength! Makes me wonder if it's something physical... I just wish I could identify what's going on so I can help her out if there's something I can do!
 

Nupe

Songster
5 Years
Jun 13, 2014
593
213
156
Georgia
Well, if it's not food, or access to calcium and no chicken looks sick or stressed, the only thing I can think of that you could do something about is worms or parasites? Otherwise it would be a damaged or flawed shell gland which I don't think there's much you can do about.
 

MissCindy

In the Brooder
5 Years
Jul 24, 2014
33
3
26
Franklinville, New Jersey, USA
My Coop
My Coop
I am not an expert on raising chicken, however it is not unusual for weird eggs to come out of chickens. I have six hens about 1 year old now and as they were coming into the egg laying season we were getting shell-less eggs, fairy eggs and shriveled up stuff. I had to work the diet by adding oyster shells and giving them the egg shells. For awhile we were getting one or three eggs a day and now we get 4 to 6 good eggs a day. I still find an egg now and then that is a soft shell especially when one of the birds is not feeling well. Hang in there and I hope my answer helps or someone with better chicken street cred can help you.
cool.png

You're right, they do lay some weird eggs sometimes, don't they!? I actually love getting fairy eggs! They're so cute! We love to see how different the eggs can be from store bought eggs, and compare the sizes, or see how maybe one egg has slight speckles on it, or another might have those faint wrinkles... chickens are such amazing creatures!

I also feed mine egg shells, along with oyster shell. I bake mine for a minute in the toaster oven so they break up easier!!

*edited for typos!
 
Last edited:

MANNA-PRO

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom