My hen is repeatedly laying soft shell eggs - Help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickiechick72, Jan 28, 2016.

  1. chickiechick72

    chickiechick72 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 22, 2014
    My sweet hen, "Princess," has laid soft or shell-less eggs 3 times this week. The first one appeared normal, but when I tried to pick it up, it burst. The second one came out complete, and I found this rubbery blob in the nesting box. The third one I just saw a few moments ago. It burst as it was coming out the vent, and the poor thing had this long ribbon of shell hanging out. My other two chickens were hovering behind her, trying to get at the yolk. I held the shell for a moment, and she walked forward, and some more of it either came out or broke off. I couldn't tell for sure. Do I need to get the gloves out and explore there isn't more in there? Please tell me no and she will be ok. I haven't done that before! Maybe she will be ok until I can take her to the vet tomorrow?

    I have been giving them greens, fruit and crushed eggshells, sometimes with the yolk too, almost every day. I will give them some fresh homemade yogurt tomorrow and will go get some oyster shells. Any other suggestions? Maybe a warm bath with Epsom salts are in order??

    Thanks in advance for any advice!
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi, are you feeding your chickens layers food? If you are, and you also mention oyster shell, then i would personally withhold the fruit and greens for a couple of days and see how that goes. If she's new to the egg laying game, it could be that she's just getting her plumbing sorted out - happens to many of my pullets.

    Not sure about the invasive procedure suggested, so I'd prefer to leave advice on that to the experts.

    All the best
    1 person likes this.
  3. Chicken Egg 17

    Chicken Egg 17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 11, 2015
    McVeytown PA
    1 person likes this.
  4. chickiechick72

    chickiechick72 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 22, 2014
    Ok, thanks to you both! I put some yogurt in the pen for tonight. Tomorrow I'll make some mash of layer pellets and water and get some oyster shells, and will lay off scratch for a while. Hopefully she will be back to normal soon.
  5. Hankfam

    Hankfam Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 4, 2016
    I had a few soft shelled eggs when some of mine first started laying. I actually got one of those metal rabbit feeders and screwed it to the wall of my coop, I keep it filled with oyster shells at all times. I've not had a single soft shell since. :)
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How old is this bird and how long has she been laying?

    Do they have layer pellets available to them all day?

    Just to note: Oyster shells should be in a separate container always available, not mixed into feed.

    My Feeding Notes: I like to feed a 'flock raiser' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.

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