My new layer laid four eggs today! Three weird ones - What's going on?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ticketism, Apr 9, 2016.

  1. ticketism

    ticketism Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 17, 2015
    Hey guys! So our two oldest Orpington pullets have both started laying, whoohoo! The first started at 18 weeks on the dot, and has given us perfect, well formed, amazing eggs almost every day since. Go Chai! She had one double yolker in the first fortnight, but other than that, always perfect. Her sister from the same hatch started at 22 weeks and has mainly given us perfect eggs, nearly every day, except maybe sometimes the shells aren't as thick as Chai's are. But that's cool, she's just new at this.

    The other day though, I checked the nesting box in the morning to find two normal eggs, one from each. Then when I checked on them later that night (about 8:30pm), I saw something strange... There was three more eggs directly under Little Star (newer layer)! Once had a soft, slightly crunchy kinda shell, one had a soft shell like a jelly-filled water balloon, and had no shell at all! It was just egg white and yolk in the straw under the roost. They were all warm, and judging by that I'd guess she'd laid the 'crunchy' one first, then the 'jelly' one about 30 mins later, then the shell-less one probably just before I went down there.

    I know new layers can have some weird occurrences to begin with, even soft shells, double yolks, and maybe twice a day... But one normal one in the morning and then three increasingly strange ones later at night, hours after going to bed? Is that within the realm of normal? She's been completely healthy, normal, happy, and laying perfect eggs daily again ever since, but I still wanted to check if that's just normal pullet stuff or if it's a sign of something I'm not aware of.


    Here's a photo of that days offerings. Bottom left we have Chai's egg, bottom right is Little Star's normal morning egg, then top left is her 'crunchy' shell, top right the 'jelly' one, and under it, what I could pick up of the shell-less one.

    Why so many eggs? Why so late at night?


    Thanks for any input everyone.
  2. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    There are a number of possibilities going on...

    Little Star may probably did not lay all the eggs but was merely sitting on them. Some of them may have come from an earlier day and her body heat warmed them.

    Even so, if she appears fine now, it probably is nothing to worry about. As they begin to lay, sometimes you get odd eggs at odd times. If she appears completely healthy and is now laying normally, it was probably a simple glitch in the system.

    Soft-shelled and rough shelled eggs can be caused by a number of things other than a young hen beginning to lay.Disease (Infectious Bronchitis and Newcastle), over lighting, change in lighting, disturbances while laying, and egg duct abnormalities, can all cause odd eggs and laying patterns.

    Chronic egg laying is not a common thing in chickens (although common in other bird species such as cockatiels), so I doubt that is the issue.

    If all seems well, I wouldn't worry about it but keep an eye out for any other abnormality like sneezing, nicking/coughing, lethargy, and of course other odd eggs.

    My thoughts.
  3. ticketism

    ticketism Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 17, 2015
    Hm, I didn't even consider that they may not have been all hers. Chai lays like clockwork, always in the nesting box, and has never had a soft shell or abnormality other than one double yolker. She was on the roost, and they were directly under her backside, looking as though they'd just dropped out as she was trying to sleep, haha. So I didn't think her body heat had warmed them coz, well she was roosting nearly a foot above them, and it was hours after dark. None of our others have started laying yet, so if some were Chai's that would be very unusual for her, but not impossible.

    I haven't noticed any signs of illness or different behaviour, so maybe we can chalk it up to her having a weird day. I did once disturb her whilst laying - I opened the nesting box not knowing she was in there, and she nipped me, got all ruffled up and whiny, then went back downstairs in a huff to pace around for a few minutes before heading back up to the box, haha. That happened with Chai once, too, but she wasn't bothered and kept doing her thing. I lowered the lid to a tiny slit and peered through, and she lay right in front of me without a care in the world xD She's very unbothered by most things, but Little Star gets herself in a tizzy pretty easily, haha.

    Thanks for your information.

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