Mystery hole in egg... possible reasons?

omi4500

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 3, 2014
59
9
81
Inland Empire
Okay, I've got one hen out of five (a barred rock) whose eggs usually end up with a hole or a crackled spot on the very tip of the pointy end. See here... it's pretty obvious that her egg is on the top right. She started laying a month ago.


Thankfully, the membrane is never broken - and she doesn't appear to be eating these eggs.. Ironically, this particular hen is my only one who likes to sit on everyone's eggs - not quite broody...but she'll tuck everyone's eggs (& sometimes the golf ball) under herself and give them TLC for a few minutes while she throws feathers and hay on her back.
love.gif
It's only ever her eggs with the hole/crack, tho. I'm new to this & I've never caught her in the act so I can only make guesses - does the hole look like it was made by a beak? If so, do you think she's doing this on purpose... or possibly on accident while she tucks the eggs under herself? OR... The hens all like to push the hay in their box out to the sides to form a bowl around them - but that means they lay their eggs directly onto the wooden box floor - could she be cracking her egg accidentally as it gets laid? Just don't know if I need to be doing anything differently.

Thanks, chicken mentors!
~Liz
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,684
4,934
586
Ohio
It could be made by a toenail when they step on the egg, happens more often if the egg is on a hard surface. Making sure there is plenty of nesting material in the bottom of the boxes... you can make the boxes deeper so they don't hit bottom when they dig, put some shavings under the hay, or cardboard, carpet, etc
Are they on a commercial Layer feed and are you giving them oyster shell on the side? Do her egg shells seem thinner than the other ones?
 

Wyandottes7

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 24, 2013
20,586
1,312
401
It could be made by a toenail when they step on the egg, happens more often if the egg is on a hard surface. Making sure there is plenty of nesting material in the bottom of the boxes... you can make the boxes deeper so they don't hit bottom when they dig, put some shavings under the hay, or cardboard, carpet, etc
Are they on a commercial Layer feed and are you giving them oyster shell on the side? Do her egg shells seem thinner than the other ones?

This is what I would guess as well. It is more likely to happen if the egg shell is thin, so you may want to add more calcium to the feed.
 

omi4500

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 3, 2014
59
9
81
Inland Empire
I appreciate the feedback, everyone. They are all on commercial layer feed mash, and they get oyster shell on the side. I would say that possibly this one hen's eggs are still a *bit* thinner than the other ones. They don't fall apart in my hands by any means, and they still require a crack on the side of a bowl when I cook them...but they do seem a tad bit thinner. Being that I'm already offering the oyster shell, should I feed something like yogurt more often for extra calcium? I usually feed it once a week as a treat, but they love yogurt so I'm sure they'd be happy if I gave it to them more often.

I looked in the garage and found some carpet pieces left over from when we put new carpet down in January - so I'll cut one to fit the box for some extra cushioning. Thanks for that advice. :)

~Liz
 

omi4500

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 3, 2014
59
9
81
Inland Empire
Good morning, BYC. The girls got yogurt for a treat this am. Can you say HAPPY CHICKENS?
yippiechickie.gif


This morning, I also put the carpet piece in the one box that all the chickens share (have 4 boxes but you know the routine...they stand in line to lay in one favored box). It put it in there before the barred rock laid her egg. However, while I was cleaning the coop, I heard her making a grumpy sounding racket in the hen house. I peaked inside and apparently she doesn't like the carpet. Hmmmf! She had actually moved into the adjacent nexting box for the first time and was moving the hay around in there. BRAT! I didn't have time to do so this am, but I guess I'll have to put carpet down in all 4 boxes if I find her egg in the adjacent box when I get home from work. So funny.... love these girls & their antics.
love.gif
 

omi4500

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 3, 2014
59
9
81
Inland Empire
For those who gave advice and those who are following, I just wanted to report that I haven't had a cracked egg since putting the carpet down in the nesting box. The one grumpy hen who didn't like my decorating with carpet moved back into the one favorite box the very next day. So, at this point I can assume the carpet has made a difference! She's laid an egg 3 out of the last 4 days, and none have had a hole/crack in the tip.
yesss.gif
Fingers & feathers crossed that this continues. Thanks for the help, flock friends!

edited to add that I have also been feeding a little extra yogurt every few days (along with their free feed oyster shell) - guessing that the yogurt may be helping too.
 
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