Mystery! Thin egg shells in young hen for no apparent reason

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cleopatra, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. cleopatra

    cleopatra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a red sex link who laid her first egg in September of this year. She has given me an extra large to jumbo sized egg every day since she started laying. The last egg she laid was very pale, almost peach in color instead of her normal brown. Then she skipped laying 2 days in a row. Today I found a paper thin shell all crinkled up with egg white all in the bottom of the nesting box. No yolk could be identified. All my hens get layers feed and free choice calcium along with lots of other yummy treats and then free range for at least a couple hours each day. She's eating and drinking like her normal piggy self and looks like she's feeling fine. Any ideas on what could be causing this? I just want to know if there's anything I need to be doing differently or if I should be worrying (which I know always helps - ha ha). Thanks!
     
  2. Chicken Frenzie

    Chicken Frenzie Chicken Whisperer

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    Sometimes I get those... but I have gotten crushed oyster shells andd it seems to get them hard again! Don't worry, she isn't sick! When a hen lays a soft shell, it means they need more calcium (calcium is the main mineral that makes up an eggshell). So, these eggs are produced when a hen's diet is only whole grains or feeds deficient in minerals and vitamins. Hopefully I helped! :)
     
  3. cleopatra

    cleopatra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your response. Now I don't have to be too worried. They have crushed oyster shell and she eats a lot of feed, so I guess I'll just have to make sure she gets yogurt or cheese every day for awhile. She'll just hate that![​IMG]
     
  4. Chicken Frenzie

    Chicken Frenzie Chicken Whisperer

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    Yeah, sometimes those things just happen!
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Some of the causes of soft-shell or no-shell eggs are:

    - Young hens that's new to laying and still sorting out their reproductive systems.
    - Inadequate clacium and phosphorous in the diet.
    - Hens not absorbing enough of the calcium in their food.
    - Diseases such as Infectious Bronchitis and Newcastle Disease. (Hens will show other symptoms of disease) and Egg drop Syndrome which is a non-fatal disease cause by a virus. You can vaccinate your hens against this. More info here: http://www.poultryhub.org/health/disease/types-of-disease/egg-drop-syndrome-or-eds/
    - A shock or stress during the egg production process.

    Apple Cider Vinegar helps with stress and helps hens absorb calcium better. If your hen continues laying eggs like this you can also try Cod liver oil. It's a good source of Vit D, which helps them with calcium. Give bantams 1/4 teaspoon and large fowl 1/2 teaspoon.
     
  6. cleopatra

    cleopatra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone! The people here are so helpful. I'll wait to see if this is just a fluke. They already get apple cider vinegar in their water. Maybe I'll try a little cod liver oil in their oatmeal treats.
     
  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I think your hen is just a bit young, so unless she lays lots of eggs like that one, don't worry. Use the cod live oil in moderation though, too much of a good thing can turn into a bad thing. In winter it is more beneficial for hens, since there's so little sunlight, but in Summer they should get enough Vit B from the sunlight alone and won't need supplements so much. One dose now and then should be more than enough for them.
     
  8. cleopatra

    cleopatra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've gotten a large brown egg two days in a row now from my red sexlink. It's a little smaller than she normally lays but the shells were nice and hard and of good brown color. I guess she just had a bad few days. Thanks everyone and Happy New Year!
     
  9. Chicken Frenzie

    Chicken Frenzie Chicken Whisperer

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    Yay!!! :)
     

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