Need help addressing issues

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ABgardner, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. ABgardner

    ABgardner In the Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2017
    Chesterfield, MI
    Hello everyone, I'm hoping to get some help addressing some issues Im having with my newly laying hens. My flock of 4 started laying about 3 weeks ago now and for the most part it has gone well. They havn't really started a strict laying schedule but for the most part they each are laying about once every day or two.
    My issue is that I have suspected for awhile now that one or more of them have been eating some of the eggs. We found the flock eating one once and this morning I found the remnants of two shells in the coop. The shells were very rubbery almost like deflated balloons.
    I recently moved the flock into their permanent coop and they finally have proper nest boxes to use and they have been for the most part. But I am curious if they are laying more of these rubbery-type eggs and eating them and that may be why we aren't seeing that many eggs?
    One of them also laid an egg that had a very brittle shell. Would a brittle shell and a rubbery shell be caused by the same thing? Is it a calcium issue?
    Please feel free to provide any insight.
    Thanks in advance.
    Here is pic of their new permanent residence. Much better than the garage brooder. IMG_3607.JPG
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

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    central Wisconsin
    Eggs without shells are generally caused by stress. The eggs come out before the shell is applied. Most soft eggs get eaten. Brittle shells can be from a calcium deficiency or even a respiratory infection. Make sure to keep a separate bowl of oyster shells for the calcium needs.

    Many hens who start up laying are stressed by the situation. It can take a month or two for all the glitches to work out of the system, and for hens to become more regular.

    I like to keep hens on a higher protein ration to keep them from becoming deficient. That and the oyster shells should keep it so hens don't go looking for eggs to eat. You may find an occasional broken one that was eaten, that too is normal. Collect eggs often to avoid broken eggs, and keep some fake ceramic eggs in your nests so any curious pecking isn't successful.
     
  3. ABgardner

    ABgardner In the Brooder

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    9
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    Jun 14, 2017
    Chesterfield, MI
    Thanks for your reply. I actually just pulled the ceramic eggs out thinking that they figured out where to lay their eggs but I'll put them back in.
    I was wondering if maybe they were just still acclimating to the whole laying process and thats what it sounds like. I will add a separate dish with oyster shells. Can the oyster shells replace the grit or should they have both?
    Thanks again for any input.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

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    They should have both oyster shells and grit as oyster shells aren't as hard as grit and the will break down too quickly in the gizzard.

    Moving birds into a new home is also stressful on them, so that probably is affecting them as well.
     

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