Need some help with a soft shell layer

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by capechicken, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. capechicken

    capechicken New Egg

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    Aug 9, 2013
    This is our first year raising chickens and we have one of our four girls who lays one to three eggs a day and they're all soft shell. Sometimes she'll lay two softies in one sitting. They're 6 months old and have been laying for almost a month. All of them are on layer pellets and have crushed oyster shell mixed in. The other three have been laying just fine with no soft shells. Should i be concerned? Any advice would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    It may just be taking longer for her egg-laying system to work things out, as she's only been laying for a month. Layer feed and oyster shell should be giving her enough calcium, but you could try giving her some eggshell, which chickens will often eat more readily. Bake eggshells, and then crush them finely. I've found that grinding them up in a coffee grinder works well. Then, give it to the birds. My chickens love eggshell. Giving chickens egg shell should not make them eat eggs, unless it actually looks like eggshell. I have had no problems with egg-eaters.

    I wouldn't be too concerned. Good luck!
     
  3. mamabigbird

    mamabigbird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What breed is your soft-shell layer?
    I had one of 3 Easter Eggers lay a soft egg every day (never multiples as yours' does).
    The other two lay perfect little olive green eggs. My soft-shell layer never responded to calcium supplements and was eventually euthanized.
    I also have some Black Sex-link hens that are 3 years old and coming to the end of their laying days. One of them is now laying a soft shell every day, but I think that is old age related.
    I agree with the previous poster about ground up egg shells. The hens seem to accept them better than oyster shell.
    If your hens don't readily go for them, they'll stick to any soft food such as rice, oatmeal or what have you.
    Good luck with your wee hen and hope she outgrows it.
     
  4. aggiemae

    aggiemae Chillin' With My Peeps

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    our soft shell layer is a buff orp. It seems that she has some disruption in her egg development cycle that causes the eggs to expell before the shell has a chance to finish. We tried everything and finally kept her in the dark for 12-14 hours (it is light out here for ~18 hours a day in summer) and after the 2nd day her production slowed to one egg per day. We also increased her protein and calcium by adding a daily cooked egg with the eggshell blended into her diet.And also an infant dose of liquid vitamins (with iron) to a quart of water which (of course) was given to the whole flock. After a week we allowed her to have normal light and while her egg shells are thin and brittle and twice now she has laid two eggs in 24 hours she has been laying more or less normally for the past two weeks.
     
  5. capechicken

    capechicken New Egg

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    Aug 9, 2013
    We have 2 ameraucana and 2 Plymouth rocks. I believe it's one of the rocks as the thin shell always appears a little brown. I'll certainly try all of your suggestions one by one. Thank you all very much.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Interesting treatment, Aggiemae. I wouldn't have thought of adjusting the light. I have a BSL who would sometimes pass 1 dbl yolker with a shell, followed by 2 "rubber" eggs the same day. She eventually straightened out. Has laid a normal egg daily for 3 weeks without a single missed day. I'm guessing that she is my star layer.
     

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