New Egg Layer-- Soft Shell and Egg Eater : /

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by newchikngal, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. newchikngal

    newchikngal Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2016
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    Hi Everyone,

    One of my hens has started laying eggs. I found one a couple nights ago in the nesting box.. Was thrilled! The chicken laid pretty late in the evening and I found the egg when I went to close up the coop for the evening. It was below her in the nesting box. The egg was a rubber egg with a very soft shell.

    Yesterday I didn't find an egg and today I found one later in the afternoon. However, it wasn't in the nesting box, it was in the coop run and the chickens were eating it. I removed the remainder of the egg and the white from the floor of the coop... Couldn't find the yolk.. Pretty sure they may have eaten it.

    I have fake eggs in the nesting box and have seen the chickens in the nesting boxes several times. Pretty worried about having egg eaters... Ugh. Any tips on how to handle this?

    Also, the egg is really weird looking. I've attached a pic what's left of the soft shell for reference.. The first egg looked similar...


    [​IMG]
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Sounds like she laid a soft shelled egg which happens occasionally, especially when they first start laying or when they are shutting down. It is normal for chickens to eat them.
     
  3. newchikngal

    newchikngal Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for your response. Kind of worried about them starting to eat them.. Don't want egg eaters. :) Will doing it now contribute to egg eaters?
     
  4. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Not usually. The soft shell is different than the fully formed egg.

    Just check the boxes several times a day and remove eggs. Also make sure they are getting plenty of calcium. That will help with strong shells and prevent egg eating as well.

    A good layer feed or an all flock with calcite grit or oyster shell should do the trick.

    LofMc
     
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  5. newchikngal

    newchikngal Out Of The Brooder

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    I have an update... I've had another egg since the last one that was laid at night or super early this morning. I typically close the girls into the coop at night and open it around 7am. Well the egg was laid on the coop floor and the yolk had been eaten. The shell was slightly harder but still soft. I'm supplying oyster shell now and cut out all table scraps.

    Any other tips? I'm kind of worried they are becoming egg eaters because this egg defined had a shell-- albeit a soft one.
     
  6. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    They will almost always eat the soft shelled eggs.

    Only start being concerned about egg eating if you find broken hard shells emptied of contents...then you've got chickens eating eggs or an egg predator.

    I agree, cut table scraps, offer good quality feed with oyster shells, and the soft shell should subside soon.

    If these are new layers (young pullets coming into lay for the first time), it is common to get soft shelled eggs for a few weeks until things settle down.

    If these are older layers, then it indicates several things. Lack of calcium and potential illness.

    If older layers, and oyster shell is not helping, try calcite grit or go to a true layer formula feed.

    If there is any sneezing, runny noses, coughing, or rattling, then we've got bigger problems....Infectious Bronchitis often produces poor quality eggs as do several other diseases. IB simply runs its course (like a common cold) but can throw off egg production for weeks. Other diseases can be more problematic. Re-post in disease thread if you think you've got disease going through.

    LofMc
     
  7. newchikngal

    newchikngal Out Of The Brooder

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    Well I haven't found an egg in the past couple days. However, pretty sure my barred rock laid one yesterday or is getting close. She spent 30 minutes in the nest box but no egg.

    Then as I was cleaning my coop yesterday, I raked up what looked like an egg shell from the floor of the run. My new Hampshire saw it and literally ran all over the coop with the other two trying to get the remnants of a shell. I couldn't tell if it was soft or not. Ugh.

    I'm going to keep an eye out today and see what happens. I am not sure how many of them are laying but not even seeing any eggs since knowing they've eaten them is kind of frustrating. I've darkened the area where the nesting box us and am considering putting up curtains.

    Have you tried giving your chickens milk? Maybe the answer is harder eggs that are more difficult to crack? Other things I've read is about blowing the egg insides out of an egg and then putting mustard and hot sauce in there. They seem to eat whatever so not sure that will make a difference but I'll give it a trY.
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    What can help to deter egg eating is some ceramic eggs and collecting often. They try pecking the ceramic eggs and learn they can't crack them. Any floor eggs, cracked eggs, or soft eggs are up for grabs, plus anything dropped by you will bring them in like piranha.

    Watching them is a good idea. Are you providing a separate bowl of oyster shells? You can also feed them back their own shells crushed up.
     
  9. newchikngal

    newchikngal Out Of The Brooder

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    Well today I put wooden eggs in the nesting boxes and gave the girls some yogurt with meal worms this morning. A couple days ago I added apple cider vinegar to the water and put oyster shell out as well. And this afternoon.....[​IMG]
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Yay, congratulations.[​IMG]
     

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