New Layers - Egg without a shell?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by azrood, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. azrood

    azrood New Egg

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    Aug 25, 2016
    KY
    We have finally made it to the egg-laying stage with our first set of chicks - yay! Our Amberlink has been laying every day for about 2 weeks and one of our EEs had a nice green first egg, followed by a soft-shelled egg, then nothing. This morning I went out and discovered two brown soft-shelled eggs on the dropping board, which I know is to be expected when they first start laying. However, there was also a bloody spot of what looked like it might have been egg whites (no evidence of yolk)? Is this bloody spot normal for new layers or do I need to be worried?


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  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Lots of anomalies happen with new layers and sometimes there will be rips and tears with the first eggs.

    What are you feeding them? Protein %, calcium % of the feed, treats?
     
  3. azrood

    azrood New Egg

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    Aug 25, 2016
    KY
    Right now they're on Purina Start and Grow (18% protein) with free access to oyster shell. They free-range in the evenings and more days than not get some veggie scraps. Every couple of days they get a couple of handful of meal worms tossed out in the yard to find (we have 21 chickens - ages 11-20 weeks).

    We plan on moving everyone to layer feed in about 8 weeks, when the youngest reach laying age.
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    With free ranging and giving scraps, best to keep them on something with a higher protein content than layer. The shell-less eggs are very normal for new layers. Blood spots inside the eggs are very common, regardless of the age of the bird. Sometimes eggs will cause some tearing as they come down the 'chute'. Also normal. Can even happen to mature layers.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Sometimes they're a little slow on the uptake of the oyster shell. If I were you, I'd mix some layer feed with the start&grow. If you mix it 50:50, the resulting calcium will be 2.5% rather than the 1% or 4% or the other two feeds alone. This may help them till they get regulated and it won't be too much for the younger birds - more like a pre-lay diet.

    Sounds like your Amberlink has completely wiped out her bodily stores of calcium.
    During the 18 hours a hen builds an egg shell she uses up a significant portion of the calcium in her body.
    That's the problem with having birds of various ages approaching POL over a span of time.
    Commercial egg farms have birds of identical ages housed together and provide a pre-lay diet of about 2.5% Ca for up to 4 weeks prior to laying to beef up the skeletal storage.
    Egg shells require about 1.7 grams of calcium to form. Along with other metabolic processes of the laying hen, 2.5-3 grams of calcium total may be required daily.
    High producing hens like yours create enormous Ca demands. 3 grams is more than what a hen can absorb from the diet for a hen that lays every day. To build an egg shell the hen must utilize the calcium stored in medullary bones. That calcium gets replaced every day in the diet.
    Brittle bones or osteoporosis is possible if sufficient calcium isn't already stored and adequately supplied in the diet.
    Grains are less than 1% calcium so no scratch grains should be given especially to new layers.

    http://www.nutrecocanada.com/docs/s...-formation-and-eggshell-quality-in-layers.pdf
    http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/li...eggs-and-your-small-flock-of-laying-hens.html
    http://naturalchickenkeeping.blogspot.com/2013/02/calcium-mixed-flocks-vs-mixed-feeds.html
    It may even be necessary to separate the birds for a while till you get the layers calcium stores restored.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Not uncommon for any new layer....
    ....I have sprinkled just a dozen or so few pieces of oyster shell on top of feed if pullets don't 'get it' to eat it out of separate container at first, worked good.
     

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