New to Laying - question on what's normal

My Three Chicks

May 3, 2021
Los Angeles, CA
I have 4 chickens (Olive Egger, Red Sex Link, Speckled Sussex, and Dominique) who are now 20 to 22 weeks old. My OE started laying 1.5 weeks ago and has laid perfect green eggs from the beginning. My RSL laid her 1st one on Mon and it was a slightly soft shelled but formed egg in the nest box. Since then she laid a great egg yesterday and today. However, yesterday I found this (see pic) in the dropping tray.

My other 2 (the SS & Dom) are not laying yet. Their combs and wattles just started turning red days ago and they do not squat. Could the RSL be laying a perfect egg in the nest box one day, and the next day laying a soft shell egg on the roost at night?
Or is one of my other ones laying these soft shelled ones from the roost at night? Also, is this considered unusual behavior for newly laying hens? How long before they become it weeks or months? Just so I know if I have a problem or it's just their bodies getting accustomed to laying.

soft shell.jpg


Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
No exact timetable on when layers become "normal" but the newer they are the laying, the more likely you'll see glitches. As long as they're not commonplace I wouldn't worry about it too much.

Do make sure the birds have a source of calcium, even if feeding layer feed, as every individual's needs are different.

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
western South Dakota
Don't fret it, it is normal. Just getting the kinks out, it is also very common to get double yolkers too. I had a hen give me double yolkers several times a week (my sons thought they were a sign of luck) for about a year, and never another one.

Mrs K


In the Brooder
Sep 1, 2021
My 7 "Girls" are like my 2 human They never do what you want them to This is my first year with my egg laying kids, but I can tell you that giving them free access to oyster shell (and grit), and making sure they are content and happy, makes a huge difference in their egg laying. Quality feed, whether store bought ,or made yourself, also makes a big difference. I was so over anxious and excited waiting for my first eggs! Love them and make sure they eat as if you were eating it, and you ,and your flock will be just fine...:)

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