Paper eggshell - split as laid, shell got stuck.


In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 13, 2012
Jersey, Channel Islands
My little bearded Belgian has been laying paper eggshell eggs, we've put mineral mix and oyster shell in with their feed, but today one must have split as she was laying it - the yolk had come out whole but the shell was in pieces and a bit of it was stuck. I gently pulled this bit out, at which point she perked up a bit. Nothing else came out after it and she stopped straining, so I think that's all there was left. Her vent isn't swollen or sore - any tips on anything else you think I should do?
they've gone to bed now, but any advice for tomorrow? Symptoms I should look out for if she's developing an infection? How to treat it if she does get one - I live on an island so there aren't many vets - our vets never had much success with chickens :( the others don't know squat about them.

Anything would be appreciated - she's a much loved pet!
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you may want to give her a warm bath or gently syringe a water and white vinegar mixture up her vent, being careful not to jet it into her belly. You need to look out for infection from any remaining bits in her vent. You can keep her in a darken area to stop her from laying until she heals
Thank you! I figured as much, can you believe we've just been so lucky we've never had a hen with this sort of problem before in 18 years, I'd heard about it and seen it with relatives hens so I'm kind of panicking. Now I know I can at least do something else!
Hmm, happened again today so have done as you suggested and put her in a darkish room (our garage), any idea as to how long to keep her in there?
She's perked up a lot again when I got the shell out but it had obviously been there a couple of hours because she was all sore :( I'll give her another bath tomorrow to make sure everything's clean.
The longer you limit her light exposure, the longer it will interrupt her laying. So if you keep her in there for a few days and she goes a day without laying, it will only interrupt it for a several days. That may be enough if you just want heal sore or scratched parts of her vent. Putting some antibiotic ointment on her vent may also help with that. Here is a link that has information on causes of shell malformation:

You may want to take her out for an hour to be with the flock in the evening or early morning when the light isn't really bright.

Were you raised on the Island of Jersey? This may be my only opportunity to communicate with someone from Jersey considering how small the population is.

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