Porous Chalky Eggs Dehydrating In Incubator


Nov 24, 2015
Hey Everyone,
A friend recently gave me some chickens, and I would like to incubate the eggs and expand my flock. My best producer lays eggs that average 2.75 oz almost every day, and she came from Moyers Chicks. They describe them as a hybrid cross between a White Rock egg-layer type female and a Rhode Island Red male. She is less than 2 years old.

Unfortunately there is something wrong with her eggs, they feel extremely chalky / dry to the touch, and are extremely porous. When placed in the incubator almost all of them dehydrate within the first 8 days, despite having the correct temperature and humidity settings. I was quite confused when I went to candle her eggs and they weighed next to nothing and had a hard lump of dehydrated egg rattling around in the shell.

They have plenty of clean water, egg layer rations, and crushed oyster shells. They also get high protein meal worm snacks and occasionally things like pumpkin and squash. They have a very nice coop and a huge field to free range in, and I imagine don't have too much stress.

Has anyone had this kind of problem, and is there any way to correct it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Have you incubated any eggs from any other chickens in your flock? Did those hatch fine? What temperature are you incubating at? Humidity?

If everything is set to the right temp/humidity (with calibrated instruments) and the shells are the cause, you could maybe try incubating at a much higher humidity. I would only incubate the porous ones though as that high of humidity would drown normal eggs.

There also may just be something wrong with her reproductive tract though. In that case, it might not be a good idea to propagate her genetics and just keep her eggs for eating.
Yep, others from the flock hatched fine, incubating at 37.8 C and 55% humidity and then I bump the humidity up near the end.

About 1 in a dozen will be a reasonably smooth shiny looking egg from her, the other 11 are various degrees of chalk, almost as if the egg was made of fine sand.

I was hoping it was something simple like she needs vitamins.

I guess for now I will be eating them, I was hoping to get some jumbo size chicks from them.
I did a quick search because I was curious and it sounds like it has something to do with the way the eggs are formed. If two eggs come into contact with each other in the oviduct, the calcification process is interrupted. This might be why the eggs are so large (or this is because the eggs are so large), they might be getting stalled on their way out...

Not sure if there is any fix to that though. Maybe do a good analysis of their diet and see if anything is lacking. I would say stick to eating her eggs (even the good ones in case it's something genetic) and hatch the other chickens eggs. If you plan on hatching for years to come, you can always be selective and hatch the largest of the healthy chicken eggs and eventually you may breed a chicken that lays bigger eggs...
Hmmm, interesting. She didn't lay one yesterday, and now today's egg is smooth and looks good, its also 2.85 oz!

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