Post-molt hen laying no shell egg

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jadore Poules, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Jadore Poules

    Jadore Poules Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 22, 2011
    Northern Virginia
    Hi all,

    Is it normal for a hen coming out of molt to lay eggs without shells?

    Yesterday afternoon my two-year old hen was in the nest box for about an hour. When I checked the nest box this morning I found her egg. A yolk and some albumen was contained in the sac but had no shell. There was also very little albumen.

    I've been offering oyster shell and grit as free choice. This hen was raised as a flock from a production farm. Here are my questions:

    1. Is this a normal issue with post-molt hens? If so, how long will it take for them to start laying shells?

    2. Are farm-raised hens fed calcium as part of their diet rather than free choice? I mean, are they less likely to take calcium if offered separate from their feed?

    3. Is there anything else that might cause hens to lay no-shell eggs?

    Thanks for any advice and information!
  2. Pharm Girl

    Pharm Girl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2011
    Sounds like you are doing all you can. Some of mine do that too and others shell up right away. I'm sure she'll be back to her old self soon.
  3. tec27

    tec27 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    1. very common. it can take a week or so for them to get back into the groove of things
    2. layers feed contains calcium and other minerals for proper egg laying. my chickens totally despise their layers feed. they will only eat it if they are extremely hungry. So a couple days a week i won't feed them any treats or anything else so they are forced to eat their layers feed. If i don't, then i get very soft, thin egg shells
    3. There could be other diseases/illnesses/physical problems with your hen. I highly doubt it though. It was probably just an oops egg. It happens from time to time.
  4. Jadore Poules

    Jadore Poules Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 22, 2011
    Northern Virginia
    Folks, thanks for the feedback. It is a relief to my mind to know this is somewhat common. I will keep an eye out for a trend. My chickens also seem to avoid the powdery layer mash I feed them, but will sometimes eat it if I mix it up with warm water and a bit of buttermilk. I'll make sure to refrain on excessive treats (as I've been giving them cracked corn and while millet to keep warm during the bitter temps we've had) so to encourage their eating the mash.

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