Problems.Soft Eggs, Herniated Vents and Star of Bethleham


8 Years
Jul 7, 2011
We are having problems with our three1 year old chickens. These girls started laying eggs this past September just fine. Now everything is going wrong. this spring the girls started laying eggs with rubbery shells or thin calcified shells. We noticed our Our Black Star was laying soft eggs and had a herniated vent. We followed the advice on the forum and separated her giving her only 6 hours of light a day. We are hoping she will stop laying and heal.

Now the Barred Rock is laying soft eggs. I caught Bardy and our Black Astrolarp eating an egg this morning.

We have three pullet size Rhode Island Reds that we raised from chicks. We are trying to decide how to integrate them. We currently have and Eglu Go and a 500 sq ft run. It has worked out beautifully so far. We know the coop is too small for 6 chickens so we are thinking about building a larger coop for regular use and use the Eglu coop and run for sequestering young chicks and pullets.

We cant figure out what is going on with the egg laying. As far as their food goes we started them off with Layena pellets, then switched to Home Grown (Both made by Purina). Now we have switched them back to Layena. Besides this nothing has changed. We have always given them a small amount of corn for a treat and also given them kitchen scraps

There is one factor I am concerned about. The place we decided to put our run was covered with Star of Bethlehem bulbs.
I didn't realize until now that they can be toxic to chickens. The bulbs came up this Spring and now they are gone. I don't know if the chickens ate them or if they went dormant. If the girls did eat them, could this be causing our soft egg problem?

Now that our oriinal three girls are acting so strange we don't know what to do. We are changing their diet so that they are only getting the pellets , oyster shells and no treats. We are wondering if we should go to the trouble of builing another coop and trying to break the original girls of their bad habits or should we cut our losses and start fresh with the three new pullets?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Over our heads in chicken anatomy.

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