"Sandy" egg shell?

seuferer

Chirping
5 Years
May 15, 2015
11
8
69
One of my EE hens is laying 'sandy' eggs. The exterior of her shell has literal grains of 'sand' that can be dusted off. The 'sand' is in the same light-green color as her shell, and dusts off when I rub it, though the shell remains coarse/rough even after I've dusted off all the loose bits.

The eggs themselves remain their normal size, shape, and when cracked open, they are normal inside. I have four ee hens of roughly the same age range, and only one of them has this extra 'sandy' deposit. None of my brown or white shell layers have this strange 'sand'.

None of the EE hens appear to have any visible health problems. The birds free-range during the day with an all-flock feed and oyster shell grit available at all times. (I switched from a layer feed as I was given to understand that this will contain too much calcium for the health of my roo, and supplemental oyster shell allows the hens to take it or not as they need.)

Does anyone know if this 'sandy shell' might be indicative of a health problem?
 

seuferer

Chirping
5 Years
May 15, 2015
11
8
69

Thanks! I'd already dusted off today's egg before I posted, so I don't have a picture, but I will take one tomorrow. I read this article, and it looks like the photo describing "calcium deposits", except that my girl's "sand" is not so condensed as the photo - it's more evenly distributed, exactly like if a damp egg had been rolled lightly in sand, and the 'sand' dusts off when I rub it with a cloth. This hen was new last spring (2018) and started laying a year ago. The 'sandy' bit has only started in the last few weeks, at first infrequently and now daily.

It is only one hen, not all of them, so I don't think it's too much calcium. I've switched to feeding them all-flock feed with oystershell calcium grit available, and they free-range. I suppose it could just be that this hen has something 'off' in her shell-making glands. I have only used these eggs for family consumption since they started being 'weird', and didn't use those under my broody hens for hatching.

Thanks for the input, everyone!
 

Wyorp Rock

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Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
40,045
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Southern N.C. Mountains
Thanks! I'd already dusted off today's egg before I posted, so I don't have a picture, but I will take one tomorrow. I read this article, and it looks like the photo describing "calcium deposits", except that my girl's "sand" is not so condensed as the photo - it's more evenly distributed, exactly like if a damp egg had been rolled lightly in sand, and the 'sand' dusts off when I rub it with a cloth. This hen was new last spring (2018) and started laying a year ago. The 'sandy' bit has only started in the last few weeks, at first infrequently and now daily.

It is only one hen, not all of them, so I don't think it's too much calcium. I've switched to feeding them all-flock feed with oystershell calcium grit available, and they free-range. I suppose it could just be that this hen has something 'off' in her shell-making glands. I have only used these eggs for family consumption since they started being 'weird', and didn't use those under my broody hens for hatching.

Thanks for the input, everyone!
She may also be getting ready to molt soon too.
 

ValerieJ

Straw parade on snow day
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 24, 2016
10,552
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Washington State
I have had eggs like that. I still think it's just calcium. I find that happens only in my young ones who are beginning to lay or when they get older. How old is your hen? I have one hen now who is 4 years old. She still lays an egg about once or twice a week, but they are rarely usable because the calcium seems to be more on the egg than in the shell, so the shell breaks with the slightest handling. Because of her I will find a broken egg in the nest box that is mostly eaten. Luckily it hasn't caused anyone to go after the other eggs. She's my oldest hen, my profile pic is a recent one of her, and I'm very attached, so I just deal with it.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,798
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My Coop
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It is only one hen, not all of them, so I don't think it's too much calcium.
Every bird processes nutrients differently.

I've switched to feeding them all-flock feed with oystershell calcium grit available,
When did you make the switch...if recently, she may have gorged on the OS.

I wouldn't worry about it unless she is showing other signs of illness.

She may also be getting ready to molt soon too.
Could be, you can get some funky eggs around molting time.
 

LDev

Songster
7 Years
May 31, 2013
177
118
176
Scotland
I know this is an old post but i thought I’d add anyway because i was searching for answers for this for one of my young hens. I have spoken to a specialist avian vet and he has told me that it is excess calcium deposits (I've kept hens for years and never seen it before) and if she is well then its nothing to worry about. I know their diet is ok because its the same as i have always fed my hens....good quality layer feed in the morning and in the afternoon they get some scratch and mealworms/soldier fly larvae along with veg. Ive had illness in my flock recently so i thought there may be another underlying issue but nope.....nothing to worry about he says 👍🏻
 

MANNA-PRO

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