"Sandy" egg shell?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by seuferer, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. seuferer

    seuferer Chirping

    May 15, 2015
    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?
    ValerieJ likes this.
  2. slordaz

    slordaz hatchaholic

    Apr 15, 2015
    I haven't ever seen it with my Easter Eggers. How old are the hens, if they only started laying inwith the last month it could be a kind in the line that will work itself out on it's own.

    @Wyorp Rock
    you guys ever seen something like this
    ValerieJ, Wyorp Rock and casportpony like this.
  3. casportpony

    casportpony Enlightened

    Jun 24, 2012
    Can you post a picture?
    ValerieJ, Wyorp Rock and slordaz like this.
  4. seuferer

    seuferer Chirping

    May 15, 2015
    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 and ValerieJ like this.
  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    She may also be getting ready to molt soon too.
    aart likes this.
  6. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Free Ranging

    Jul 24, 2016
    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.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Every bird processes nutrients differently.

    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.

    Could be, you can get some funky eggs around molting time.

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