Shell-less egg, help?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CrazyPastyButt, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. CrazyPastyButt

    CrazyPastyButt In the Brooder

    Apr 3, 2018
    My barred rock (hatched at the end of March) has been laying for a little over 2 weeks now. But every egg she's laid so far has been shell-less. She free ranges for about 6hrs out of the day, has free access to oyster shell, and is on Southern States layer pellets. I also feed my flock fruit/veggie scraps. Her flock mates that hatched around the same time, who have also just started laying all have "normal" eggs.

    Should I be concerned? (I am, lol) I know that shell-less eggs are common in New layers, but she's laid approx. 10 eggs now, all without shells. Is this normal?? Is there something else I can give her to help her?
    apryl29 and PrettyChickens15 like this.
  2. cassie

    cassie Crowing

    Mar 19, 2009
    Things like this sometimes just happen. The only thing I can suggest is to make sure your chickens have access to oyster shell.
  3. Cluckerzfamilyfarm

    Cluckerzfamilyfarm Songster

    Aug 2, 2018
    (Not my words but hope it helps you as it did wishes)

    Chickens need a lot of calcium to create good, hard shells, so most incidences of shell-less eggs in an adult hens are related to not having enough calcium in the diet. Young hens may lay a shell-less egg or two right as they begin to lay eggs for the first time, before their systems have "gotten into the groove" of laying. If your girls are on a proper diet of lay ration and have oyster shell free choice, they should have all the calcium they need. They also need Vitamin D and a proper balance of other vitamins so they can process the calcium. Lots of snacks or scraps can throw off the nutrient balance of their diets or give them too much salt.

    Disturbances at night while they are sleeping--a predator prowling around, or a big storm, for example-- can also sometimes upset their system and cause shell-less eggs. If that is what's happening, some of the other girls' eggs may have bands or "checks" on them, as the laying process was disturbed briefly before resuming its normal course. If disturbances are the problem, when they cease, the shell problems should cease, too.

    Another possibility has to do with the salt in their diet. Too much salinity can cause shell-less or thin-shelled eggs. So, sometimes if they are drinking water that is highly softened, it can contain a problem amount of salts for them.

    It could also simply be a defective shell gland; it that is the case there is nothing to be done about it.

    Lastly, infectious bronchitis can also cause thin shelled eggs, or eggs with no shells. Chances are good you would have noticed respiratory symptoms. If you suspect your chicken has a case of IB, you should get her to a vet for a diagnosis immediately. There are some other illnesses, such as egg drop syndrome, that could cause the same thing. If you have eliminated everything else, your vet may be able to help you.
    apryl29 and granny hatchet like this.
  4. Melky

    Melky Spring has sprung!

    Jul 23, 2018
    Edgewood, KY
    My Coop
    New laying pullets typically have a few like this but then get going. So maybe think about the following.

    Could be variety of things:
    1) Not enough calcium
    Could be treats are not allowing for enough calcium. Hold treats. Stick with layer feed and free choice oyster shell
    2) Too much salt in diet mainly found to be due to soft water
    3) Defective shell gland, not fixable
    4) Infectious Bronchitis (should notice respiratory symptoms)
    5) If stumped contact vet
    apryl29 likes this.
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Generally eggs without shells are because the egg comes out before the shell can be applied. It isn't a calcium issue, though oyster shells should always be available if birds need them, as calcium also is necessary for other things such as muscle function.

    What often happens with new pullets is they get stressed out by the new sensations and happenings that go along with laying. The egg gets pushed out too soon. It usually will resolve in the first month as the bird gets used to it all.

    Eggs without shells can be harder to lay so sometimes they can cause problems. Unfortunately there not much you can do except keep other stressors lower.
  6. Henrybelle

    Henrybelle Songster

    Apr 22, 2018
    I wouldn’t be worried, you’ve made oyster shell available and she’s new to the game. If it persists longer than the first month of laying you may want to dig deeper into it but I just had my either buff Orpington or silver laced Wyandotte (I was unsure of the culprit) finally resolve their shell-less egg issues it took about a week and a half for her to get it right but I haven’t found one in a about a week. Good luck with yours!
  7. Cluckerzfamilyfarm

    Cluckerzfamilyfarm Songster

    Aug 2, 2018
    How are shell less eggs not a calcium issue? Or are you saying that just in this case it's not a calcium issue? Is it because they are using oyster shells? Because it is my understanding that just because they are eating the calcium they "need" they are not necessarily getting all the calcium out of it once digested due to the factors of treats taking from the calcium or maybe they are giving the option but the bird isnt actually eating. All I'm saying is there are other factors to take in effect. I just dont want to see any newer chicken owners thinking calcium does not cause shell less eggs. It is a factor.
    Melky likes this.
  8. Cluckerzfamilyfarm

    Cluckerzfamilyfarm Songster

    Aug 2, 2018
    I do agree with the stress insight though :)
    Melky likes this.
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Calcium isn't a factor because the egg wasn't in the shell gland long enough for a shell to be applied. It takes roughly 18-20 hours for a shell to be applied, and about 6 hours to make everything else. Eggs without shells are pushed out before they are done being made.

    Now if there's an actual shell on an egg that is abnormal, than you can talk about calcium. Since no shell has been applied no calcium was used. Hens will pull calcium out of their bones and have a specialized bones called medullary bones, which they store calcium in just for egg production. A hen would have to be severely depleted to need calcium, especially a new layer.

    It helps to understand how eggs are produced, so you can understand why stuff goes wrong sometimes, and what causes it.
  10. Helloworld

    Helloworld Songster

    Jul 17, 2018
    Down on the Suwannee River
    Low protein

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