Shell less egg layer

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by willcutts, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. willcutts

    willcutts New Egg

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    One of my hens (a sex link cross Baltimore/Road Island Red) has been laying shell less eggs for the last 2 weeks. She is only about 8 months old. She did this some when she first started laying and I added oyster shell to their diet and it was back to shells but the last 2 weeks all of them are shell less. The yolk and white all come out in a pile all at once like she would normally- just no shell. I'm currently feeding Purina crumble for egg layers. My other one is fine but she is a Buff Orpington. Shells are thick. Could it be her breed or is there something else I can try?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
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  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Sounds serious. Have there been other symptoms?
    No shells is not common at all.
    Sometimes there is no remedy.

    If the bird is a pet or valuable, here's a few things to try.

    Calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D3 and magnesium should be in the correct ratio.
    First, cut out all treats, scratch and supplements except to provide oyster shell in a separate container in a conspicuous place so she can find it. Just don't mix it with feed or that will cause a fault in the correct ratio which can also cause shell issues.

    If not, I'd try a reboot. This is only a suggestion but could work.
    Put her in a dark place except for about 6-8 hours of light a day to increase the melatonin. That will reduce the hormones inducing reproduction. Within a week, she should stop laying.
    Keep her on short days with a grower ration to try to get her body to regulate itself. Wouldn't hurt to give some probiotics as well. That could be some plain yogurt with active cultures or an avian probiotic powder. I use Gro2Max.
    After a couple weeks of no eggs, go back to layer feed and simultaneously start increasing day length about 15 minutes a day.

    It doesn't happen often but possibly there are mistakes in feed formulation. Usually because a valve malfunctioned or a blockage in an ingredient. Excess salt or some other nutrient issue could be the problem but it is very unlikely.
    More likely is a problem with the shell gland which could be genetic or disease related.
    Also try a bit of raw apple cider vinegar in the water - perhaps a Tbsp per gallon.
    That can help them absorb calcium.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
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  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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  5. willcutts

    willcutts New Egg

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    No membrane at all. The albumen?(the clear part) starts coming out then the yolk as if having a bowel movement, not contained in anything. Didn't think that was possible!?! But she gets in her box, cackles like crazy as if laying normally, then splat. It has happened to her a few times while on roost - that's how I know how it happens. Is eating, drinking, acting normal. Not sure what to think. Has oyster shell available, apple cider in the water. She has laid normal in the past and has even laid a double yoke twice. Any thoughts?
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    If there is no membrane, that's likely a different issue than calcium. The egg gets its inner and outer membranes in the magnum, that is 2 stages before the shell gland. I've never seen what you are describing. I have on occasion had shellless eggs but the contents were always contained in by membrane.

    I'd still suggest the reboot by forcing her to stop laying with short days.
     
  7. willcutts

    willcutts New Egg

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  8. willcutts

    willcutts New Egg

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    That chart link you sent was awesome! And her eggs looked like the brown speckled pic when she first started laying - so leading me to think it's a defective gland?? This is my first "experience" with backyard chickens -and its been rough- but is this the point where you would say "cull" if I try the reboot as u suggested and it doesn't help? You have been amazingly helpful!!!!
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    It does sound like a defective oviduct. Not all women can bear children. This is the same thing.
    If the reboot doesn't help then you'll have to cull. On the bright side, they taste just like chicken.
     

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