Shell less eggs and advice for new chicken owner

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TazGal, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. TazGal

    TazGal In the Brooder

    Mar 19, 2016
    I recently got my first chickens, they were half of a friend's flock. They are 2 yrs old rhode island reds. For some time I noticed that someone was laying shell less eggs which is really a problem because when they break the other hens are right in there eating it up as fast as they can. I'm worried they'll all start eating all the eggs. As soon as I see the mess of a broken egg I clean it up with vinegar to remove the smell. Today I discovered which hen it was as I saw her laying the egg and the others were after her the moment it dropped eating it up and then going after her because some of the membrane was still hanging out of her butt. I chased them out, pulled the membrane out slowly and then wiped her down. So I'm trying to figure out why she has this problem. They get 19% layer feed, oyster shell and on the advice of the farm supply have been adding in their own egg shells (baked, then processed to a powder and added to food). They get fresh water and free range weather permitting. This hen I noticed is at the bottom of the pecking order. When I'd put the 'treats' (aka veggies) out in the pen in a tray they would all crowd around and not let her in to get some. When she tried they'd peck her and chase her away. I started putting it in two trays to give her a chance. She is a loner...when the other 4 are ranging on one end of the property she is completely at the other end all by herself doing her own thing. Until today she was the only one that really didn't like me to handle her much and the few times I've had to grab her to get her in the coop at night (not going in with the rest) or to examine her she'd kick up a fuss. Today after the egg laying incident, she leaned against me while I petted her for a very long time and she closed her eyes and was falling asleep leaning against me.This got me really worried! I now notice also today that one toe is really bent with a right angle in the middle like she might have broken it. She is walking okay though and not holding it up so it must not be a recent development...not sure why I never noticed it before. So in light of the fact that their diet is proper,could the stress of being the ostracized girl be the reason for this? I've checked her over and I can't see anything else wrong with her. Any advice? I'm stumped.

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