Shell-less eggs mystery


11 Years
May 10, 2009
I know the topic comes up often, and usually folks respond that the chickens need more calcium, but what to you think of this situation? Early this morning I was awakened by my 2 year old talking in her sleep about the "du-dubs" (her word for chickens) which reminded me that my neighbor had told me last night about losing a few to a raccoon which in turn reminded me that I had left my pullet Rosie in the dog crate overnight instead of putting her in the coop as usual. So I got up to go check on her, scooped her up to put her in the coop with my other three hens and noticed that Marilla, my champion layer, was sitting on the floor instead of roosting and had two intact but shell-less eggs near her. The thing is, all three laid perfectly normal eggs yesterday and I mix oyster shell in with their scratch so shell strength has always been good. Is it possible for her to be shooting out eggs that aren't ready yet? One was normal sized, the other a bit smaller and both looked fine when I slit them open with a knife to check. Any ideas or should I just not worry about it? Thanks.
sjmjrgkmg -
I have 17 laying hens and I find soft shelled/shell less eggs at least once a week. They all free range, they all have oyster shell and layer feed available at all times. I also feed back all egg shells to them from the eggs we eat - which is a fair amount. The only thing I can figure is that the one(s) laying the soft/shell less eggs do not eat as much calcium as they should. And there is very little I can do about that.

Two soft shelled eggs at one time is a little odd, but I have read of hens laying two eggs in a row on BYC. Hopefully, this was just a little glitch in your girl and she'll straighten out now. It sounds like you are feeding them just fine - if it keeps up, maybe feed them yogurt, spinach, and other high calcium foods for a while to see if that helps. It hasn't helped me, but maybe you will have better luck.

When I had a soft egg problem an old timer told me to give my girls a little cod liver oil. I took small pieces of bread and dipped in the oil to get them to eat it. I have not had another problem since. He told me the cod liver oil would address any vitamin and mineral shortages. It would also help them to absorb the calcium they eat for use in making shells. He also said it helps them get back into sync........

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