shell-less eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Bram, Oct 12, 2011.

  1. Bram

    Bram Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Southeastern Illinois
    I have thought for some time that I had a hen eating eggs. But, I have never found any shell fragments anywhere. What I do find is egg yolk stains on the roosting boards, and sometimes in the floor of the coop. Yesterday when I gathered eggs, I found some in the nest box in a puddle of yolk. Is it possible that I have a hen laying eggs without a shell?
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    The shell-less egg usually does have the membrane. Have you found broken membrane fragments laying around? It would kind of be like pieces of a white balloon. If your hens are relatively new layers, this is quite common. Putting out a dish of crushed oyster shells would help eliminate those shell-less eggs by providing additional calcium.

    It doesn't necessarily mean the chickens are eating the eggs if you find yolk....And I've found a splash of yolk every now and then in the bottom of a nesting box. I believe sometimes they lay an egg with no shell or a very weak shell, and then they feel that wetness because they crush it by stepping on it, so they eat the egg. (Accidental egg eating.)

    Sometimes they don't put two and two together and figure out that the normal eggs are the same thing as the broken ones though....So I'm betting your egg eating is the accidental kind. (I sure hope so anyhow.)

    Crossing my fingers for ya!

  3. cambriagardener

    cambriagardener Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had one particular hen that layed "rubber" eggs. She was a Golden-laced Wyandotte. It would take her by surprise out in the run, she'd squat, and out came the shell-less egg. The RIR would run for it, peck it, and they'd all enjoy the treat. Also, occasionally I'd find one laying in the shaving under the roost. We never found a solution for this. I'd grind egg shell in a food processor in the kitchen and add it to their food, be sure they had oyster shells available, but nothing seemed to prevent it. I'll watch this post to see if others have found a solution. Best of luck! [​IMG]
  4. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Western Massachusetts
    YES, YES, YES!!!

    I have a Rhodie who was laying perfectly fine from the first. Suddenly, she laid a 'rubber egg' (an egg w/ a membrane but no shell). But she also laid three completely shelless eggs. At first I was baffled by finding an egg sitting on the bottom of the coop with no shell anywhere. But the day before yesterday I noticed that she was not acting like herself. At one point she went off by herself and I could tell she was pressing. Then I saw something squirt out of her bottom which at first I thought was poo. I thought maybe she was constipated. But I went over and there was an egg sitting on the ground. No shell, no membrane, just an egg.

    When they lay a 'rubber' egg it is because once the yolk is formed, the membrane (the vitelline membrane) is formed at the same point the 'white (albumen) is formed. At this point the hen's body forms strands that anchor the yolk in place.

    The last thing to happen is the depositing of the shell. The happens just before laying. Obviously there can be 'mistakes' in this process that will deliver the egg without a shell or even without a membrane.

    I am happy to report that the pullet who had this problem laid a normal egg today. Especially when they're young these things can be common because their egg forming apparatus is still maturing as they are.
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  6. Whispering_Raven

    Whispering_Raven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2011
    Ashland City, TN
    One of my RIRs did this when she first started laying. The first few eggs were either a really thin shell, or none at all. I put out some calcium mix for them to eat at will, and the shells were much better literally within a day or two, and also started getting stronger the more eggs she laid. I'm no expert, as I just started raising chickens this year, but I think it's pretty common.

  7. We found our first rubber egg this morning, laid from the roost. It didn't break, but one side was a bit dented (not broken). We have no idea who laid it, but we're keeping an eye. They have steady access to oyster shell, but we'll need to watch and make sure whoever laid this egg isn't being prevented from getting to it. Now if I could get the plucking under control and get rid of it completely.... *sigh*

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