Shell-less or Soft-shelled ALL THE TIME!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PoultryQueen29, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. PoultryQueen29

    PoultryQueen29 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens just started laying. My EE started about 2 1/2 weeks ago at 22 weeks, my Polish/Silkie mutt started about 1 1/2 weeks ago at 24 weeks, and my Speckled Sussex started off today with a shell-less egg at 28 weeks. Ever since my EE started, I have gotten 2 eggs intact. And she lays every day! I have gotten 2 from my polish, both pretty and intact, but she has stopped laying. Now my Sussex finally started and all I found was a brown membrane.

    I always find a crushed shell or just a membrane from my EE. Whenever it's a shell, the shell seems like just a thin sheet around the egg. I normally find these in the nest box in the puddle of yolk and whites it made or I find the shell or membrane kicked out of the nest box but find the yolk and whites in the nest box. I feed them Purina Layena and oyster shell. I also cook up all the button quail eggs I get from a week of collecting and feed it to them weekly if my button cooperates. What's wrong with them? Am I doing something wrong?
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your saying all of them are laying soft shelled eggs, with only the rare hard shell? Plenty of calcium in their diet too. Besides patience I have no answer. I'll have to ponder on that. Hope someone has an answer for you.
     
  3. PoultryQueen29

    PoultryQueen29 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks :) My Polish/Silkie mutt is the only one who isn't laying soft-shelled or shell-less eggs.
     
  4. Parismymare

    Parismymare Out Of The Brooder

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    when they start laying the lay the soft shell and shell less, but they eventually get harder. Add oyster to their diet since they are starting laying so they have extra calcuim, that should fix it allong with time. Worked for me anyway!
     
  5. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After getting soft-shelled eggs from one hen for awhile I finally resorted to grinding up the oyster shell and adding it to the regular feed. Even though I had oyster shell available in another dish they never touched it. Adding the crushed oyster shell (I used a mortar and pestle to make it like a powder so it'd adhere to the feed better) worked and the soft-shelled eggs stopped after about 3 days. I've kept doing it throughout the winter but when summer arrives and there are more greens available as they free range I'll try decreasing it.
     
  6. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Since they are all doing it, it may be something in their nutrition, in addition to their just starting to lay. All the suggestions here are good ones.

    If you add 1Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar per gallon to their water, it will help create the acidic environment in the chickens digestive system that will help her absorb calcium.

    I have one that is doing this....sometimes. The entire egg has an intact membrane but no shell or the shell was so thin that a hen going into the nest box after her inadvertently broke the thin-shelled egg.

    I researched that vitamin D3 will also help them harden shells. I got a pkg (for human consumption) at WalMart for cheap, and I crush the D3 pill up to a powder. To help boost the calcium too, I put yogurt in with some layer pellets, the powdered D3 and fed to Ms. Softshell. It seems to help her out. She is my largest hen, and I think needs more nutrition than the littler ones.

    You can also feed back the eggshells from your chickens to give them more sources of calcium. When I put a cup of water in the microwave for heating, I put eggshells in there too. They crush up evenly and fine, and my chickens like eggshells more than oyster shells.

    Hopefully as the season goes onward, they will get what they need to improve shell quality.
     
  7. PoultryQueen29

    PoultryQueen29 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice :) I'll work on it. I have heard of the vitamin D thing so i'll try that. Are there any foods that I can give for treats that have a good amount of vitamin D in them?
     
  8. 2greenboyz

    2greenboyz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi PoultryQueen, I know how frustrating it is when you keep finding soft shell eggs. I read on another thread that Purina puts Marigold in their mix to make the yolks more yellow. They were having trouble with the chickens looking sickly b/c Marigold is actually used as an insecticide! When they switched to another type of feed, their flock was happier. Maybe you can find that thread by searching.

    I now use Modesto organic. I also get some Di-Cal Phosphate (a powder) at the feed store. Each morning I make up a mix of about a quarter slice of organic bread torn up (per bird), about 1-2 Tbsp of the Calcium, a little vitamin, ground flax (1T) and yogurt, and mash up half a banana. They love it and sometimes I add extra things to it like a few cut up grapes or a cooked egg with crushed/broken shell. I add just enough water to it so its like a milkshake. Just a thought...
     
  9. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glad you got some solutions for your problem. I hope one works.
     
  10. MarieNC

    MarieNC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This has been happening to me as well, though not to your extent. I like the idea of grinding up the oyster shells and adding it to the feed. They have free choice oyster shells now but someone is still laying soft shelled eggs. And to make matters worse, two of my girls have decided they like to eat said soft-shelled eggs. *sigh*
     

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