shells gone bad

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RICK PEHRSON, Nov 17, 2011.


    RICK PEHRSON Hatching

    Apr 26, 2011
    My girls have oyster shell, meal worms and the best feed in their feeding area at all times. Today I reached for an egg and my thumb went right through the shell. Any ideas? Thanks.

  2. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Crowing Premium Member

    Aug 30, 2007
    New York State
    My Coop
    Maybe they need some extra calcium. Soft shelled eggs often indicate a calcium deficiency. Are they eating the oyster shells? Does their feed have a good calcium content?
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Sometimes it's just a glitch, especially with new layers. I'd just watch them and see if it persists.
  4. MetalSmitten

    MetalSmitten Songster

    Apr 11, 2010
    bloomington, indiana

    i had this happen with one of my hens (NOT young pullets) once, i think she laid 2 or 3 total and then was back to normal. none of them ever seemed off or ill, so i figured it was just a glitch. as long as they seem happy, and they've got the oyster shell... just keep an eye on 'em and hopefully it will resolve itself [​IMG]

  5. BusyBlonde

    BusyBlonde Songster

    Sep 18, 2011
    Bessemer City, NC
    How old, and what breed are they? Our Golden Comets (Red sex-links) got like that after their second year, no matter how much 'good' food they got. Their eggs got broken sometimes just being laid. I think the high-production crosses have more of a predilection towards those issues as they get older. If they are young, it's not uncommon to get 'weird' eggs, shell-less eggs, etc. until their bodies adapt to laying.
  6. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Songster

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    If these are pullets just starting to lay, I shouldn't be too worried. I'm holding Dear Heart's han thru her first such experience.

    We had two start up within a couple of days of each other at 20 weeks. A few days later, after colecting her two eggs ( by now a regular rich brown color and getting larger - I suspect a couple of the RSLs), she found a shell-less egg in the litter in the coop. After a couple of day, she began finding the customary two and a considerably smaller, lighter brown egg. Is supect the BR in that case. The lighter egg has been getting larger each day but still not as large as the other two.

    This morning's report, I had to go the fridge to check out. One very small egg of the darker brown variety, one of the lighter shade getting more near a normal size and . . . a gimongous dark brown egg. I can't close the lid on the carton over it and have a good idea it will be a double yolker.

    Best guess I've got is that one of the first two to lay took a day off and I have a fourth one starting up.

    And that's just a guess. As others have said, you'll find odd eggs (again, the ones that don't make it to the supermarket, but that the large operators sell to bakeries and other processors instead) here and there from a flock of any age, but the variance and oddities will be especially common as your girls come of age to start laying.
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Also, if your hens are molting, a lot of their calcium goes into feather regrowth and I always notice more thin shelled eggs during this time of year than any other time. Instead of offering the OS free choice at these times, I actually mix it right into their feed. I also make sure they have ACV in their water as it also has calcium and increases the absorption of calcium in the body. Might want to increase protein during molt also.

  8. meowteri2

    meowteri2 Songster

    Feb 4, 2010
    chicago sw suburbs
    Quote:Same here with a ISA brown that will be 2 years old in march. The feed store guy said they will lay good for 3 years. Her sister is still doing good.
  9. Dead Rabbit

    Dead Rabbit Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    i had same experience with my ISA brown. awsome chickens. best ive had yet. but by yr and half i got alot of soft eggs, shell less eggs, thin shells. mine are pasture free ranged yr round, with feeders full of oyster shells in front of them yr round. so its not their diet. its just the breed. they are done after their first yr IMO. yes they continue to lay extremely well but the loss and the continual mess is not worth it. i changed my opinion of the ISA after that. i'll stay with red comets from now on.

  10. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I have not much to add, the previous advice sounds good to me.

    Here's some other foods that are a good source of calcium:

    1. Spinach & Swiss Chard
    2. Salmon & Sardines (canned with bones)
    3. Mustard, Collard, Kale & Turnip greens
    4. Shellfish
    5. Blackstrap molasses (can cause runny stools)
    6. Corn Tortillas
    7. Yogurt
    8. Mozzarella & Cheddar cheese
    9. Milk, Buttermilk (goat's milk and cow's milk)
    10. Basil, thyme, dill seed, cinnamon, and peppermint leaves
    11. Romaine lettuce
    12. Rhubarb
    13. Almonds, Peanuts & Brazil Nuts
    14. Black Beans, Dried Beans (Cooked)
    15. Sesame seeds
    16. Fennel
    17. Cabbage, Bok Choy, & Chinese cabbage
    18. Summer squash
    19. Green beans
    20. Garlic
    21. Tofu & Soybeans
    22. Brussel sprouts & Broccoli
    23. Oranges (Some people do not feed citrus to chickens)
    24. Asparagus & Okra
    25. Crimini mushrooms
    26. Foods Fortified with Calcium: Some Orange Juice, Breads, & Cereals


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by