soft egg shell - then they eat it!!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NicolaT, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. NicolaT

    NicolaT Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 9, 2011
    Hi all.

    We are new to the whole chicken thing - but are absolutely loving it. It has taken over our life! (No more T.V - Yay)

    On Mother's Day we collected our 4 P.O.L chickens. They have a great long run in part of our 120' garden and seem to be extremely happy rolling in the dust, chilling and eating all day. They have their Layers pellets with crushed oyster shell, ther 2 buckets of water are topped up frequently, plus we also give them cooked crushed egg shells and a few treats like corn and raisins in the afternoon. They are 18-20 weeks old and all have their brilliant personalities and pecking order sorted.

    Two of the chickens have an egg laying system sorted out - one lays at 9am, one at about 13.45-15.00hrs. We have had 6 eggs in 6 days so far from 2 of them. The other two don't seem to be doing much and I think we have a problem. One of them was standing up on Tuesday and an egg just plopped out which was soft and then the others pounced on it and ate it. Then, this morning, my husband went to the nesting box at 7.00am and 2 shells were in there - soft again, both different colours - so we presume they were from the 2 that have not laid yet. My husband has said that we should take them back to swap them for 2 new ones (the man said this was ok), but I'm wondering if they may just be a little nervous with the move etc and their egg laying routine will get better and the shells will soon harden up.

    Has anyone got any ideas or should I swap them both - especially the one that just wants to eat the eggs as soon as they're laid! If I wasn't here to watch them and get the egg out immediately, I'm wondering if that chicken will just go and eat them!!

    Thanks everyone.

    Nicola x
  2. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    So, the only eggs eaten are the soft ones? I would give them awhile longer, if they just started laying.
  3. liz_s

    liz_s Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2010
    Washington State
    Two of my girls were laying for their first time and everything was going fine. Then for about a week I had nothing but shell-less eggs from those two I was freaked out because they would eat them, and I didn't know when it would stop! Their diet was fine, and they're disposition was normal, but not the egg laying! After that week it totally went away (which means I haven't found a shell-less egg since then). From what I gather from these forums and all the literature, it's just a normal part of being a new layer. I wouldn't worry about it, and I definitely think it would happen to any chicken you got- I don't think yours are defective! My other girl laid perfectly normal eggs on a regular schedule from day one. Go figure. Don't give up on them. Give them some time to get their plumbing right, first! Good luck!
  4. NicolaT

    NicolaT Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 9, 2011
    Thanks so much. (Sorry for delay in replying, but didn't know I'd had any replies - thought I'd get an email to let me know.)

    I'm just not sure how long to give her. She's soooo beautiful. Last night at 10pm, we checked the nesting box and she had just laid another soft egg - 8 days after we've got her. That's at least 4 or 5 soft eggs she's laid now. She also seems to just sit down all day. She gets up to eat and then plops down. I'd say she's sitting down more than she's standing. Had a really bad night's sleep last nights as my Husband said we've got to swap her today because there must be something wrong with her. Should she really be spending most of her day laying down??? Could this be why she's laying soft eggs without the shell layer??

    Many thanks
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Typical. They will sort it out in another week and the soft eggs should cease. If it went on for a month, then I'd be concerned.
  6. RaspyRoosterFarms

    RaspyRoosterFarms Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 9, 2011
    They may need some oyster shell, it helps with calcium, makes a harder egg.
  7. NicolaT

    NicolaT Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 9, 2011
    Quote:Yes, they have oyster shell mixed in with their food and I bake my egg shells and give those crushed up to them. The other 3 hens are now laying perfect shelled eggs after 9 days - but this one chicken (my one) just lays down all day and then maybe, just maybe she'll decide to go lay a soggy, squishy egg - like it's missing the final stage of the process. I'm wondering if it is because she lays down all day. Wlking around just seems to be too much hard work for her!!!
  8. Posh Chickens

    Posh Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2011
    West Midlands, UK
    Do you feed them treats? Also, like Fred's Hens said, wait... My Hens do this sometimes, don't stress! [​IMG] Good Luck!
  9. NicolaT

    NicolaT Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 9, 2011
    Yes, they have treats daily. In the morning when I clean them out, they have a few bits of corn, then when the children come home from school - more corn. They have the kitchen vegetable scraps daily; because we have only had them 9 days now, it's all a bit new. I'll try to convince Hubby to give it a while longer. The man who we bought them from said that he was fine with swapping her, but the longer we leave it, the harder it will be to introduce a new chicken to the others. I can't win!!!
  10. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    While it's true that soft shell or no eggs after a move would usually be considered normal, her laying down so much would concern me. If you've become fond of her, could you keep her and get another?

    You could try a Tums in her water or crushed up in a treat. And I would not mix the oyster shell with the feed, I would offer it separately. Some hens evidently need more calcium than others.

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