Soft Egg Shells and Watery Eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by pw30, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. pw30

    pw30 Out Of The Brooder

    28
    0
    32
    Jul 22, 2010
    Plymouth, WI
    Why are my shells really thin and seem more watery lately. They break very easy and one today even had a small hole after being laid. Any ideas?
     
  2. chi-rn

    chi-rn Chillin' With My Peeps

    874
    0
    99
    Jun 11, 2011
    Are your girls getting enough calcium?... you want a high quality laying feed for that. I once got some cheaper feed from (very large retailer, who will remain unnamed) -- and had exact same problem. Name brand high quality is worth it! Also, free range with grass/bugs OK, but not too many treats. When I treat my laying hens with fresh veggies & fruits (like melon rinds), I sprinkle with oyster shell to make sure they don't max out on treats & miss out on calcium.
     
  3. sunny & the 5 egg layers

    sunny & the 5 egg layers Overrun With Chickens

    4,713
    160
    296
    Mar 29, 2011
    How old is your hen? Are you feeding her layer pellets? And Oyster Shell?
     
  4. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,327
    11
    163
    May 26, 2009
    California
    Are you giving your hens any oyster shell (supplemental calcium)? Are they on layer feed?

    Hens that arent getting enough calcium will lay very thin shelled eggs. The holes may be caused by the hens toe nails piercing them as they get off the nest, it happens sometimes with not thin shells, but most likely due to the thin shells. You want to fix this right away before your hens see the holes and start learning to eat the eggs- then you'll have a whole new, and not so easy to fix problem.

    You can get oyster shell at any feed/animal supply store. Layer feed is really good for them, but not everyone feeds it, some just feed flock raiser. But if you are having troubles, try switching to layer feed and add free feed oyster shell. The oyster shell should be in its own bowl for them to eat as they need- they wont over eat it.

    Definately up the calcium and protein- it will fix thin shell issues and watery eggs. Be sure they have lots of water too (especially if you live in the heat).

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. pw30

    pw30 Out Of The Brooder

    28
    0
    32
    Jul 22, 2010
    Plymouth, WI
    Thanks, I have been giving them scratch grains and egg laying mash. I'll get some oyster shells as well but in the past they have avoided eating them. They are free range so I figured they got enough protine. I also give them any eggs that are to dirty or broken fried up (scramblled eggs) for extra protine. I hope thats ok as well.
     
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    3,479
    49
    246
    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    How old are the hens and how large are the eggs? Shells get thinner as hens get older and eggs get larger. They generally use the same amount of calcium to produce any given egg shell, so the larger the eggs get the thinner the shells get. Abnormally large eggs from too much protein sometimes get watery as the extra size of the egg is mostly in the albumen (egg white).

    Other than that, feed a good quality feed with free-choice supplements on the side. Do not mix extra calcium in their feed as too much calcium can also cause thin-shelled eggs.
     
  7. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,008
    71
    231
    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    I'd go easy on the scratch. It is like candy for kids. If they fill up on that, they won't be eating the layer feed that has the calcium and vitamins.

    Did you change their feed or their treats lately? Maybe it IS food related.

    Quote:
     
  8. pw30

    pw30 Out Of The Brooder

    28
    0
    32
    Jul 22, 2010
    Plymouth, WI
    I guess you hit the nail on the head. They have been getting more scratch grains because the love it and I love to spoil them. I thought it was healthy for them so no harm done. I will cut back on the scratech grains for awhile. Thanks. Another example of me posting a questions and getting great advice the same night. This is a great site.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by