1. Mayberry Chicken Shack

    Mayberry Chicken Shack In the Brooder

    Nov 23, 2010
    Mt. Airy, N.C.
    I just went out to close up the hen house for the night, and noticed an egg when I tried to pick the egg up it was soft like jelly. Any idea what might be wrong?
  2. ambrosia

    ambrosia Songster

    Oct 21, 2011
    New egg layer! Sometimes it takes them a bit to get the hang of things... make sure to offer lots of extra calcium, and things should smooth out in no time [​IMG]
  3. bambi

    bambi Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    Have your hens just recently become of age to lay? If so you have nothing to worry about they do this from time to time as their body adjust to laying [​IMG]
  4. Mayberry Chicken Shack

    Mayberry Chicken Shack In the Brooder

    Nov 23, 2010
    Mt. Airy, N.C.
    My hens have been laying since late August, and i have plenty of Calcium for them.
  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Most people immediately think that Oyster shell grit is what a hen needs if she is laying soft shelled eggs but a dietary deficiency can also be the cause of a ‘soft' shelled egg.
    Chickens need grit to grind their food down and calcium to form their egg shells, they also need a correct level of protein in their diet as well as minerals and various other vitamins.

    A few things to look at when you are getting soft eggs are (remember too much of any one of these ingredients can affect egg quality just the same as too little) --

    Protein, Adequate levels of lysine and methionine is need to produce good egg shells. When pullets begin laying, there is an increase in protein, vitamin and mineral requirements per day due to deposition in the egg. If dietary protein is too low or the amino acid requirements are not met, poor egg production and hatchability will occur.

    Calcium, The egg shell is composed primarily of calcium carbonate. The pullet's requirement for calciumis relatively low during the growing period, but when the first eggs are produced, the need is increased at least four times, with practically all of the increase being used for the productionof eggshells. Inadequate calcium consumption will result in decreased egg production and loweregg shell quality.
    Hens store calcium in medullary bone, a specialized bone capable of rapid calcium turnover. As calcium stores are depleted, bones become brittle. In severe cases, hens are unable tostand. The condition is known as caged-layer fatigue. Birds on the ground or on litter floorsrecycle calcium and phosphorus through consumption of feces, and do not have caged-layer fatigue.
    Calcium can be supplied in the diet as either ground limestone or oyster shell. Particlesize affects calcium availability. Usually the larger the particle size, the longer the particlewill be retained in the upper digestive tract. This means that the larger particles of thecalcium source are released more slowly, and this may be important for the continuity of shellformation, especially in the dark period when birds do not ordinarily eat.
    Periodically, dolomitic limestone is offered to the feed industry. However, dolomitic limestone(which is used in the steel industry) should never be used in poultry diets. Dolomitic limestonecontains at least 10% magnesium, and this complexes with calcium or competes with calcium forabsorption sites in the intestines. The consequence of feeding dolomitic limestone is inducedcalcium deficiency.
    Young birds should not be fed a high calcium layer diet because the calcium/phosphorus ratiowill be unbalanced, resulting in increased morbidity or mortality.

    Phosphorus, The nutritional role of phosphorus is closely related to that of calcium. Both are constituentsof bone. The ratio of dietary calcium to phosphorus affects the absorption of both these elements;an excess of either one impedes absorption and can reduce egg production, shell quality and/orhatchability.
    In addition to its function in bone, phosphorus plays a primary role in carbohydrate metabolism,is active in fat metabolism, and helps to regulate the acid-base balance of the body

    Vitamin D, Vitamin D is required for normal calcium absorption and utilization. If inadequate levelsof vitamin D are fed, induced calcium deficiency quickly results and egg production decreases.
    Feed grade vitamin D comes in two forms, D2 and D3. In most animals, both are equally potent. In birds, however, D3 is substantially more active than D2. In poultry diets, therefore, vitamin D must be supplied in the form of D3.

    Magnesium, Magnesium is needed for healthy bones, proper nervous system functioning, and energy metabolism.

    Fat, Dietary fat is a source of energy and of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid. A deficiency of linoleic acid will adversely affect egg production. Dietary fats also serve as "carriers"of fat-soluble vitamins, and some fat is necessary for absorption of vitamins. In fact, impairmentof the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) is the most serious consequence of a dietary deficiency of fat.

    The general make up of a egg shell is --
    Calcium carbonate.............................................................:94-97%
    Sodium, Potassium, Manganese, Iron and Copper............:traces
    Organic matter...................................................................:< 2%

    (* Note -- With Proteins it is easier to break down proteins that are animal based than plant based. On a second note watch high levels of linseed "Flax seed". Too much Flax Seed can cause health problems in chickens. Overfeeding flaxseed can cause problems for your hens because flax seed contains sticky compounds that stop the hen from digesting some of the nutrients in her diet. Flax seed also contains a compound called linoline that may increase the birds' vitamin requirements. Feeding too much flax seed can also cause production drops, small egg size, reduced body weight gain and thin egg shells. *)

    1 person likes this.
  6. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Crowing

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    This is an occasional thing when the Calcium in their system gets low. I sometimes sprinkle Oyster shell "dust" in the feed.

    I wish you well,

  7. It's NORMAL Nothing to worry about. It happens mostly in new pullets at the beginning stages of laying. It can and will happen at other times but do not fret. It happens.
  8. makohl

    makohl Hatching

    Jan 8, 2011
    i just had one this morning! do i need to worry?
  9. PaulaSB12

    PaulaSB12 Songster

    Dec 6, 2010
    One of my chickens has now laid 2 soft eggs, they have access to oyster shell at all time and they are getting layers pellets plus a bit of porridge as well is there something else I need to do? these are their first eggs.
  10. stargazingmommy

    stargazingmommy Songster

    Apr 19, 2011
    just keep up with the layer feed, you can crumble egg shells into their feed(my chickens LOVE egg shells, after their rinsed off, or licked clean by the stupid dog that stole the egg and broke it and ate it).
    As long as its just an occasional one I wouldn't worry to much. I get a soft one from one of the 3 layers about every 2-3 month, usually from my duck.

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