Soft Eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jhs51684, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. Jhs51684

    Jhs51684 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 29, 2015
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Hi Community,

    Recently my bantam Old English Game hens have laid a couple soft eggs. They have the feel of a slightly under-inflated balloon. They are very soft and easy to puncture. I believe they have laid 3 or 4 in the past month. I have 3 hens so i'm not sure if it is just 1 hen or a combination of all 3 of them. Is this a serious problem? None of the hens have displayed any other peculiar behavior and they seem to be their normal selfs other than these few soft eggs. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Here are a couple of links that have good info.

    Egg Quality Handbook
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/ourbooks/1/egg-quality-handbook/

    Egg Shell Defects
    https://www.alltech.com/sites/default/files/alltech-egg-shell-quality-poster.pdf

    When I have a problem I try to figure out if it is an individual hen problem or a flock-wide problem. If the rest of the eggs are normal, it’s probably just one hen. I don’t know how long yours have been laying or what else is going on. If it is a rare occurrence, well we all get the hick-ups every now and then. Not a big deal. Three or four a month is a little more troubling.

    One thing not mentioned directly in those links is that occasionally a hen releases more than one yolk a day. It’s not all that uncommon with pullets just starting to lay but should clear up in a few weeks. If two yolks are released at the same time, you often get a double-yolked egg. It’s also possible you can get two eggs in one day. The hen normally makes a limited amount of shell material. She might have enough to cover the first egg but not to cover the second so the second can be very thin-shelled or soft-shelled. Some hens just have something wrong with their internal egg making factory, it’s just the way they are put together. Feeding pretty high protein levels can make this problem worse if they are prone to this to start with. If you are getting a fair amount of double yolked eggs this might be your problem. As I said an occasional hick-up isn’t a big deal, it’s when it becomes fairly regular that it indicates a problem.

    Those links mention a defective shell gland and they mention nutrition. If your other eggs are normal, what you are feeding them is probably OK, it’s something wrong with a specific hen. It may not be a defective shell gland it may be that something about her body doesn’t process the nutrients she is eating properly. Still, if you don’t already do it, I suggest offering oyster shell free choice. It may be that for some reason she’s just not eating enough calcium. Oyster shell is cheap and can help with this. I would not mix it with their food, why cause the other hens that are doing fine to overeat on calcium?

    It’s hard to diagnose these things over the internet. There could be different causes. Even if I were there looking at them it’s not always easy. Good luck!
     
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