Soft eggs...

Akm78

Songster
Apr 14, 2019
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North Dakota
I know soft shell eggs can be normal with new layers but for how long can I expect them? I have 16 chickens (11 are 22 weeks, 5 are 20 weeks and not laying yet). I got my first egg August 14th and put oyster shell in free choice at that time. Switched to 16% layer feed almost a week later by mixing in with the starter I had left. Treats include occasional little bit of garden scraps or weeds or a small handful of meal worms or scratch (probably a cup total for all 16) daily.

Now I’m getting as many as 7 eggs a day. But for the past 8 days I’ve had one soft shell egg every day but one (and 2 one day). Always appear to be layed while roosting and fall to the poop board below the roost. Same spot daily. On the evening I got two soft eggs in the morning I watched a bird lay a soft shell egg in the run.

All look healthy. Feet good. Don’t see mites or anything.

All my other eggs are perfect. Getting bigger. Do I have a slow developing hen? Something wrong? How long to expect this? Are there ever birds that do this forever? Or typical for new layer to lay weeks of soft eggs?

The 22 week olds who are laying are black sex link, Rhode Island reds, silver laced Wyandotte and one Speckled Sussex (who I don’t think is laying yet).
 

azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
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If you can identify the layer of soft eggs, you can do a few days of calcium citrate therapy to see if that will calibrate her shell gland. I use the Walmart brand calcium citrate with D3. One tablet per day directly into the beak. No, she won't choke on it.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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Always appear to be layed while roosting and fall to the poop board below the roost. Same spot daily. On the evening I got two soft eggs in the morning I watched a bird lay a soft shell egg in the run.
Which bird?
Does she roost where you are finding the softies?

I'd cut out all the treats except for the mealworms.
Toss out some of the oyster shell along with them.
I've found that they don't always 'get' the OS in the separate feeder at first.
 

Akm78

Songster
Apr 14, 2019
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304
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North Dakota
The bird I watched lay a soft shell was my largest black sex link. She’s always been a bit bigger than the others. She does roost where I find the softies - could she lay 3 in one day?

I’ll scatter some more oyster shell and stop the occasional weeds (they don’t free range and have destroyed all the grass in their run so I occasionally give them some green)
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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The bird I watched lay a soft shell was my largest black sex link. She’s always been a bit bigger than the others. She does roost where I find the softies - could she lay 3 in one day?
Well, high production hybrids are the most likely to release multiple yolks when first laying...and are most likely to have reproductive system malfunctions, but usually in the 2nd or 3rd year of laying.
I'd not worry too much now, new layers can take up to a month or so for things to smooth out, as long as she seems otherwise healthy...eating/drinking/pooping/moving around OK.
 

Akm78

Songster
Apr 14, 2019
86
304
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North Dakota
Thanks!!! It’s my first flock so I obsess a bit.

I ended up with these breeds without much planning- it’s what Runnings had left the day we went. Nice mix though.
 

Ebony Rose

Crowing
12 Years
May 26, 2009
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Keep a close eye on her though, if she seems to be "off", sitting or laying down away from the others or spending excessive time in the nesting box, struggling to lay, then I'd give her a calcium supplement to improve her contractions, a warm, epsom salt bath with a gentle tummy massage, and lube her vent in and out... Softies are incredibly difficult to pass and having one break in her could cause egg yolk peritonitis (infection). So far, she seems normal... for a new layer... but things can go from normal to ugly in a big hurry with rubber eggs.
 

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