Soft or Shell less egss

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BawkinOnTheBench, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. BawkinOnTheBench

    BawkinOnTheBench Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all. I have some pullets that are just beginning to come into lay - different breeds - Red Star, NHR, GLW, RIR. All hatched 8/19/08. The Red Star starting laying December 25th. The NHR or GLW started sometime around Jan 8th. We know for sure the NHR has laid at least once, but not really sure about the GLW - I've just seen her in the boxes and some days we've gotten 3 brown eggs. The RIR has red combs and wattles but doesn't squat and I've never seen her near the boxes. The Red star has been laying faithfully since she started and only laid 2 pullet eggs before getting up to full size - the other brown eggs have been pullet eggs or medium.

    I've suddenly begun getting eggs with either no shell or very soft shells. I think they have just an inner membrane, my husband thinks they are very soft shells. We had 2 on Wednesday and 2 this morning. They've all been in the sand under the roosts. One this morning was under my Red Star, and I haven't gotten a normal egg from her yet.

    I've read the posts on here about hens sometimes starting up this way, and also IB. I don't think my chickens have that; none of them have ever been sick at all. I'm most concerned about the RS, because she was laying well, and then did this. We already do everthing the posts have mentioned - they eat layer, they have access to oyster shell, we feed yogurt as part of treats. (though the RIR might not get much - she's quite indifferent to treats). The only other thing I could try is vitamin D supplements in the water.

    What do you guys think? Is it too soon to worry? Is is more significant that a hen would be laying and do this rather than do this as first eggs? Would the supplement be a good idea?
     
  2. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    I had the same problem for the first month or so of laying. I think they just have to get started right. Its a hormone thing usually. Sometimes a scarry event or anything that is unusual in their enviroment may cause it. Hope this helps, mine are doing fine now. So don't worry to much. Jean
     
  3. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Do you have a small container with either oyster shells or crushed dried egg shells out for your girls to eat as needed?
     
  4. BawkinOnTheBench

    BawkinOnTheBench Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, Oyster shells. And I know they eat 'em; I'm always refilling it.
     
  5. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would just keep an eye on them. New layers take a bit of time to get there plumbing worked out. Now it goes on for weeks I would be worried.
     
  6. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Since you are offering shells, I would say they are just newbies and eventually it should work itself out. Like kat said if it keeps happening, worry, but odds are it wont.
     
  7. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had the same trouble with one of my golden comets. At the suggestion of someone on the forum, I started giving them yogurt every day, I guess it's supposed to help get calcium into their systems that they can actually use for making shells.

    I don't know, but I do know the shell-less eggs stopped within a week. Then a couple of months later I was out of town, and the DH didn't give them yogurt every day - the soft shells were back within a week. I started the yogurt again and the problem went away.

    Now the girls are 9 months old, and I cut the yogurt back to a couple times a week. It's been about a month and the shells are still good, so maybe they've outgrown the problem.

    I don't know whether the yogurt fixed it, or if that was coincicence. Might be worth a try, anyway, and they do love their yogurt!
     

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