Soft shell egg and diet - what do I need to change??


In the Brooder
9 Years
May 25, 2010
Gainesville, FL

We got our two girls 7 weeks ago today. Hermione and Ginny are 1+/- year old barred rocks. Hermione started laying the first day - has had a few blips (no egg for 5 days once), but is pretty much our steady-Betty and lays every other day.

Ginny...not so much.
We got one soft shelled egg that was an overnight gift on week 2. I assumed it was her since Hermione was laying in the middle of the afternoon, and that she was finally working out the kinks and adjusting and would start laying. Nope. Week 6 - found another overnight soft egg, and 2 days later, one with a very leathery shell. Now she's ready!!.....Nope!!

We feed layer crumble and oyster shell, all access 24 hours a day. Water available of course. The first 4 weeks, they were pretty much confined to their pen, but we've been letting them free range in the yard now that we got most of the holes under the fence plugged and also since it seems the hawks aren't big enough to get them and the girls are aware when they hear them and take shelter under trees. We give them all our leftover veggies and fruit (varies), they have gotten all kinds of what-not that we'd normally compost. Black sunflower seed as treat in the morning/afternoon.

I just don't know what I need to do with her. I thought a month was enough time to adjust, but I've seen people on here say their previous laying hens didn't lay for 3 months after a move. And truthfully, this girl might have been a dud at the old place, but he had 200 chickens, so it's not like they knew

My question - do I need to mix the oyster shell with their layer crumble?? Or is there something else I should be doing with diet to adjust so that Ginny is getting enough grit? I've seen Hermione eating the oyster shell but not Ginny - but I'm also not home 24 hours a day either. Or maybe she's just a slow adapter??
I really thought the increased frequency of soft eggs meant she was getting there, especially when the second egg was a lot tougher but nothing this week.

any suggestions??


10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
SouthEast Texas
It sounds like they have adequate opportunity to get calcium from the oyster shell and layer feed. The only thing that might help is a protein boost. If she's having egg-laying issues in general, this might help her to get a jump start. Fish, scrambled eggs, or calf manna are good treats. Other than that, i'm not sure if there's much you can do.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom