Soft shell egg??? How do I fix this?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DMFARIA, Oct 31, 2016.

  1. DMFARIA

    DMFARIA New Egg

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    Mar 5, 2015
    For the last week, one of my girls has been laying an egg that looks like this. I don't know which one it is, they all look healthy and I've been given them extra calcium (oyster shells & crushed up baked egg shells) mixed with their food to see if it will help, but there's been no difference.
    For the last week, one of my girls have been laying an egg that looks like this, I don't know which one it is, they all look healthy and I've been given them extra calcium (oyster shells & crushed up baked egg shells) mixed with their food to see if it will help, but there's been no difference.
    I don't think it's pecked, it's always flat on one side and the indent is about the size if a finger print, I'm assuming soft shell?

    [​IMG]
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  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    First let me suggest that you offer your calcium on the side not mixed into the food. What are you feeding, including treats?

    I had one young pullet that kept accidentally poking toe nail holes into her eggs, They looked a lot like a peck at first.

    How old are your girls?
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

  5. DMFARIA

    DMFARIA New Egg

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    Mar 5, 2015
    Hi, I feed them layer food, lots of scraps, 1/2 cup whole corn for the winter, meal worms, oyster shells and some baked egg shells... I'll keep the oyster and egg shells separate going forward. They are six months old.
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Cut out the scraps and Corn....Nutrition is key in egg production....

    Cheers!
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Shell problems are very common for new layers. Usually, they just need a bit more time for all parts of the egg producing system to fully develop. I agree that you need to stop feeding them so many extras. You really don't want to end up having to deal with protein deficiency issues like egg eating.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    A hen’s internal egg making factory is fairly complicated, there are many parts. While most get it right from the start, it’s not that uncommon for pullets just starting to lay to take a while to debug their system and get everything working correctly. Give her another week to straighten out her problem before you get concerned.

    Occasionally an older hen that normally lays a hard shelled egg will lay a soft shelled egg. There are different reasons this can happen. If it is a pretty rare occurrence just consider it an oops and don’t worry about it. If it becomes a regular problem, that’s a different story.

    Before I tackle a problem in my flock I try to determine if it is a flock problem or an individual problem. If it is a flock problem I’ll try to manage the entire flock to solve it. If it is an individual chicken problem I’m not going to potentially harm the rest of my flock to handle that problem for only one chicken.

    One possible cause of soft shelled or thin shelled eggs is that the pullet or hen does not properly process the calcium she eats. It could be a deficiency in how she absorbs the calcium in her digestive tract but more likely is a defect in her shell gland. Sometimes feeding her extra calcium will help, sometimes it doesn’t. But in my opinion forcing the hens that do not have this problem to eat more calcium than is good for them is not a good thing. I much prefer to offer excess calcium on the side and let them manage that instead of mixing the stuff with their feed. In my opinion, too much of a good thing is not a good thing.

    If you try to crack it you should be able to tell how thick that shell is in comparison to other egg shells. It’s kind of strange that they would all look like that. I occasionally get a thin-shelled egg, especially when pullets start laying. A lot of the time they are not cracked at all, just very thin. The hens walk on the eggs when they are getting on and off the nest or scratching in there to rearrange the bedding to suit themselves. I’ll sometimes find where a toenail punctured the shell. It doesn’t look like that, it’s a clear puncture. Sometimes I’ll crack one by being a bit rough when I pick them up.

    When a hen lays an egg, she stands up and drops the egg. The egg delivery system extends a bit outside of the vent to shield the egg from the poop that might be in her vent. By standing up she keeps bedding and trash from attaching itself to her egg delivery system and taking that trash back into her body cavity. I don’t know how many of those you are getting but to me it looks like an egg dropped on the thin shelled egg to cause that damage. Or you have something in the nest sticking up that the egg hits on the way down. It’s kind of big to be a nail head or screw head, but something like that. Do you have enough bedding in the nest to pad the egg as it’s dropped? It’s strange that something like that would regularly repeat but strange things happen.

    But I’d give her a bit more time to see if she straightens that out. Time will probably solve that problem.
     
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  9. DMFARIA

    DMFARIA New Egg

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    Mar 5, 2015
    Thank you... For the last two months since they started laying, there have been nothing but perfect eggs... Except for this past week, same issue with only one egg. As far as the extras, they are usually veggie scraps or cooked protein (chicken or beef) and some bread here and there.
     
  10. DMFARIA

    DMFARIA New Egg

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    Mar 5, 2015
    So should I just stick to layer feed for now?
     

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