Soft Shell Egg Now?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mak, Jan 26, 2011.

  1. Mak

    Mak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Londonderry, NH
    The background:
    I have 8 chickens- 1 WC Polish rooster, 1 WC Polish hen, 2 Dominiques, and 4 Red Stars. I got them as chicks last May. They started laying in late fall and I have been getting eggs regularly since. The number of eggs has dropped off a bit since the really cold weather hit, but I know that is not unusual. They get fed Blue Seal's Organic Life layer pellets free choice all the time (16% protein), plus oyster shell and crushed egg shells, grit (especially now when the ground is pretty frozen), BOSS (a handful in the AM) and kitchen scraps. The scraps they get are mostly vegetables, but if I have leftover meat, they will get that, too. When I collect frozen eggs that are too cracked for me to feel comfortable eating, I hard boil and chop those and they get that, too. They all seem at good weights, are eating, drinking and pooping, and running about and picking and pecking like chickens in the area of the run that is shoveled and covered with hay.

    Now the question- this morning, when I collected the eggs, there were 2 on the poop board. I will occasionally get one there. I don't know- maybe that hen's favorite box is occupied and she can't wait? There are 3 nest boxes in the coop, but they seem to only use 2. Don't know what's wrong with the last one! LOL The second egg on the board was a soft shell, which is unusual. I haven't had a soft shell egg in months. I suppose it could be the Polish, as she has yet to lay a single egg, but what I could see of the shell color, it looked brown and she should be laying white eggs, right? It also seemed large for what I've read a Polish will lay, more like the size the Stars lay. At this point, I just figured the Polish won't lay till spring. I'm pretty sure it's NOT the rooster! [​IMG]

    Too many treats? Some days they get a lot, if we have a lot of scraps left over. Other days, there is not much. I feed a bit of cracked corn (maybe 1/4 c.) only once or twice a week, but they do like it so...

    If it is one of the ones that has been laying all along, should I be concerned about the soft egg? Or could it just be the cold, snow, and all that? Any insight would be aprreciated, as we are new to this chicken thing! Thanks!
  2. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    I don't think it is anything to get nervous about- sometimes it just seems to happen. That being said- make sure they have enough calcium in their diets. I see that you offering oyster shell, so they should be getting enough. I would say about once a year, I find one.
  3. Jajika

    Jajika Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 24, 2007
    Northern California
    Relax. You are doing all the right things.

    Yes, calcium is critical to the diets of chickens who can't free range.

    I also offer my chickens wet dog food every few months. This gives
    them lots of extra protein as well as calcium. It is a very good
    thing to vary their diet with fruits and vegetables, vitamins and yes,
    oyster shell.

    Even with all of that, occassionally you will get a soft shell. As long
    as it isn't often and from one chicken, it's just nature.

    If you don't see bizarre behavior, don't worry.
  4. dominic2081

    dominic2081 New Egg

    Apr 5, 2010
    I got some soft shells when the girls were just starting to lay. I have a bit of a different question. I'm getting some weird wrinkly eggs one a day or so. I have two new layers that one of my broody hens hatched out. It's a cross between a buff Brahma and a Black Aracauna. The eggs are opn the big side but not too big. They look like a poorly done papier mache egg done by a gradeschooler in art. The eggs are good, just a weird shell. I though maybe a young layer but it's been going on for a bout a month now. Any ideas?

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