Soft Shell Egg Under Roost 3 Days in a Row

WA_RN

Songster
May 11, 2020
71
126
106
NW WA
For the 3rd day in a row I've found a soft shelled egg under the roost. Unfortunately my camera was set to record 12sec intervals so I can't see which of my six 8 month olds are laying them. They have all been laying for about 2 months now with no issue until recent. Nice strong shelled eggs up until now. They also have had free-choice oyster shell readily available. What could be going on? Should I be concerned about illness?
 

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gardengal32

In the Brooder
Dec 21, 2020
18
97
43
For the 3rd day in a row I've found a soft shelled egg under the roost. Unfortunately my camera was set to record 12sec intervals so I can't see which of my six 8 month olds are laying them. They have all been laying for about 2 months now with no issue until recent. Nice strong shelled eggs up until now. They also have had free-choice oyster shell readily available. What could be going on? Should I be concerned about illness?
I was going to say a calcium issue but if they are getting oyster shells, then thats good. It could be just because they’re new layers or they aren’t eating the oyster shells enough. Those are the only two things I’ve heard about soft eggs. This can also happen if they haven’t laid in a while and are starting up again. :)
 

WA_RN

Songster
May 11, 2020
71
126
106
NW WA
I was going to say a calcium issue but if they are getting oyster shells, then thats good. It could be just because they’re new layers or they aren’t eating the oyster shells enough. Those are the only two things I’ve heard about soft eggs. This can also happen if they haven’t laid in a while and are starting up again. :)
Thanks for your feedback. I found another soft shell water balloon looking type egg today under the roost again. I guess I'll chalk it up to new layers? So odd that there were no issues though for the first 2 months of laying. 🤷
 

WA_RN

Songster
May 11, 2020
71
126
106
NW WA
I feed Scratch & Peck layer. As far as treats I give a small amount daily of soldier fly grubs and 2 times per week I toss a big handful of mixed greens out for them. I've done this since even before they began laying. They have had free choice 0S since laying. The only thing different now that I think about it has been some scratch in their run before bed due to cold overnight temps. Perhaps too much. Yesterday I got a harder (not water balloon) but a thin shelled egg with deposits on it, but it was in the nesting box this time rather than under the roost so perhaps things are on the way to correcting.
After 2 months isn't a new layer, IMO.
Are they eating the OS?
What is their regular feed?
Any other foods treats given?
I agree with @aart

What exactly are you feeding them?

Fwiw...Just because one offers oyster shell does not mean each bird eats it.
Are they getting too many treats and not enough chicken feed?
Too many treats would be (anything more than a tablespoon worth) anything besides a pellets or crumble poultry feed.


Do you happen to feed a whole grain type feed?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
My Coop
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I feed Scratch & Peck layer.
Is it mash, or crumble, or pellets, or cracked grains?
Cracked grain formulations are better fed as fermented or soaked,
so they eat more the of 'fines'(vitamins/minerals/amino acids).

They have had free choice 0S since laying.
Are they consuming it?
Might sprinkle some around with the treats.
 

Sleigh

Songster
May 13, 2019
41
91
109
Washington
For the 3rd day in a row I've found a soft shelled egg under the roost. Unfortunately my camera was set to record 12sec intervals so I can't see which of my six 8 month olds are laying them. They have all been laying for about 2 months now with no issue until recent. Nice strong shelled eggs up until now. They also have had free-choice oyster shell readily available. What could be going on? Should I be concerned about illness?

Our girls hatched in March 2019. Two of the hens, a barred rock and an Ameracuana, that originally laid fine eggs, have begun to drop rubbery or very, very thin shelled eggs sometimes in the coop at night, sometimes just plop in the yard (they free range). Actually, the Ameracauna has been hit or miss for about a year. The egg pictures attached did not close at the top.

In mid-December 2020, every other night for about a 10 days, the barred rock would attempt to lay but the egg would drop out of her and split. She knew something was wrong, drooping wings, head down, and she would not even lay down. She would just stand in the nest box or on the roost for hours. One time I had her on my lap in a dark room to keep her calm, and plop, she dropped the egg in my lap.

I also feed Scratch and Peck. While I appreciate a lot about S&P, my girls do not eat the fine bits, never have. And though they have oyster shell available, I guess they don't eat enough. So for two weeks now, I have been soaking their feed for about 3 days so that it clumps together. (My plan was to ferment but...) The clumpiness makes it stick together, that way they are less likely to just eat the grains they like and leave the fines.

Another thing that I have done is mix cooked pumpkin into the feed. They really like pumpkin and this technique allows them to get the fines as well.

So, how is this working? The barred rock has not dropped an egg since the change. She also has not laid an egg. All things being equal, I will take that. The Ameracauna is finishing up a very hard molt that began in October, meaning she has not laid either. Two of the hens are laying just fine with stronger shells, and the final one is finishing her molt as well.

I did consider changing their feed, but I will give them a month or so of this new way until I make a change.
 

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