soft shell eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cmobley, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. cmobley

    cmobley Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2015
    saraland alabama
    I keep finding soft shell eggs in my coop i have 3 reds that are laying 3 regular eggs a day 2 marans one was laying then went half broody and stopped laying the other hasnt laid anything yet shes the youngest maran. How can i tell which hens laying the egg with no shell. Also its always laid in the sand bath under the roost never in a nest. Most all of them are busted I've only saved one that didnt get busted i found another this morning that was busted.
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    This may sound a bit strange, but probably the most effective method of identifying which hen laid which egg is by smearing or inserting food colouring into or onto the hens' vents. When they lay, the colouring will be deposited onto the eggs, so as long as you get the eggs, you'll be able to identify the layer.

    Here are some causes of soft shelled eggs:
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I wouldn't eat them. It sounds like someone is laying at night from the roost. Could just be a glitch in the system, or a hen could be getting startled by something at night, like critters sniffing around, or rodents coming out, so have a good look around for signs and maybe set some traps. This time of year rats and mice are looking for winter housing.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    How old are the birds?
    I will assume they are all young and have just started laying?

    Soft or thin shelled eggs are not unusual for new layers during the first month of laying.
    They are easily broken and fair game for eating.

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