Soft Shelled Egg (not soft boiled)


8 Years
Sep 6, 2011
Hi again!

I got my second egg from my #2 hen yesterday. My wife, who was raised in the city at first didn't seem that enthusiastic, but has fallen in love with the hens, and has spent a lot of time figuring out names, so now we have: Aunty Em, Dorothy and Margery! (That's what she calls the Wizard of Oz meets family sentimentality.) So, that was Dorothy's first egg.

As to my newest novice chicken owner questions (the first being in the new members section): it seems Margery (aka hen #3) laid her first egg last night from the perch which landed safely but had a soft shell, and somebody pecked a hole in it. My two concerns are:

firstly, why is the egg soft?

secondly, why did she lay it from the perch?

They are happy chickens, get a lot of time outside, they have a nice coup, get the best organic feed, grit, oyster shell, water, etc. All seems well, in other words, except for this mishap.

Thanks for your help and expertise with this.
Hi jsny ~ your questions are puzzling, for sure;

#1 I'd guess the egg shell was soft due to a need for more calcium in that hen's diet. Try offering some bits of American cheese for a treat. If you have some left-over milk and cereal {SUGAR FREE} from breakfast, give that to your hens. They love milk.

#2 Do you have a nest box for your hens? That hen could be looking for a safe place away from the perch to lay her eggs. I have a plastic crate my hwens use for a nesting box.Just turn the crate on it's side and toss a few handfulls of straw in the bottom.
Last edited:
When they first start to lay you will get all kinds of wierd eggs til they get the kinks worked out. Soft shelled eggs are not uncommom when first starting to lay. You can get very large and very small eggs too. Give them awhile, keep oyster shells nearby and they will come out of it. They will also lay in wierd places at first. I think maybe they dont know they are going to lay an egg and just plop it out wherever.
Now I have one thats a year old thats been laying soft shelled eggs for about a month. I have no idea why. She is healthy. Yesterday I saw her lay one without even the membrane. I think she may be an internal layer. We will just have to watch and see. If thats the case she will be put down. I dont want to see her suffer.
Thank you both for your helpful posts. Yes, Sheila, she does have a nest box, which worked for the other two hens. I may try some of your diet ideas, though. Anyway, maybe it's as you say, Maree, with this being the very first egg laying experiences, and so they're not in the egg laying groove yet.

I've not heard of "internal layers," so it seems there's a lot to learn with all this. Good luck with that, I hope you don't have to put her down.

Thanks again to you both.
We have three birds that just started laying. Our black star layed several soft shell / thin shell eggs until we started using food with oyster shell mixed in.

Although the she started by laying in the nesting box, Our black star is also laying from the perch before getting off it in the morning. The birds that lay later in the day still use the nesting box. We are hoping the black star works itself out.

Good luck with your birds!!
is the feed you're using supplemented with calcium ? if not, she just may not be eating enough of the oyster shell to help her eggs.

If you're not already - and if it was me - I'd switch to layer feed - it has added calcium in it. That plus the oyster shell should boost her intake enough.

None of my girls ever laid soft eggs for their first eggs, but I have gotten them when they've been free ranging and not getting enough of their layer feed because they've pigged out on buggies and grass and all the goodies to be had in the yard.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom