Soft shelled egg - please help

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Muscath, Nov 7, 2014.

  1. Muscath

    Muscath New Egg

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    Feb 3, 2014
    Hi everyone. I know this has been posted and discussed before, probably many times, but I couldn't find a thread on it.

    One of my Isa Brown's (I'm in Australia) is laying a very soft shelled egg, the other two girls' eggs are normal. I have three chooks and they all lay daily, but one of them lays eggs like this every day. Often the other two ladies squash them as they hop in the box to lay (there are three boxes but they all lay in the one box every single day). They are eating a mix of layer pellets and fresh kitchen scraps.

    I read somewhere about adding pumpkin seeds to the pellet mix which I did, no change.

    Is she sick? She seems healthy, and the soft shells don't bother me necessarily, but I just want to make sure she's ok and hopefully fix whatever might be affecting her. Thoughts?
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  2. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Hi there!

    How long has she been laying eggs like that?

    The reason I ask is that I'm in Victoria (Australia) and we have had some unseasonably hot weather here (38 degrees expected today!) Quite often hot weather can lead to poor laying, soft shelled eggs, shell-less eggs and the like.

    When you look at those pictures you can see small pimples on the egg shell. That's excess calcium being deposited, so I tend to think this is not so much a diet problem, but an environmental issue.

    The heat is one idea, stress is another alternative. If your girl is stressed for any reason, she could be rushing the egg through her system a little faster than usual, and if it' not spending the required amount of time in the shell application process, voila - thin shelled eggs!

    I wonder if either of these might be contributing to your problem.

    - Krista
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    I also wanted to add that stress comes in many forms - not just necessarily from a major event like a predator attack. My girls will get stressed if I move their waterer from one side of the shed to the other!

    Other examples of stress inducing activities might include moving into a fresh coop, moving house altogether, being picked on by other birds, excessive mating from a rooster, extreme heat or cold, a lack of feed or water (even for a brief period), having broody hens within the flock, hatching new chicks and acquiring new birds for your flock.

    - Krista
     
  4. Muscath

    Muscath New Egg

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    Feb 3, 2014
    Ooh, thanks Krista. I'm in Victoria too, Echuca. It's expected to be 38 today here as well.

    She's been doing this for a couple of months I think, which may mean your theory of heat could be right, it's been such a warm spring.

    I don't actually know which of my three is laying these eggs, and nothing has changed in the coop or with their feeding for over 12 months. I haven't seen any of them pick on another chook, and there haven't been any predator attacks.

    I read about calcium deposits, but if it's only one chook does that indicate that it's a problem with HER as opposed to a problem with the general feeding of the chooks?
     
  5. Muscath

    Muscath New Egg

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    Feb 3, 2014
    Oh, and we don't have a Rooster, no new birds, no change in their coop, run, other pets, children or anything in the backyard...
     
  6. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, that is the assumption that I would make. It's nice to think that all hens are capable of laying a perfect egg every time, but some of them just have little kinks in the system. One of my girls leaves calcium deposits on her shells nearly every time. The others are all fine. I think it's specific to the bird, rather than the diet overall.

    This heat is going to be terrible today. We are near Yarrawonga, so not that far away from you! I have a broody hen with chicks in our coop at the moment and I hate to think how hot it's going to get in there. I am going to buy some bags of ice and put containers of it in the coop, and in everyone's drinking water. My girls are Orpingtons and RIR's and they really feel the heat. They start panting at 27 so how they are going to handle 38 is beyond me.

    - Krista
     
  7. Muscath

    Muscath New Egg

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    Feb 3, 2014
    Thanks Krista. Mine seemed to handle the heat ok, just, last summer. Fingers crossed this warm spring has gotten them used to it. In the full heat of summer I used to put a sprinkler on top of the chook house (which is a converted garden shed, quite big) to cool it down, and have one going in their run area as well. We have recycled water though so I didn't have to 'waste' town or stock water.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I'm content knowing that one of my girls just has a kink... they're as different as we are, presumably.

    Thanks again.
     

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