Soft Shelled Egg Questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JerseyHen, Sep 10, 2011.

  1. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Songster

    Feb 10, 2011
    Sussex County, NJ
    I found one of these wonders of the chicken world tonight when I went to tuck the girls in for the night. It was a perfectly shaped pullet egg, just soft. Like one of those rubbery stress squeeze balls.

    The pullets are all between 21 and 22 weeks old, and most are not laying yet, so I am hoping it is just the new layer working out the glitches in the egg system, but I thought I would ask a few questions. I did search for "soft shelled egg" first and read all of those posts. A few of them are laying and their eggs are so hard I have to hit them multiple times to get them to crack (so this isn't a flockwide thing). They are on layer feed since around 18 weeks. They also have oyster shell available to them in a PVC gravity tube feeder. I also feed them ground shells in the run with their morning scratch. They are not acting funny, no one seems ill, they don't appear to have mites or fleas (I know they are ubiquitous, but at least there is no infestation to speak of), no one looks like they are molting (not that I would recognize it as new as I am to chickens), and everyone's poo seems to be within the normal ranges.

    Anything else I should consider or be watching for?

    Can you eat a soft shelled egg if it is intact?
  2. borristherat

    borristherat In the Brooder

    Sep 9, 2011
    not an expert but have had a couple of hens lay thier first two or three eggs with soft shells, they started laying hard eggs after a couple of days.

    as for eating them, i did and i am still here.
  3. remuda1

    remuda1 Songster

    Jun 12, 2011
    Granbury, Texas
    I just went through the same thing...... Had the first one start laying and layed a perfect but tiny egg, then got another one just like it, then soft eggs for a couple days. I think that was the second one to start laying. They had oyster shell prior to starting to lay and the day the first one layed, I went and got layer feed. All three are laying nice eggs now, so it might have been low calcium from not being on layer feed for a little while prior to starting to lay...... Or it might just be them getting the kinks out after just starting to lay.

    I have another 3 that should start laying fairly soon and it will be interesting to see if I get any soft eggs since they've all been on layer for a good while now. I think things will level out for you soon. But it IS disappointing to see those soft eggs, I didn't eat them. No good reason, just adverse to it [​IMG] .
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Sounds like you're doing everything right - which means it'll most likely work itself out within a week or two. I guess you could eat the egg - they gross me out too much to have ever eaten one [​IMG] I've cooked them for the birds though.
    * And your girls most likely won't molt until next Fall - my spring chickens have never molted their first year.
  5. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Songster

    Feb 10, 2011
    Sussex County, NJ
    Thanks for the info on this. I don't know if I will eat it. It kind of gave me the willies a bit, not sure why though.
  6. ccrow

    ccrow Songster

    May 6, 2010
    Southern Maine
    LOL, they do feel gross!! I've never eaten one, and anyway, now when I get them they are smashed on the floor under the roost. My hens are on layer ration and have oyster shell, but...:-/ Hopefully your girls are just figuring out how to do it right!
  7. whitehart

    whitehart Chirping

    Mar 19, 2011
    We have had three perfectly formed eggs without shells. First came about two weeks ago and I found two more this morning ,however missed seeing one which was older ,layed yesterday out of the nest boxes and under their roost after I had done chores . I suspect it's just one of my six Production Red girls that are all the same age ( 71/2 months old ) but no telling which one . They all look fantastic ,very healthy and have been laying since late July. We feed Dumor layer ration plus oyster shells at a rate of 1lb. oyster shells to 20lb feed including some cut grass we offer them which is probably 1/4 of a peck basket full a day .All hens have been laying nice hard shelled eggs . Hope it's just an anomaly.
  8. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Crowing

    Mar 28, 2011
    My SS was laying soft eggs in the beginning. Once I fed her oyster shell, her egg shells are very strong. I noticed that my SS was the only one not eating it on the side. I mixed the powdery substance from the ground up shell and mixed with wet feed. It worked like a charm. When her egg shells are on the weaker side, I repeat the wet feed and ground oyster for a few days.
  9. spacecowgirl

    spacecowgirl Songster

    Jul 30, 2011
    Isn't it funny how they lay the soft shelled eggs outside the nest box?

    Or is it just my chicken? She's layed five soft shelled eggs in her (month long) egg laying career, and every time it's outside the box. All her hard shelled eggs have been inside the box.

    It's like she knows in advance whether it's a good egg, or a bad egg. [​IMG]
  10. whitehart

    whitehart Chirping

    Mar 19, 2011
    Quote:I agree it's like they know the egg isn't viable. My girls have layed two or three soft shelled eggs in very beginning in their nestbox but there were shells just very thin.Can't recall where the first shelless egg was deposited just recall it was a shock. Perfectly formed in the membrane. Is there a possibility when this happens that there is a shell still inside that would cause issues? Does anyone have information about that?

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