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Soft shelled egg

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Henmaster3000, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. Henmaster3000

    Henmaster3000 Hatching

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    out of my eight 22 week old pullets only two have started laying and one of my girls has been laying soft shelled eggs. I've been supplementing their food with crushed oyster she'll for two weeks and still finding either broken or intact soft shelled eggs on coop floor in the morning. Is there something causing this or is this normal behavior when they begin laying?
     

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  2. Top Rooster

    Top Rooster Songster

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    Was the oyster shell mixed with their food or to the side as an option to eat on the side?
     
  3. Lizzy733

    Lizzy733 Chirping

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    Are they on layer pellets with calcium and free choice grit or loose grain and grit? A good pellet is a better option for complete nutrition in general as they can't be picky and end up with skewed feed ratios.
    A few soft eggs early on is perfectly normal, but shouldn't really carry on for more than a few days. Once they have started putting a shell on regularly, you may see the odd softie but they should just be rare one-offs.
    If one of the girls was laying normally and then reverts to soft shell every lay, then that could be a sign of infection or reproductive issues.
     
    Henmaster3000 and FowlWitch like this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Good question^^^

    Also, @Henmaster3000 what all and how exactly are you feeding?
    If they are on layer feed, when did you start feeding that?
     
  5. Henmaster3000

    Henmaster3000 Hatching

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    I switched from grower/finisher to laying feed at 18 weeks. And I incorporate the oyster shell into their feed at the recommended ratio. I have two pullets laying regularly. I'm not sure which hen is laying thes shelled eggs as they are left on the coop floor during the night. Some broken as they likely were dropped from the roost. I've found one intact in the corner.
     
  6. Henmaster3000

    Henmaster3000 Hatching

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    Mixed directly. They did not seem interested in it as a separate offering. I put my grit separate and they sample that regularly.
     
    Top Rooster likes this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Best not to mix OS into feed.
    Leave it separate and sprinkle some around or on top of feed once in awhile.
    Are you feeding any other foods or treats?
    If you do feed treats, best if they are high protein(animal protein) and in moderation.

    Don't panic, and be patient....it can take up to a month or so for things to smooth out with new layers.
     
    Henmaster3000 likes this.
  8. Henmaster3000

    Henmaster3000 Hatching

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    Yes they receive grit as a separate offering. They are being fed layer crumbles daily, as well as leafy greens from the garden and mealworms as a treat.
     
  9. Henmaster3000

    Henmaster3000 Hatching

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    Yes they are being fed layer crumbles, scratch grain, grit, mealworms, bok choy and collard greens, and other leafy greens from garden as well as occasionally some scrambled eggs. I do put diatomaceous earth in their treat once a week for worms. I have not seen a soft shelled egg since I created this post but three days ago I noticed what looked like yolk intermixed with one of their droppings.
     
  10. Tycine1

    Tycine1 Crowing

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    Check the vents on your girls. You're looking specifically for a moist vent (or two, since you have two girls laying). Reproductive malfunctions are pretty common in pullets that are just starting, and a few soft shell, fairy eggs, or deformed shells aren't uncommon, but I'm concerned about the yolky one as that could develop into a much bigger problem down the road, egg yolk peritonitis and down the road, salpingitis. If you can isolate which hens are laying, you can treat those two with antibiotics (one of them needlessly, but the other would absolutely need it to prevent infection now and much worse problems down the road). Would be pretty near impossible to tell which of the two laid the yolker unless she's also wearing it on her rump feathers. I'm sure that many would disagree with antibiotics but I've lost a hen that was simply a beautiful soul because I didn't recognize the warning signs; I'd rather err on the side of caution than lose another to what turned into a lengthy illness and ultimate death.
     
    Henmaster3000 likes this.

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