Soft Shelled Eggs for Two Weeks Now

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by njchicks, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. njchicks

    njchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2007
    Central New Jersey
    Hi All, I have been reading past postings about soft shelled eggs, and most of what I see is that calcium is needed. I know my hens get enough calcium. I supplement their feed with crushed calcium and provide yogurt and cottage cheese at least once a week. However, for the past two to three weeks, I have been getting a lot of soft shells, The eggs are soft at the pointed end. Lots of times they are broken and eaten by the time I get home from work. I know some are molting but I am only getting about one decent egg a day. On the average day two are soft and broken. I read on another site about something called egg drop syndrome. They only say that it can be treated by sterilizing the boxes, and adding some food grade diatomaceous earth to their diets. I have done both, but the eggs are still soft. Anyone have any suggestions what this could be. We are in central NJ, where it is winter, and I do supplement the light for 14 hours light a day. My hens will be two years old this March. Is this just old age? Thanks, Rob in NJ two springer spaniels, a barn cat, and ten hens
     
  2. jkcove08

    jkcove08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2007
    Iowa
    Hey Rob, are you mixing it in the feed or have a separate pan all together. When I give mine crushed oystershell I put it in separate pans so that they can eat all they need. Just a thought. Jenn
     
  3. njchicks

    njchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2007
    Central New Jersey
    Hi Jenn,

    I usually mix it with some scratch and throw it on the ground......Thanks, Rob:)
     
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Forks, Virginia
    If they are molting they won't make good eggs either. You need to boost their protein along with all of the other things you are doing.

    You can offer them a few cans of wet cat food but be careful because it is made for ctas and not chickens but a little won't hurt to get them through this. They need the protein to help regrow the feathers. I would give them a can of wet every other day for a week or two and watch for physical improvements. I also toss out a handful of kitty kibble periodically to my girls. Just because they might need the little protein boost.

    Put the oyster shell out in a separate pan and keep it full. Let them eat what they want of it when they want and however much they want.

    Make sure they have all they can eat and then some of the laying feed at all times.

    Stop giving them the corn. It isn't helping them at this point.

    You could also try giving them something like the avia charge or a good vit booster in their water.

    Stop adding light. This is obviously causing stress as well.

    When they are deficient you will see problems. When they molt you will see problems. When their bodies are under any kind of stress you will see problems. the stress of unnaturally extended days.

    I think you have a combination of a deficiency, the stress of molting as well as the stress of winter and light burn out going on with your hens.

    More food. Better food. Normal length days. See if things don't get better within a week or two.

    With the molt going on they may eventually stop laying for a short while. This is very normal and natural. Don't be alarmed if they stop laying all together until their body get adjusted and back to normal.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2008
  5. njchicks

    njchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2007
    Central New Jersey
    Thank You Miss Prissy,


    I will do just as you say. I will turn off the extended light, and give them additional protein, as well as separate oyster shell available at all times. I will let you know how it goes in two week. I appreciate your advice. Rob
     
  6. njchicks

    njchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2007
    Central New Jersey
    I just wanted to report back to those who helped me with the soft shelled egg problem. My hens are doing much better. I include oyster shell at all times, cut down on the winter lighting, give a can of cat food every other day, and include a vitamin electrolyte supplement in the water. Seems to be working. No a lot of eggs yet, but no soft ones, and the birds feathers are looking much better. Thanks, Rob in NJ
     

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