soft shelled eggs - help!

chantoka

Hatching
10 Years
Jun 18, 2009
3
0
7
Hi, can anyone offer me some advice? I have 3 chickens, got them almost 4 weeks ago, and they are around 24 weeks old. On Sunday one of them started laying but soft shelled. We have now had 5 soft shelled from her and one with a very brittle shell that broke when we picked it up (she has laid 2 today.) another one of the chicks laid her first egg today, althought it was much better formed than the others we've had, there was still no shell! They have the recommended layer pellets, plenty of fresh water, a bowl of grit and I have also given them roasted and crumbled egg shells mixed in with rice as a treat. I've got oyster shells on order now to see if that helps, but I'm not convinced pullets should be laying soft eggs for this long, and now there's 2 of them at it. what does anyone think? thanks.
 

gumpsgirl

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Mar 25, 2008
14,106
41
311
Virginia
It sounds like they need more calcium and the oyster shells will definitely help in that area. Meanwhile, try giving them some black oiled sunflower seeds and some greens to see if that helps. You definitely need to try and correct this issue A.S.A.P. to prevent any egg eaters from developing.

Welcome to BYC too!
 

caralouise1974

Songster
10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
590
5
141
Evesham, Worcestershire, UK
My bluebelle took weeks to sort out her egg laying when she started out. It probably didn't help that I was feeding her a lot of treats, thereby reducing the percentage of calcium in her diet. Once I cut right back on the treats and greens, started giving calcium supplements and oyster shell, and simply allowed her to get a bit bigger (I suspect the high protein diet I was feeding her encouraged her body to start laying before her shell gland was quite mature enough) she laid far less softies.

She's still got laying issues related to her shell gland, but they are far less severe than at the start. I think at one point we went a fortnight without a single hard egg from her. Now we get a softie maybe only once every six to eight weeks.

So don't worry just yet - she's just getting into the swing of it, and the oyster shell will definitely help. Keep on with the layer's pellets and try not to give any treats for a week or so and see what happens...

[Edited due to some awful typos, sorry!]
 
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chantoka

Hatching
10 Years
Jun 18, 2009
3
0
7
Thanks for that, Its so helpful to know there's someone else who's had the same problem, and has got past it. I had some good news this morning, a little white egg, with a hard shell, weighing 37g. Its so sweet we can't crack it! I don't know who laid it, we've had no others yet today, so maybe we've reached a turning point. They wander round the garden nibbling the grass all day, but apart from that, I'm going to make sure there's no more little treats for a while.
 

kar8mr

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 26, 2008
31
1
34
upstate,sc
I just asked for help on this same reason. I agree it might bes new at laying but putting out oyster shells will be a good way to tell if its her new or needing something else. Welcome to BYC this is a great place and they all have great ideas.I run here first and they are so fast to respond. I love this place.Good luck
 

caralouise1974

Songster
10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
590
5
141
Evesham, Worcestershire, UK
Quote:No problem, it's good to be able to offer reassurance to others. I know it was very distressing for us when it was happening to our girl Bella, but BYC was here to help calm me down!

Keep us informed of her progress... and good luck x
 

rjross

Hatching
10 Years
Jun 20, 2009
2
0
6
Swaziland
All the previous replys sound about right (low calcium diet) but you said you just recieved them could be the birds had some rough handling which may take a little time to sort its self out plus they are young and only starting to ovulate which also takes time to get up to speed with the rest of the body functions. Keep aneye on them over the next few weeks and let them settle down.
 

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