Soft shelled eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kat88_, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. Kat88_

    Kat88_ Hatching

    1
    0
    2
    Apr 6, 2018
    Hi all

    This is my first postI've been following for awhile tho!

    One of my hens is laying soft shelled eggs. I've researched the reasons (low calcium diet, stress, overweight, young or old layer) and none of these fully apply. Does anyone have any ideas as to why this is and how I can correct it?

    She started laying eggs mid Jan and all the eggs have had little bumps (calcium deposits) on them. More often now they are soft shelled and sometimes just the membrane!

    Brahma 1 year old. 3 other hens mixed breeds.

    Thanks for any help!!
     
  2. Ecgberht

    Ecgberht In the Brooder

    36
    31
    44
    Oct 23, 2017
    AB, Canada
    I heard stress may cause a hen to lay soft shelled eggs
     
  3. chickengirl778

    chickengirl778 Songster

    405
    537
    161
    Apr 17, 2017
    Do you provide oyster shell for them?
     
  4. Ecgberht

    Ecgberht In the Brooder

    36
    31
    44
    Oct 23, 2017
    AB, Canada
    I do
     
  5. kgilmore1

    kgilmore1 Songster

    100
    62
    111
    Mar 26, 2017
    I have a hen doing the same thing! Several of mine were laying eggs that were lumpy and one always had a chalky coating so I cut back on the oyster shell and the eggs were perfect but today I got a soft shell egg. I'm upping the oyster shell again. What kind of chicken do you have? Mine are mostly ISA Browns and I'm wondering if the high egg production is why they have issues.
     
  6. Sylie

    Sylie Songster

    234
    322
    176
    May 26, 2014
    SE Iowa
    One of my ducks are doing the "rubber egg" thing also. Do your chickens get to eat grass and weeds? Sometimes rubber eggs can be a low vitamin D situation too, dandelion leaves are good for that. Here is a link to Lisa Steele's article on rubber eggs. She lists a bunch of weeds that can help. Oyster shell should be given free choice, just stick a bowl of it out there where they can get to it as they need it, they know if they need it and will eat it when they feel they need.
    My flock (ducks and chickens) do not get to free range unless I am outside to watch them so they haven't had much in the way of weeds yet this spring. Spring is very late in coming around here so the choices are slim for them right now which is why I suspect the rubber eggs are happening.

    https://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2014/04/soft-shelled-or-rubber-eggs-causes-and.html
     
  7. morsekathan

    morsekathan Chirping

    86
    9
    96
    May 12, 2011
    Maryland
    i have this same problem with one hen (I only have 5 so I know who lays what). She gets everything - oyster shell, free range access to fields, cheese and yogurt and whey, an expensive organic feed that helped for a while (but not anymore). Anyone have any ideas? Her eggs are huge (well above the jumbo weight) and she lays 4 or 5 times a week. She's a barred rock, almost 4 and the eggs have been getting softer and softer until now they crack as they come out. It's like she's laying a fried egg. The other hens peck at her vent to remove the little bits of shell and membrane.
     
    Sylie likes this.
  8. Sylie

    Sylie Songster

    234
    322
    176
    May 26, 2014
    SE Iowa
    morsekathan,
    How often is she laying an egg of any quality? Being 4 yrs old she is getting up there in egg laying age and sometimes that can cause the soft shell issue also. Have there been any changes whatsoever in her environment? New feed? New chicken added to the flock, a chicken in the flock died? Moved to a new coop? Any changes at all? Chickens are sensitive to changes and changes cause stress. Stress is one of the causes of soft shelled eggs. You said that the shells have been getting softer and softer, that leads me to believe it's possibly age.
     
  9. morsekathan

    morsekathan Chirping

    86
    9
    96
    May 12, 2011
    Maryland
    She still lays 4 or 5 eggs a week. This probably started 9 months ago. Her shells were always thin and bumpy, but arrived intact. I had good luck changing her feed to a quite expensive organic feed. The shells got much harder then, not what anyone would call hard, but they didn't crack. But in the past two or three weeks, she's laying cracked eggs. I actually watched her lay yesterday. The egg cracks as it comes out and the little bit of shell sticks to her. The egg is perfectly sunny-side up in nest box. Needless to say, it's very messy in the nest box too and the other eggs are super gooey.

    She's the most spoiled and unstressed hen in the world, living in hen paradise, so unless she's beyond sensitive, I don't think stress is a factor. Could she just have a calcium deficiency? I noticed some people suggested calcium therapy for a couple of weeks. How do I do that? It's worth a try.
     
  10. Most likely your hen currently has or has had Infectious Bronchitis. Almost any shellless egg that can't be directly attributed to known and observable cause is a result of Infectious Bronchitis.

    This disease will result in a drop in egg production as well as thin shelled eggs, soft shelled eggs, rough shelled eggs and totally shell less eggs.
    A hens' uterus is damaged by this disease and as a result it becomes deformed and this directly results in a condition known variously as internal laying or egg peritonitis because the ovaries of a hen suffering from Infectious Bronchitis become deformed and the ovaries can no longer drop the egg yoke in its proper place.
    Other signs of Infectious Bronchitis are rough eggshells or eggshells with little bumps on them. When a hen first contacts this disease you may (or you may not) notice her coughing, wheezing, rattling, chocking, or making other unusual breathing noises or movements. There is a vaccine against Infectious Bronchitis but the proper course of action for the health and well being of your flock is culling any and all previously infected hens. The for mentioned breathing problems is where the term Bronchitis comes into play.

    If you preform an after death examination you will find the yokes in the hen's uterus are floppy or misshapen instead of firm and round.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2018

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: