Soft "shelled" Eggs?

Aquatic_blue

Songster
May 14, 2019
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My chickens have been laying more eggs without hard shells lately, it is just the membrane with the yolk inside. Many times, the chickens have been eating these. I notice that my chickens seem to be molting as well. They haven't been laying too much, but when they do, the shells tend to be soft or non-existent.

Is this common when they are molting? Can I do anything to help them out?
 

Aapomp831

Songster
Oct 4, 2017
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Lincolnton, NC
When they molt, their bodies shift the focus from egg laying to feather producing. Feathers are made of 100% protein, and they will be craving it right now.... protein is what they need. Usually during the molt they slow down drastically on laying. But needing the extra protein is why they are eating the eggs - and the molt is why they are craving it.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
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My chickens have been laying more eggs without hard shells lately, it is just the membrane with the yolk inside. Many times, the chickens have been eating these. I notice that my chickens seem to be molting as well. They haven't been laying too much, but when they do, the shells tend to be soft or non-existent.

Is this common when they are molting? Can I do anything to help them out?
How old are these birds, in months?
What all and how exactly are you feeding?

Most birds stop laying before they molt, and they can produce some funky eggs at that time.
They are eating the softshell eggs because they are easily broken, fair game IMO.
 

Aquatic_blue

Songster
May 14, 2019
264
535
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When they molt, their bodies shift the focus from egg laying to feather producing. Feathers are made of 100% protein, and they will be craving it right now.... protein is what they need. Usually during the molt they slow down drastically on laying. But needing the extra protein is why they are eating the eggs - and the molt is why they are craving it.
We've been giving some cat food, scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, and shredded cheese to help with protein and calcium, too.

I think they're eating the eggs because they have no shell...they aren't eating the eggs that have the shells. I was asking if this is why there are more eggs being laid that don't have a shell, only a membrane (because their nutrition stores are being used for feathers).
 

Aquatic_blue

Songster
May 14, 2019
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How old are these birds, in months?
What all and how exactly are you feeding?

Most birds stop laying before they molt, and they can produce some funky eggs at that time.
They are eating the softshell eggs because they are easily broken, fair game IMO.
Let's see...they are probably about 17 months old or so? Could be 18. Not sure how old they were when we got them as chicks from TSC.

We're feeding them an organic layer crumble and we add oyster shell. We also leave crushed eggshell lying around the yard for them to have. We've been giving them small bits of cat food and have been giving them scrambled eggs, roast chicken, shredded cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt to try to help them out. I also throw out veggie scraps like carrots, spinach, zucchini, etc.

I wouldn't eat a soft shell egg so yes, they are fair game xD they will only go to waste.

Are they producing the soft ones because of the molting?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
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I wouldn't eat a soft shell egg so yes, they are fair game xD they will only go to waste.
'Fair game' is because they break easily and are hard to resist eating,
not because you wouldn't eat them ;)

We've been giving them small bits of cat food and have been giving them scrambled eggs, roast chicken, shredded cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt to try to help them out. I also throw out veggie scraps like carrots, spinach, zucchini, etc.
Yeah, cut all this out.
Good shells have to do with more than just the calcium,
they need the other vitamins/mineral/amni acids to uptake and apply that calcium.

Let's see...they are probably about 17 months old or so? Could be 18.
Ramping down production for molt and winter break.
Can get some weird eggs around this time.
Assuming you live in the northern hemisphere, but....

Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, and then it's always there!
1600550091458.png
 

Aquatic_blue

Songster
May 14, 2019
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Stop all of these extra treats and feed them only a layer type pelleted or crumble chicken feed.


They aren't getting a balanced diet with all the extras.
I didn't say I gave all of this to them in one day o_o some days they go without treats. They do eat plenty of their layer feed. Treats are normally given in the later afternoon after they've been feeding on their layer feed. Don't think it's terrible for them as long as they're still getting plenty of protein and calcium.
 

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