soft shelled eggs

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by atwickwitch, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. atwickwitch

    atwickwitch New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Aug 25, 2011
    help please
    most of my chickens are in various stages of moult (why do they moult at the coldest time of the year??)
    i have 14 of different ages.
    over the last 4 weeks when i go to clean them out in the morning i always find at least one egg that is very soft shelled. they have eaten the egg and there is just the soft shell left.
    they roam free, get plenty of grubs,green grass,layers pellets and grit so i dont know what is causing this. i have just seen big bags of calcuim carbonate for sale, would this help them. its in powder form, so if it would help how much would i give in their feed every day.
    thanks jane
     
  2. DTchickens

    DTchickens Overrun With Chickens

    4,394
    33
    253
    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    Atwickwitch, on the moult issues the answer is "Yes, and no". I had some birds molt earlier this year and some that are still in the molt, adding a little extra protein can pull this along, commonly suggested sources are fish and dog food (not a lot). You mention having 14 different ages with makes this even more so, as young birds will go through three molts before they ever reach their adult feathers around a year old or so if I recall correctly.

    If I had to guess, I would say that the soft shelled eggs are probably coming from a young pullet somewhere that is using her calcium for developing strong bones rather than egg production since most layer pellets have enough calcium people don't have to supplement any extra (especially when doubled with bugs, fresh grass, etc). Giving oyster shells which you can normally find at a TSC or co-op is the commonly suggested practice. You can also save the eggs from your cooking and crush them up to feed back to the hens for extra calcium, some people are afraid they will develop a taste for eggs because of this but never has been in my case. I truly believe that hens don't add a bowl of crushed, white, hard stuff up to it being a egg prior to that.. If they keep eating eggs though it can become a habit which can sometimes be difficult to break.

    God bless,
    Daniel.
     
  3. atwickwitch

    atwickwitch New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Aug 25, 2011
    hi daniel thanks. i have got 4 quite young ones. 2 of them i got at the end of july and they were tidgy babies then, and at the end of august i got another 2 so i did wonder if it was the younger ones doing it. i have one called daisy she is 4 and 1/2, a bag of bones, hardly any feathers and now almost white but she still trots out her eggs every day.
    i do give them lots of different things full of protein, all 14 have a taste for baked beans and they arent fussy about them being heinz. i give them scraps from the table so they do have a good diet. what do you think about the powdered calcuim carbonate though? do you think it will help. bright blessings j
     
  4. DTchickens

    DTchickens Overrun With Chickens

    4,394
    33
    253
    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    On the powdered calcium carbonate, I'm not sure if they would eat it being powder; you might could try adding a small amount to their water. From my understanding, a lot of calcium carbonate would be fatal if I recall correctly but in small amounts could possibly help.

    God bless,
    Daniel.
     
  5. atwickwitch

    atwickwitch New Egg

    7
    0
    7
    Aug 25, 2011
    hi daniel, thanks, i dont think i will buy the clacium if it could kill them.. they are more important to me than the eggs.. bright blessings jane
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,451
    3,565
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Just free feed some oyster shell, or their own shells back. My layers gobble the shells up like crazy, the roo and littles don't even touch them. Same for the oyster shell. My littles usually try a bit, then decide it's not for them and the layers get their fill.
    Or you can try yogurt, milk, etc. I know folks say birds shouldn't eat milk but I put out a half gallon of old milk (fresh, raw) once in a while and they act like it's the best thing ever, if they could they'd lick the bowl! Or yogurt, old cheese, whey, etc. Broccoli and cabbage are also good for calcium but my birds don't seem to eat these as well. They'll eat spinich and other greens.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by