Soft shells! Help!

vb506

Hatching
May 22, 2015
7
0
7
Hi, I am new to chicken keeping and picked my 3 hybrids up 4 weeks ago. They are 21 weeks old and started laying about 2 weeks ago - i panicked as didn't expect eggs so early and mixed their grower feed with layer feed (not sure if I should of done this?!?) 2 of my hens are laying regulary and good quality, albeit small eggs. I have had a few soft shelled eggs, but wasn't too concerned until 3 days ago - when I noticed one hen just pass a soft shell egg whilst out scratching in the garden in the afternoon - it was like it just fell out! Ive found a 2 or 3 soft eggs or broken soft eggs in the coop ( i am presuming from the same hen?) in a 24 hour period - today when I arrived home from work the same hen was looking very bloated and was moving slugishly. I managed to catch her and notes Her wattles were slightly blue, whilst attempting to look at her vent she passed a soft shelled egg into my lap - the shell appeared to have another empty soft shell all screwed up attached to it? She toddled off after this and appeared more comfortable. I'm not sure if its something im doing wrong or prehaps related to the feed? Should i take her to the vets? A bit of advice would be great! Thank you
 

Sylver Queen

Songster
6 Years
Jul 21, 2014
103
102
176
California
Hi. I don't have a ton of experience with these issues, but I do know that from what I've read, the blue comb is potentially a serious symptom. If you change the title of your thread to include "blue-tinged comb," it might help others in the know to notice your post.

My chickens lay squishy eggs on occassion, and I've heard that's pretty common in birds just starting out laying, but a deformed squishy egg combined with a bluish comb and sluggishness and bloating could be something more serious.

As for the soft eggs, do your hens have access to oyster shell or some other source of calcium? They'll need calcium somehow now that they're laying. And I've read that a little organic apple cider vinegar in their water (1 to 2 Tablespoons per gallon say most folks) helps their bodies to absorb calcium, and can help chickens through times of stress.

If she or any of your other birds becomes lethargic or won't eat or drink, then that means something serious is indeed happening. If you've got a vet who treats chickens, then that could be a good source of help. There's also a lot of info on BYC, and if you enter her symptoms in the search box at the top of the forums page, you might find something that will help. : )
 

vb506

Hatching
May 22, 2015
7
0
7
400


400
 

vb506

Hatching
May 22, 2015
7
0
7
Thanks for replying - sorry about the pics above if they are a bit gross!

So the same happened again today - the same chuck all of a sudden became bloated at 7pm came over to me as if for help - looking at her vent i noticed the above as in the picture - i manually had to help her pass the egg - gently which came out as in the picture above 1 jelly egg with a yolk n then passed a separate oak with no shell. She toddled off after this and is now eating drinking and scratching in the garden as normal.

I give them apple cider vinegar twice a week and access to chicken flint and oyster shell.

Looking her comb etc she looks quite healthy. It was her ears that were a bit blue - which is possibly due to her breed i'm not sure. (As I said i am new to this!)

If any further advice could be offered I would be extremely grateful
 

Sylver Queen

Songster
6 Years
Jul 21, 2014
103
102
176
California
Gross pics can be very helpful. ; )

I do much what you do, providing plenty of calcium, and my ladies still lay squishies sometimes. I've read that laying squishy eggs is very common in birds that begin laying early, so hopefully she'll get into her rhythm.

Unfortunately, my only experience with this was our lovely duck hen, who laid more squishy eggs than normal ones for quite a while, and they often had a little umbilical-like thing attached, like in your pics. She never felt well before or after laying them and it took its toll. She'd perk up a little while after laying them and then be back to normal, but it would keep happening. I noticed that she would sometimes lay a normal egg after we had gone on a bug hunt and found snails and earthworms, and I wondered if the real "meat" was helping her. But in drought conditions like we're having where I live, we've nearly run out of good bugs to eat!

I imagine that if you include in your thread title the fact that yolks are coming out without even a membrane, you'll get some people chiming in. I don't remember exactly what I've read about "egg yolk peritonitis," but as I recall, if a yolk breaks inside a bird, it can cause an intense bacterial infection that is very difficult to survive. Maybe there is a BYC member who recognizes the issue of laying too many shell-less eggs, and can suggest a diagnosis or treatment.

And again, it's apparently also very common in birds who begin laying early, so it could work itself out just fine! : ) I give mine fruit and high-protein snacks like sunflower seeds when they've had a squishy, just to give them energy and happiness. Might help. ; )
 
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fifimacd

Hatching
May 19, 2015
1
0
6
Mine have stopped laying or eggs that are been laid r squidgy I have noticed blood in pooh why would this be
 

Sylver Queen

Songster
6 Years
Jul 21, 2014
103
102
176
California
Mine have stopped laying or eggs that are been laid r squidgy I have noticed blood in pooh why would this be
Sorry, I've not experienced this or read how this could happen, but if you try entering those symptoms in the search box at the top of the forum page, maybe you'll be able to read about others having this problem and figure out a possible diagnosis or treatment.
 

emmaie892000

Songster
6 Years
Jul 4, 2013
623
29
113
Marion, NC
The fact that she is okay after laying the eggs is a good sign, and also that she is passing the eggs/yolks whole.
I would definitely provide her with the calcium, as well as layer feed and apple cider vinegar.
Hopefully it's just her body figuring things out, and will regulate soon. Be careful and look for poops with yellow (yolks) in them, a swollen, red-looking, and/or unusually hot abdomen, or shell fragments being passed. That could mean an egg has broken inside, which can cause egg yolk peronitis, or other problems.
 

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