Soft shells? New layers......first time chicken keeper

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sodamancer, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. sodamancer

    sodamancer Out Of The Brooder

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    My girls are the age to start laying and WHOOOOO one did today. a double yolked paper egg. ......... is this normal?

    I have 6 girls.
    2 ameracuanas
    1 light brahma
    1 RIR
    1 Blk Sexlink (layed the soft shell today)
    1 welsummer.

    I feed them a quart jar of scratch and peck layer feed every morning, almost all our kitchen scraps, free choice oyster shells and grit AND they free range my back yard. (for now i am SICK of the ****) I have no idea what i am doing wrong. they dont act hungry. and one of the ameracuanas is 2 ish and was already laying when we got her. her eggs are fine.

    worried new chicken keeper
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All kinds of oddities are possible with new layers, including shell-less eggs. With layer feed and oyster shell, you've got the calcium bases covered. Don't worry yet. It will probably stop as she gets a little older.
     
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  3. sodamancer

    sodamancer Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. I am was wondering if i was feeding them enough. I think i may just be paranoid as well as annoyed that my eggs are inedible currently. grrr.
     
  4. Rhoise

    Rhoise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No worries yet!!!!! soft eggs are very common in young pullets just starting to lay. My girls layed a bunch of weird soft ones in the beginning, and it freaked me out! The last one was September 17th, now I get 6 or 7 hard shelled beautiful brown eggs a day out of 7 hens.....it has been two weeks since our last softie egg.....

    Just did some counting today.......

    My first pullet out of seven layed an egg on August 4th, we got 57 eggs total in August. By September, all were on board laying and we got 181 eggs.....

    Out of 238 eggs layed in two months, 18 were soft or weirdo eggs(shelless odd shaped, double yolkes monster eggs etc) that's about 7.5% ......the first egg layed was a 17 week 6 day old pullet and they are all now between 25 and 26 weeks old

    Things have definetly improved from an average of 1.8 eggs per day in August to 6 eggs per day in September. the soft egg percentage has dropped drastically from 17.5%(10/57) in August to 4.4%(8/181)in September, to zero % in the last two weeks yay!!!!!

    Here is a picture of our first egg ever it was bitter sweet and I thought what the he** did we do wrong??? These darn chickens are fed better than my family!!!! The second is of a monster egg(COULDN'T GET THE CARTON CLOSED!) layed two weeks ago by the same chicken, my Golden Sex Link "Frankie". Hope this booring math and the pictures help you feel better about your first soft egg!!!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  5. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When they first start laying things can be a bit odd while their system works out the kinks.

    One thing you might want to change is your feed. Laying feed does not help bird start laying it is for birds that ARE laying. I would recommend using a non-medicated grower or flock raiser until ALL of your hens are laying eggs and if you have any roosters or a mixed age flock I would stick with that. Because you are giving oyster the laying birds will have all the calcium they need.

    Layer feed has calcium mixed in and when bird are not laying eggs it can build up in their system and over time cause kidney failure and also more add problems like eggs with too much calcium (which shows as lots of rough bumps) or eggs that are soft or malformed.

    Make sure that your young birds are getting a good amount of protein - if they are eating more snacks than feed then I would make sure some of the snack are protein.

    But, those first few eggs tend to be odd no matter what. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
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  6. sodamancer

    sodamancer Out Of The Brooder

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    hahahahaha rofl that egg is HUGE. poor girl. Okay good to know its normal. I do feed my chickens higher priced food mixed with a soy free cheaper pellet. Seeing that egg i went WTH......... but okay i feel a bit better. I am excited for eggs. cheap nasty eggs from the grocer just went up to 2.79/dz on sale. common chickees lets see some inprovement.
     
  7. CluckyCharms

    CluckyCharms Chillin' With My Peeps

    ...ouch!!! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  8. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can always hard boil those shell less eggs and feed them back to your hens.
     
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  9. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also, if you have dogs, they can eat those raw no problem. Great treat.
     
  10. Rhoise

    Rhoise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Great Point with the feed, I did start treating them with yogurt mixed with a 18% layer pellet feed, and added free choice oyster shells. Also alternated ACV and electrolytes a few days a week in their waterer. Not sure if it was time, feed , or cooling temps(it was brutal in july+aug here 100's for weeks) but the kinks seem to be subsiding and the girls are amazing layers now!
     

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