soft shells

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by squeedunk, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. squeedunk

    squeedunk New Egg

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    Hey yall, Finally got some EGGS! I have 8 hens. 5 are laying fine but i have 2 (rhode Island Whites) that are laying soft (very soft) shells. whats up with that? I really don't think it's a calcium problem is it????
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Sounds like a possible Calcium problem. Are you adding oyster shells?
     
  3. Rhoise

    Rhoise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    could be just new pullets working out the kinks, happened to me at first too, but added yogurt and oyster shells in diet just incase(small flock)
     
  4. Sally8

    Sally8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah, soft shells. I have 1 hen that has laid a soft shelled egg ever since she started laying. One time it was a perfect egg in a membrane without a hint of a shell. This has gone on for over a yr now and I'm trying to decide whether to cull her or not. It makes such a mess in the nest and everyone always wants to lay their eggs together. I have 5-2yr old hens that are more pets than laying hens but man, am I sick of the mess every day. I've tried everything anyone has suggested, I mix oyster shell in the food as well as separately. I think she just has a shell making issue inside.
    Not to discourage you, with her just starting to lay it probably will work itself out. I think my hen is the exception, not the rule.
     
  5. squeedunk

    squeedunk New Egg

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    thank you for sharing that info. thank goodness the hen is not laying in the nest. She lays on the wire grate. I'm just concerned about the others eating them and therefore developing that BAD habit.
     
  6. cary 1973

    cary 1973 Chillin' With My Peeps

    i have the same issue my buff orphington gave me 2 perfect eggs and ever seince (last week and half) every moring she sits on my desk (thats where she made her nesting spot on top of my silk pj's) she sits for about hour then gets up dose the egg song but no egg then at night when they go to bed she gets on the roost and drops a soft one lucky I have sand below so its very easy to clean up. I am hoping it works its self out but if not she will be just a pet. I mix her layers feed in with the yogart every night and then throw some on the ground where they peck at all the chicks are paying for her soft shells cuz treats are now very limted. all the other girls are laying fine so its her but I love her dont see a reason to end her life but all my birds where gotten under the terms of pet first and eggs layer as added benfit
     
  7. RainyPeeps

    RainyPeeps Out Of The Brooder

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    I wouldn't fret too much. 3 out of my 4 pullets layed at least two soft shelled eggs when they first started laying. Like the ones you were talking about. A membrane with no shell. They usually dropped it at night and I would find it under their perch in the coop. A few times I even got what looked like a splattered egg w no shell. It took a couple of weeks, and sporadically laying good eggs and soft eggs, but they seem to have worked it out and are laying all hard eggs now. I was worried too, being as how these are my first chickens. But I looked around in the forums and it put me at ease. If they continue to do it , (2 years Sally8, that sux!) then I would look into other reasons for the soft shells.
     
  8. Rhoise

    Rhoise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very similar story to mine i have 8 pullets that started laying august 4th, five are now on board, and 3 joining the ranks. I got 5 beautiful hard shelled eggs yesterday and one broken softy dropped in the grass when i wasn't looking(not sure who) they all jumped on it and started eating it, i grabbed it covered the spot with a bucket and got the hose out to spray away remains.

    I have gotten several of these eggs(maybe 10 or so out of 8 pullets all of which but one or two I'm sure have started to lay), but the pullets seem to work out the kinks after a few weeks. I was freaked out at first about egg eaters, but have found they only so far eat the broken soft ones when I'm not looking, never have touched the hard shell ones that I know of, and left intact softys alone. This being said I remove the gooey ones asap and any egg remains i see in the yard or nest boxes roost etc. I also discourage the softy eating as much as possible(hose works good to wash away remnants or cover up with bucket etc).

    Also, these chickens are eating mostly 16%-20% layer pellets, I've noticed an increase in the oyster shell intake of late and have to smash the eggs hard on a bowl to crack them. They also get yogurt pellet mash for treats(very little scratch). They forage for 4-8 hours a day and eat tons of grass and bugs and stuff they hunt in the yard(tomatoes off the vine grrr!!!!) watermelon squash leftovers etc, but mainly eat pellets and yogurt mash.

    I will continue to watch softy eggs but believe my situation is newbies working out the kinks. Hope this helps......
     

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