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Strange Sound and Soft Shell Eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sammey, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Sammey

    Sammey In the Brooder

    Oct 9, 2017
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hi All,

    I am new to growing hens. Need your advice and directions

    I have flock of 5 hens. 4 pretty much same age between 42 & 46 weeks (Leghorn, Isa, Sussex & RIR). The 5th hen Hi Lines and about 21 weeks.

    All the hens look strong, healthy. I give them barastoc golden yolk full grown feed, Pro Vit Min scratch grains, home veggies and free range in my garden from 7am to 6pm, but the concern is..

    Rhode Island Red
    She started laying egg from 31/8. For the last couple of months her eggs are very very soft. In spite of giving shell grits, cuttlefish bones, vetsense avi calcium, there is no improvement. She normally lays eggs in the evening and doesn’t use the nest box. Some times she lays these soft eggs as if while walking in the garden. Most of the time the other hens sees this and start eating them. Some times it lays eggs in the nest box, again it’s soft or broken. Out of 10 eggs I get only one fully strong egg. Rest of them all very soft.

    Photos & Video below

    Sussex Buff
    She makes strange noise (like donkey) especially early in the morning. While trying to lay egg and another chicken in that spot or nearby spot.

  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging 8 Years

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    This egg issue could be genetic or it could be pathological, meaning it has a disease cause. If she hasn't responded to the calcium therapy, and I assume the avi calcium is an oral supplement, the cause may be something that can't be resolved.
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Crossing the Road

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Hi @Sammey :frow Welcome To BYC

    I agree with @azygous It sounds like you are feeding correctly and providing the proper nutrition and supplementation that your girls need. Genetics, an underlying illness or even a shell gland disorder could be the cause of the soft shell eggs. You may never be able to resolve it. Your pullet is still young, so hopefully over time the quality of the egg shell may improve.

    As for your pullet making all the noise she sounds perfectly normal to me. :) Some girls are just more boisterous, fussy or chatty than others. Personally I enjoy the racket, but to some it becomes annoying.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Only the one bird laying funky eggs?
    Your layer feed is only 15% protein.
    What is the scratch protein level and what ratio are you feeding that?

    Takes more than just calcium for good shells, other vitamins/minerals/amino acids to uptake and distribute the calcium.
  5. Sammey

    Sammey In the Brooder

    Oct 9, 2017
    Melbourne, Australia
    @azygous & wyorp -- Thanks for your comments

    @aart, scratch doesn't give me the %. attached the photos of the feed.

    also few photos of my girls and coop. Just to give an idea.

    I normally fill the tray with barastoc essential golden yolk once in 2 days. Scratch grains daily about 500 gms, plate of kitchen scrapes vegs & fruits

    Attached Files:

  6. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma Premium Member

    You have layers the need balanced nutrition...18% protein..I feed grower with oyster shell separate ..I give scratch once a week...Snacks/Scraps once a week and limit free range to 2 hours a day...
    Sammey likes this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Where are you located?
    Putting location in profile always helps.
    In the USA protein and calcium percentages always have to be stated,
    usually a tag sewn into bottom of bag...but maybe not where you are.

    If you feed 500gms of scratch, how much layer feed daily?
    Most layer feeds state(in tiny print somewhere on the bag) that they are to be the sole ration to provide complete nutrition. It can be tricky to add other foods without diluting overall nutrition.

    Here's my take.
    I like to feed a flock raiser/starter/grower/finisher type feed with 20% protein crumble full time to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.
    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container. I also regularly offer digestive granite grit in the appropriate size, throw it out on the ground with the scratch. http://www.jupefeeds-sa.com/documents/GraniteGrit.pdf.

    Animal protein (a freshly trapped mouse, mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided once in while and during molting and/or if I see any feather eating.
    Sammey likes this.

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