Thin Eggs at Beginning of Laying Cycle for Older Hen

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by JillsChicks77, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. JillsChicks77

    JillsChicks77 New Egg

    Feb 9, 2016
    Hi All-

    I have 4 RI Reds, 2 that were born in spring 2015, 2 from spring 2014. I was given them by a friend in late October 2015 and they all seemed to be laying at that time.

    The two older girls quit pretty quickly, followed by 1 younger hen. The other laid all winter! In the last 2 weeks, the 2nd younger hen has started laying again. Also, one of the older hens has recently started up again too, after a break essentially from November-Feb.

    Today I caught the older hen 'in the act' and know that my thin shelled eggs are from her. Over the last 2 weeks, every few days I have gotten a very thin egg. At first, they were so thin that the whole egg was jelly and had to be discarded. The past few days, the eggs from her have been very thin and pale, but they are sturdy enough to be kept.

    They are all on a high protein layer diet (nutrena naturewise). I have free choice oyster shells available at all times, although they admittedly eat them very little or not at all. The other two hens lay very strong eggs. Everyone is happy and healthy. The two older hens completed a molt through Nov-December and now have nice beautiful feathers.

    I am new to chickens-- is this just because she is older? Is she 'getting going' for the season and more prone to lay thin shelled eggs due to her age? Is there a way I can encourage her to eat the oyster shells or add calcium in other ways?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    It could be because she is re-starting her egg laying equipment and its taking a while for her plumbing to sort itself out - i really don't know as chickens here in Kenya don't go through a moult.

    Wyorp Rock has given you some good links and advice, so see what you make of the threads.

    I'm certainly no expert, but i have read that commercial laying breeds (yours may or may not fit into that category) tend to become increasingly poor layers after a couple of years. I know that here in Kenya, commercial layers are usually culled after 18 months or so (of course, they continue to lay, but not as often and thus become economically unviable).

    All the best
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Did they eat Oyster Shells at their old home?....or at your place before they quit laying for winter?

    It's usually not good to mix OS with feed.....but.....
    .....with new layers I had in grow out pen last summer,
    they were not eating the OS in the dish so I just sprinkled a dozen or so pieces of OS on their crumble,
    after that they started eating it out of the OS dish.

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