Thin eggshell

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ntjpm, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. ntjpm

    ntjpm Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 20, 2011
    Ok so the last 3 days I have gotten 1 egg from the same hen that has a hole poked in it, I just broke open 2 of those eggs to cook them up to feed them back to the girls and I discovered that the shells were really thin. They have free choice oyster shells, and their is also oyster shells in their feed and everyone else's shells are fine. We have only had these hens for almost 2 weeks and up to 3 days ago they were fine. What else can I give her to help strengthen her shells??

    Thanks much, Tracy in WA
     
  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Hi ntjpm--

    Our first guess is always that there isn't a calcium supply available, however, you say that these hens have plenty of calcium. Maybe the next place to look is the hens ability to absorb calcium.

    Look at the number 2 post on this thread of one place
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=41321&p=1

    and I know that there are others in praise of ACV. Maybe even a google on chicken egg shells and acetic acid would shed some light.

    If I were you I would add 1TBSP of apple cider vinegar per gallon of water for the hens. The increase in the acidity thus decrease pH in their water may encourage more calcium absorbtion.

    If the hens are a little stressed (seems like in 2-weeks they would settle in) they may reflect some of that in egg-laying, egg shell. I have one that when she has had extreme stress, (being soaked to the skin, nearly dying from heat prostration) has laid an egg that has a chalky shell.....and the chalky shell was a little more brittle and thin than her normal.

    Good luck. Hope that you get some good advice from the forum.
     
  3. ntjpm

    ntjpm Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 20, 2011
    OM you are AWESOME!!!! I just realized that I had been putting ACV in their water and had stopped about 4 days ago as I brought the bottle in the house and forgot to take it back out. I will add it back in and see what happens. Thanks so much,
    Tracy in WA
     
  4. ntjpm

    ntjpm Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 20, 2011
    I just wanted to give an update in case someone has a similar problem and finds this in a search.

    I went to cook up the eggs from this hen that were cracked so I could cook them and feed them to them for more protein. When I did that I discovered that the shell was really really thin. So since my hens have free choice Oyster shells and there is also Oyster shells mixed into their feed, I followed the above advice to get the calcium to absorb better in this hen. I realized that 4 days before I had stopped putting ACV in their water and then we started to have this problem for 3 days in a row. So I put the ACV back in their water and gave them some fennel for added calcium. I also put up a black cloth over their nest boxes (goes about 1/2 way down) so that they don't want to stick around in there, they hop in do their business and leave as quickly as possible.

    So my theory is when the egg came out and hit the wood on the bottom of the nest (they insist on burrowing all the way down) it would crack the end of the egg. Who knows if I am right BUT today my egg from this hen is perfect again. [​IMG] No crack and normal strength of shell.

    HTH, Tracy in WA
     
  5. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Wow Tracy,

    That is such a fast turn around of the problem. Thank you on behalf of all of us for posting back. Glad that the shells are sound again!
     
  6. Dandelioness

    Dandelioness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2014
    East Central MN
    Thanks for the information in this post!! I am having an issue with an egg-eater lately, and all my hens' eggshells are very thin. I've been feeding back crushed shells, have always provided a hopper of oyster shell, they are out ranging in the afternoons...still thin shells & egg eating going on!!

    I have some raw ACV here for people, I will have to start a continuous brew just for the hens a la this link:

    http://scrimpalicious.blogspot.com/2011/10/home-remedies-homemade-raw-apple-cider.html

    In the meantime, I think I will try adding some raw kombucha from the in the same ratio (1T:1gal) to their water. I have used pasteurized ACV to preserve or add to kombucha starter - they have the same pH - so I think it will be a reasonable thing to try while I'm getting my raw ACV brew going. I know they have enjoyed eating excess SCOBYs in the past, as well.

    If the kombucha works in the meantime, I will post back just so people know. Unless I forget...[​IMG]
     
  7. Dandelioness

    Dandelioness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2014
    East Central MN
    Just wanted to check back and say - the kombucha DID work!! So I hope that helps someone.
     

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