thin fragile egg shells???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Christie Rhae, May 5, 2011.

  1. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2010
    Big Island, Hawaii
    I give my chickens oyster shell supplements and most of our eggs have nice sturdy egg shells but at least one of my hens (out of 16) lays very fragile eggs. Her eggs often get broken while other hens are laying eggs. I don't think it is intentional because the shells are all there, uneaten. Half the time I am able to collect the thin shelled egg but really notice the difference when I am cracking eggs. Some take a good whack but these thin ones just fall apart.
    It seems this hen is not eating the oyster shell. How can I get her to take in some calcium? Any ideas?
    Last edited: May 5, 2011
  2. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 7, 2011
    SE Wis
    Mix the calcium in with the feed for about a week or so. She'll hopefully go back to eating it again.
    You could also let the shells dry out & pulverize them and feed them back to your hens.
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Here are some good food sources of calcium

    2. Turnip greens
    3. Mustard greens
    4.Collard greens
    5. Blackstrap molasses (Can cause runny stools)
    6. Swiss chard
    7. Yogurt
    8. Kale
    9. Mozzarella cheese
    10. Milk (goat's milk and cow's milk)
    11. Basil, thyme, dill seed, cinnamon, and peppermint leaves
    12. Romaine lettuce
    15. Broccoli
    16. Sesame seeds
    17. Fennel
    18. Cabbage
    19. Summer squash
    20. Green beans
    21. Garlic
    22. Tofu
    23. Brussel sprouts
    24. Oranges (Some people don't feed citrus to chickens)
    25. Asparagus
    26.Crimini mushrooms

    I have resorted to sprinkling their food with powdered milk

    Here's some more info

    Imp- Good luck
  4. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I've also discovered that every once in a while a hen comes along that just must not be metabolizing calcium properly or their egg shell anatomy must not be performing normally. I've had a few hens that no matter what I did, I could not get them to lay a normal egg. I lost one of my yearling hens this Spring...she had been laying "jelly" eggs (without a true shell, just a membrane) and then she prolapsed. And I still have one other hen from the same group that lays a thin brittle shell. I've fed high calcium foods, provide plenty of oyster shell by the handfuls in the feed bowl, given them milk to drink...can't think of anything else after almost a year.
  5. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2010
    Big Island, Hawaii
    Thank you so much for the info! I am gonna cut and paste that food list... And if nothing helps...I guess one out of 16 is not too bad. But I am gonna try it all. lol
  6. LeezyBeezy

    LeezyBeezy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2010
    Lancaster PA
    Quote:ditto. I have one who just is not a good layer. Lots of "egg farts" when she started, then shelless eggs, then long twisty eggs with only white in them... I mix the oyster shell directly into the feed, which helps, but her eggs are still weird...
  7. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    My egg box smells like rotten eggs. One hen lays very fragile shells. If it manages to get laid without shattering, I shatter it when I pick it up. The egg box it too big to remove without help, so it only gets cleaned on the weekends when DH is home. He told me he watched the hen lay the egg and it shattered.
    I said, "Did you mark her so I can force feed her some calcium?"
    He said,"it was the buff colored one." [​IMG]
    They are all buff orpingtons...23 of them!
    I was going to cull her...if I ever find her-HEY! That's why he didn't make a positive ID! softy.
    But, I think I will mix the oystershell with the feed and see if it helps. They get lots of greens, and oystershell is always available, so I am thinking she just has weak workings.
    I think the joy of chicken stuff is wearing thin for me.
    I called one an idiot yesterday instead of "sweetie"
    Maybe it is just the rotten egg smell.
  8. snowflake

    snowflake Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 21, 2009
    Belding Michigan
    that seems to be a real big problem this year. I have 2 hens out of 19 all eat the same thing, but my 2yr. old OP is laying rubber shells and one of my easter egger's is laying thin shells. possible one other brown egg layer to, some times get thin shells. Thought I had an egg eater cause I would find broken eggs in nest but what was actually happening(i think) was the eggs were thin shelled and when the next hen got in the nest to lay she stepped on the thin egg and it broke. Oyster shell, crushed shells, BOSS as treats and Layana full time. Stress can also cause this and I have tried to remove all strell(extra roo went to a new home) Daughter also is having that problem .. we both feed purina layana any one else having that problem on this feed? Maybe it is the feed?
  9. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    Stress? I have a few that the rooster absolutely harasses. I bet it is one of those. I did not have the problem until he started having 'Favorites"
    I will get the harried hens and separate them. Thanks.
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
  10. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 7, 2011
    SE Wis
    Yes, stress will cause soft-shelled eggs, as will a good scare.
    From The Poultry Site:
    Immature shell gland: Delay onset of sexual maturity 1 to 2 weeks by controlled feeding during rearing.
    Defective shell gland: Cull birds which persistently produce such eggs.
    Disturbances causing eggs to be laid before calcification of the shell is complete: Minimize activities which create disturbances in and around the layer shed. Increase shed security to stop other birds and animals entering the shed.
    Poor nutrition: Make sure that birdsÂ’ nutrient intake is correct (particularly regarding calcium and vitamin D3). Mixed feed should be handled carefully so that the different components do not separate out. This particularly needs to be checked when augers and automatic feeding systems are used.
    Saline water: Desalinate, dilute or do not use drinking water containing problem levels of salts.
    Diseases, e.g. infectious bronchitis and eggdrop syndrome: Follow effective vaccination programs where available.

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