Thin shell, yolk breaks easy


Jul 19, 2016
We recently adopted our friends EE mixed group of hens. We have 7 layers and they are about 1yr 1/2 old. They lived in a small chicken tractor - about 15' long by 12' wide and 2' tall with a small coop attached - but we expanded and opened up their daily space.
We easily get 5/6 eggs a day and they are a mix of colors from olive, blue, brown and a troublesome light brown. We have one chicken (unknown which) that lays eggs that are consistently strangely shaped, really thin, and breaks upon opening. Even the whites don't hold form.

We feed them what the original owners did- Scratch and Peck organic layers corn free mix. We have oyster shells out for them, and they get free range into our yard almost daily eating grass/weeds and bugs (untreated/no chemical grass)
Each one of them has spot specific bald spots where I believe the other hens are picking on them. Doesn't look like molting- so I've temporarily ruled that out as the cause.
1- what is causing one hen to lay thin eggs that break and spread upon opening?
2- how can we get them to stop picking each other's feathers out?

Yorkshire Coop

Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Aug 16, 2014
Hi :welcome

Glad you could join us here! That's so nice of you to adopt your friends flock. Are these your first chickens? Here is an article on egg quality problems ~
If the problem is just a one off and not a constant thing I would not be too worried. Sometimes a change in environment can upset their egg laying machines.
The feather pecking should get better now they have more room. Often not enough space can lead to this behaivour. Giving them some extra protein can also help, hard boiled chopped eggs are great for this. Here are some threads on feather pecking with lots of great advice ~

Wishing you the very best of luck and enjoy BYC :frow
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Pork Pie

Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Jan 30, 2015
Hi and welcome to BYC - you have some great advice from Y/Coop already so I'll just say hello!

All the best


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Mar 21, 2011
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
Hello and welcome to BYC!

Thin egg shells can be caused by many things from not enough calcium, over heating, health issues like worms, Coccidiosis, internal laying and a host of other things. So I would get them all wormed for sure. If they have a lot of diarrhea, it is possible they have Coccidiosis and you might then run some Corid through them.

Make sure they are getting enough layer feed. Keep the treats down to 10% of the diet and if anybody is being bullied away from the feeders, which is common in nearly every flock, add more feeders so the lower order birds get enough to eat. Not enough and they can lay thin shelled eggs.

Feather picking can be caused from the need for more protein or just jostling for position in the flock and for treats. The solutions for this is make sure they are all getting plenty to eat with more feeders available, water stations too, and to give them plenty of room so they are not frustrated with each other. 5 square feet per bird in the coop, 10 square feet per bird in the run. Give them things to do, levels, mirrors, hanging veggies or apples, ladders to climb, etc...

Good luck and welcome to our roost! :)

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