Thin-shelled eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by KevinG, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. KevinG

    KevinG Hatching

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    Apr 5, 2012
    After our winter egg laying hiatus, one of our three chickens failed to start with the onset of spring light. I was beginning to worry she might be egg-bound, but there seemed to be no other obvious ill effects on her health. Finally, about three months after the other two had started laying, she laid her first egg ... as it turned out it was the first I'd found intact, not necessarily the first laid. All of the eggs she lays are very thin shelled now and fracture (crush) easily. Many had crushed into their straw nesting material.

    In previous seasons (this is our fifth with these chickens) "Elaine" always began laying around the same time as our other two and her eggs have always been just as stout. I feed them laying pellets that include calcium and supplement with crushed oyster shell, a good cracked corn and seed scratch, and include flax and safflower seeds. They also get bugs and such from the yard.

    Presently our other two chickens are laying their typical eggs, (practically needing a hammer to open them) and they and "Elaine" seem absolutely healthy in every other way.

    A final datum: "Elaine" (the thin-shell layer) is a 'Plymouth', or 'Barred Rock'; the other two are a 'Rhode Island Red' and a 'Buff Orpington'

    Any and all input/ideas will be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    Nov 23, 2010
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    Have they been getting layer feed for the last 4 years or do you switch the feed when they molt and take their winter break?
     
  3. KevinG

    KevinG Hatching

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    Apr 5, 2012
    The answer to your question is 'no' ... I haven't changed their feed at all in all the time we've had them. I didn't know I should and as they get lots of scraps, their feed (laying pellets), oyster shell, a mixed seed/cracked corn scratch, free range bugs, etc., and the additional omega3 seeds, I never thought they'd need anything else. If I've missed something I'd love to hear about it. My chicken raising experience previous to these gals is minimal (I pretty much freaked out the first time they went thru their winter molt!).

    They have always done well (except for some minor dominance issues early on); and since only one of them is having this problem, I didn't really give nutrition more than a passing thought (with the exception of calcium, of which they should be getting plenty). Any ideas related to nutrition, or ANYTHING else will be greatly appreciated. The thin shells don't really bother me, except that many of her eggs get cracked just collecting them ... I just want to make sure I'm doing what I can to keep them healthy. Thanks for responding!

    p.s. what food is recommended relative to winter and their molt?
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  4. KevinG

    KevinG Hatching

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    Apr 5, 2012
    Just to reiterate, I have not used any feed except for laying pellets, but they get lots of scraps, seed/cracked corn, and free range bugs and plants (grass, dandelions and miners lettuce). What should I change to in the off season, or when they molt? Incidentally, The thin-shell layer's eggs have suddenly increased in thickness by perhaps 50%, but they are still much thinner and weaker than those of the other two girls ... they just don't crush when being collected, or washed, but a little more than basic handling and they break/crush.

    Still interested in any other ideas. A friend mentioned the possibility that she may not get enough, but like feed and other issues, all three are, in/part of, the same environment, so the only truly different thing about them is their breed ... she's a Barred Plymouth Rock, while the other two are a Buff Orpington, and a Rhode Island Red.

    Thanks again for any/all ideas
    KevinG
     

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