Two hens with egg issues--I'm stumped, please help!


In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 16, 2008
Hi All,
Two of my 2-year old hens are having ongoing egg-laying issues. The hens are eating Purina Layena crumbles, and they have free access to crushed oyster shell. They spend between 1-5 hours/day free ranging on grass, scratching in wood chips for worms, and trying to get into my vegetable garden. (No pesticides or herbicides.)

Problem #1: My best layer, a Red Star Sex Link, has started laying shell-less eggs (they have membranes, but no hard shell). She is eating and pooping normally and seems to have her usual energy. I have had two or three shell-less eggs from her this week. Day before yesterday, I got this egg: notice that there are three "sections"--the bottom is darkest and hardest; the middle is lighter and you can see that I crunched it a bit when I picked it up; the top end was so fragile that I caved it in when I picked it up out of the nest box.



Then yesterday I got this:


You can see that it's just membrane with a funny nub of membrane on one end. When I opened it, there was no yolk. This morning, I found a broken yolk (only) on the poop board.

Problem #2: My Barred Rock was droopy about three weeks ago. I suspected worms, so I gave the entire flock a dose of ivervectin (the kind you drop on their skin--as per Threehorses's advice). This is the second time the flock has been wormed--the prior time was in the fall. There have been some runny poos, but it has turned off hot here, so I attributed that to the heat. Plus, the hen has perked up and seems to be eating and drinking normally. But she has also layed a couple shell-less eggs and day-before-yesterday I found this:


It was covered with what looked like mucous or egg white. It was tough to crack--very leathery--but the inside was normal.

I'm at a loss. Nothing in Storey's seems right. I have not noticed any coughing or wheezing or runny eyes that might signal infectious bronchitis--but there has been some runny poo, like I said.

I only have five hens--this is not a factory--no artificial light, etc.

Any thoughts???
I hope this has something that will give you a clue:

There was a quote on here in a thread earlier today about other causes of egg problems. Wish I'd bookmarked it. I can remember its talking about, besides calcium, eggs can be affected by protein problems and certain vitamin deficiencies -- I recall D was mentioned. I believe Layena is an all vegetable source feed, which is all I can buy around here, so I give some form of animal sourced protein a few times a week; I'm convinced they need this for optimum health.
ddawn, I agree with the extra protien idea. My girls do much better when I give them a can of tuna or something high in protein. I get my feed from Southern States and I see the same issue.
Thanks, ddawn and Chick Named Lola. I gave all of them a can of tuna last night, with extra for the two affected hens. I also put some poly-vi (w/o iron) in their water yesterday and today.

Fingers crossed!
I hope this is not it, but look up "internal layers". I don't think the soft shell one is on, but that egg out of your BR just looks nasty like one or an egg that was hard to pass like she may have been egg bound for a bit before getting it out.

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