Two shell-less eggs...now nothing

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by edouble, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. edouble

    edouble New Egg

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    Jul 22, 2014
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hello everyone,

    I have 4 chickens that are about 27-29 weeks old. Two began laying a couple months ago, producing about 4-5 eggs a week/each. My other two have not started yet.
    About a week and a half ago one of my laying chickens popped out a shell-less egg, not a rubbery egg, a completely shell-less one. Almost like it was just a sack with a yoke. She seemed to be acting fine and I didn't think too much of it. A couple days later I found another shell-less egg hanging from her vent, which I removed. Despite this she appears to be acting completely normal...pooping fine, eating, drinking water, running around.
    I've had no eggs from her for a week now, while my other producing hen has layed almost every day.
    I've upped their calcium intake, but that's about it.
    On another note, I live in Minnesota, and that days have gotten very short. We also have had a big temperature drop in the last week. I'm assuming this has stressed out the birds.

    Has anyone else had this happen to them?

    I'm guessing there are no bound eggs in her as she seems to be acting just like the other birds.
    I'm just confused as she used to lay eggs like clockwork!

    Any suggestions on what to do or just cross my fingers?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Shell less eggs can be caused by calcium shortage, parasites, glitches in the hen's reproductive system... Here are a more complete list of causes:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/common-egg-quality-problems

    This time of the year with the change in weather and day length brings production to a halt for many hens, though in my experience it's usually not preceded by oops eggs like yours laid. I'd suggest you check her for parasites, any possible causes of stress, etc.
     
  3. ShawnWatson

    ShawnWatson Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 5, 2014
    Erath County, TX
    What breeds? Just curious because if they have been laying for a couple of months now they started rather early. Normally you don't even put them on laying pellets until they are 18 weeks of age. If they are 27-29 weeks that seems a little early if they have been laying for a couple of months. Some breeds start faster than others. Anyways, my first guess would be calcium. Parasites and whatnot if it's been a week and a half then i would watch her to see if she starts having problems like not drinking eating, not moving around etc. I would check her for mites for instance. Sounds like something is wrong with her reproductive system like the calcium isn't passing through the body to the egg correctly. Weather would slow or even stop her egg production this time of year but i've never heard of weather causing a egg without a shell.
     
  4. bobshere

    bobshere Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wouldnt be too concerned yet especially in new egg layers. I think this happens alot more than most people even know. I had one that went through this for a good 3 weeks after laying well for 3 weeks. She finally worked it out. Laying an egg every day now. Im sure yours will work it out too. Just make sure you are feeding the proper diet with oyster shell on the side....Good luck
     
  5. edouble

    edouble New Egg

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    Jul 22, 2014
    Minneapolis, MN
    She's an Easter Egger. She started laying in late August. I was surprised too! None of my birds were on laying pellets at the time. She has been a great layer until now. My other layer is a Buff Orphington and she has been laying since late Sept.
    I've checked for mites and found nothing. No sign of parasites. Her poop looks normal.
    As far as stress, our temps have swung widely lately. We went from 50's to 10 degrees in a couple weeks. I think all the birds are a little freaked out, especially with the few inches of snow we now have on the ground.
    I think the problem may be lack of calcium. I didn't have oyster shells out, just some granite grit with calcium carbonate. I'm not sure how often they were using it. I've mixed in a little with their food. I'll be buying some oyster shells as free choice soon.

    Is there anything I can do to add calcium in the meantime?

    I'm hoping she will just work this out...

    Thanks much for the advice!
     
  6. ShawnWatson

    ShawnWatson Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 5, 2014
    Erath County, TX
    Cool on the breeds and yeah mine have slacked off majorly with the weather. They are a bit more flighty and not as friendly as normal so i'm sure the weather has stressed them out. It's pretty normal this time of year. As long as she is healthy i'm sure she will get back to normal. Calcium wise, if you have others that are laying what i do is save the egg shells after cracking them open for cooking. Crush them up real good so they don't look like eggs anymore. Mix it into their layer pellets. I have noticed that mine don't like the shells when i boil the eggs but do when they aren't boiled. I assume that boiling strips some of the taste/calcium out. So if your cracking them to throw the yoke in the skillet that will be fine. Layer pellets do have calcium in the mix but sometimes it isn't enough. Mainly when they lay every day. She might just be building it back up in the mean time plus this weather we are having (and lack of light) isn't helping much. Hope that helps.
     
  7. edouble

    edouble New Egg

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    Jul 22, 2014
    Minneapolis, MN
    Thanks for the advice everyone. I appreciate it!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd suggest keeping the oyster and chicken egg shells in a separate container instead of mixing into the feed.
    The ones that need more will take what they need if the layer feed isn't supplying them enough.

    Grit should be separate from the shells and feed.
     

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