I give them layer feed and have oyster shell free choice and they free range about two hours a day. But what if they don't seem to eat the oyster shell? What do I do? I don't want them to wind up egg bound.
If they are young layers I wouldn't worry. Soft eggs and other oddities are quite common with young layers, due to their immature shell glands and they usually sort their reproductive systems out within a few weeks. If it's more experienced layers you might have a problem. It sounds like they are getting what they need from their feed, but there are other causes for egg problems, such as disease, stress, internal or external parasites etc. More info on that here:
Thank you for that link. I don't know how I missed that. I thought I read almost everything on here. LOL. Anyway, I don't know if they would be considered new layers they have been laying for about a month. I guess I will have to keep an eye on them and try to figure out which chickens laid them. Hopefully it won't happen again.
Ok, I just went to check again because I heard another chicken laying. So there is another egg. I have 6 chickens, 4 that are definitely laying 1 I am pretty sure is. The sixth chicken (a rsl) hasn't even developed a decent size comb or wattles at 21 or so weeks. Now granted I didn't go in the coop yesterday so I suppose it is possible that one chicken laid 2 soft shelled eggs in a row but is it possible that the undeveloped chicken is laying these thin shelled eggs and always will? That it is somehow connected through a hormonal issue? For sure now I am going to have to know who is laying what. I hope someone reads this because at the very least it had to be one chicken that laid the thin shell twice in succession, so I am worried that I may have a serious problem. Am I crazy or what? BTW I have collected 4 normal eggs so far today so if I get a fifth it has to be the undeveloped one that laid at least one of the thin shells.
I've been here 2 years and I'm still finding lots of things I haven't read yet. There's a lot of good info here.
After a month I'd still consider a hen a new layer, depending on how many eggs they produce they could take them a few weeks to get it right, some do it sooner and some later though. Hopefully your hens will get there soon and lay some proper eggs for you.
I think my hen is laying from the roost too! She just started laying on Sunday, and so far I've had two busted eggs :-( Thankfully my roost is removeable, so I took it out and will only leave it in at night time. We'll see! Silly bird :-/