Variance of shell hardness in flock.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sphinxface, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. sphinxface

    sphinxface Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2015
    Renton, Washington
    My sussex was put on antibiotics after being attacked by a possom, so we've had to throw out her eggs. Now it's not really smart but I tried to throw one of her eggs into the empty lot next to our house.. it went about 20 feet, landing on hard dirt and rolled down a rocky slope. Didn't even crack!

    I dropped my Easter egger's egg 2 inches from the countertop once and it cracked...

    Do different breeds have different shell quality? They have access to oyster shells but I don't think they all eat them.. I've often thought of supplementing calcium since one of the hens, a buff Orpington, has had a couple eggs break inside her which has led her to almost completely stop laying.... but I am dumbfounded by the fact that the sussex's egg didn't even break, shes obviously got enough of what she needs to make strong eggs, this is all while growing back all of her tail feathers!

    Can someone tell me more about this, or give me some links to read up on it?
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Shell quality and thickness can be affected by many things like age, quantity of eggs layed, health and even stress. You should always offer a separate bowl of oyster shells so your hen can regulate her needs, otherwise some will start eating eggs to get more calcium if they are deficit.

    Most hens will pull calcium out of their bones during the laying season and her legs and beak will lose their bright color and become bleached. Some hens can have occasional thin, bumpy, cracked or shell less eggs, some are normal, but if it becomes chronic it's possible there is damage to her shell gland or that it has stopped working properly.
     
  3. sphinxface

    sphinxface Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2015
    Renton, Washington
    The sussex lays about 4-6 eggs a week, the EE lays about once every 2 weeks(she is so fussy and often broody), both about the same age, my guess is about 3 years. I would imagine laying more often would decrease the shell quality but the EE often breaks her eggs after laying them just from the process of them being laid.. I just saw a neat idea for an oyster shell dispenser, I think I will do that and see if anything changes.
     

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