Very Fragile Eggshells

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sarahs31, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. sarahs31

    sarahs31 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2008
    Waukesha, WI
    I've been getting extremely fragile shells of late. I mix the oyster shells into the feed so I think they are getting enough. One BIG scoop per day. (Free choice just didn't work.)

    My question is this....could they be getting TOO much protein? I've switched to a 20% protein brand. Any thoughts? I haven't id'd the culprits yet. I do have some older birds 2-3 years. Perhaps need to cull them out? Any other ideas?
     
  2. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Sarah,

    It sounds like a calcium issue. Are they on layer feed or another type? My layer feed is 16-18% I think. Mixing oyster shells into the feed is a good idea.

    My BR laid 2 thin-shelled eggs, then stopped laying entirely. After 6-8 weeks she recently started laying again.

    Have you tried giving them plain yogurt? That'll help with calcium and protein.
     
  3. sarahs31

    sarahs31 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2008
    Waukesha, WI
    It's a 20% Layer Feed that I had ordered from our local coop. I've had some issues prior but nothing like this. I'm only getting about 12-16 eggs per day from 32 layers and at least 3-4 are broken a day. I wonder if I should get some 16% to mix with it.
     
  4. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    6,583
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    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Doesn't sound like it would hurt anything!

    Others will chime in on this issue, I'm sure. [​IMG]

    Good luck, and keep us posted.
     
  5. lowcountrypoultry

    lowcountrypoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would suggest getting some oyster shell to mix with the feed that you are feeding your layers. [​IMG]

    Best of Luck

    -Austin
     
  6. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    My 2 yr old RSLs have been giving me fragile shells as well. They have free choice access to oyster shells, plus aragonite in their feed. I haven't been able to figure out what's up, so I blame their age and the fact most of them have laid close to 500 eggs by now and their bodies are coming to the end of their productive period.
     
  7. sarahs31

    sarahs31 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2008
    Waukesha, WI
    I'm thinking that the culprits may be my RSL as well - they are at least 2 years. As soon as the weather is nicer and I'm out more, I'll try and moniter the boxes better. I may try to add some 16% in to see if that helps. Not sure.
     
  8. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    Quote:Sarah,

    I'm curious -- Are the whites in the fragile eggs super runny? Or do have super runny whites in any eggs? My girls started producing low quality albumen for quite awhile now, probably since last summer. The shells have only been fragile for the last month or so, I think.
     
  9. sarahs31

    sarahs31 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2008
    Waukesha, WI
    Now that you mention it...a few are a bit more runny...of course, I suppose I really couldn't tell you that as most of them are broken in the nest! [​IMG]

    Otherwise, I think they are healthy well adjusted birds. No known outbreaks of any contagious disease etc that affects egg quality. My newer pullets are doing quite well.

    Now I did have a really soft but still shelled white egg from a Leghorn (1yr) so I'm just a bit concerned that the higher quality feed may be interferring with calcium uptake or perhaps as in humans....Vitamin D deficient! [​IMG] and thus lower calcium stores? Perhaps my hens and I should take a sunny Mexican vacation?
     
  10. CovenantCreek

    CovenantCreek Chicks Rule!

    Oct 19, 2007
    Franklin, TN
    My older girls are just as healthy as the young ones, so it has to be age related. I've seen reports that say commercial farms cull hens at about 72 weeks because the egg quality has dropped rather significantly. I can usually tell which eggs were laid by the RSLs by color, but definitely by the way they cover nearly the entire griddle when I'm trying to fry one. [​IMG]
     

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