"Water Balloon" Eggs...

shastagoose

In the Brooder
11 Years
May 12, 2008
71
1
39
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I have been finding these eggs that have no shell. They look and feel like water balloons.
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Any one have this happen? And why does this happen? Thanx.
 

teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
10,017
190
356
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
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In general, it may be a sign of calcium deficiency. It seems to most often happen with new layers. You can offer free choice oyster shell, or even crushed up egg shells daily to boost calcium. I think most folks have experienced this with at least a layer or two.
 

oldchickenlady

Songster
9 Years
May 9, 2010
1,285
9
151
Cabot, AR
I have a pullet that sometimes lays these shell less eggs. I think it is more a new layer thing since I have had my pullets on good layer pellets with oyster shell free choice since they were old enough to get off chick starter, as well as feeding them cottage cheese with crushed egg shell mixed in it on a regular basis. If your hen is a first year layer that is probably the issue. If she isn't then it could be a calcium deficiency. My hens just started laying again after molting and bad cold weather and I have noticed the shells are much thicker and stronger than the eggs they laid last fall. They will be a year old in April.
 

yellowflower

Songster
10 Years
May 21, 2009
247
10
126
Bradford NH
Hi, I have a new layer laying these "water balloon" eggs also. My question is will she grow out of it? I'm upping her calcium to see if it helps. She's a silkie also it that matters.
Thanks!
 

hipeatall

Songster
10 Years
Mar 2, 2009
1,133
12
176
I occasionally get a "water balloon" egg from a newly laying hen... VERY fitting name! I don't think they will ever cease to freak me out!
 

Mac in Wisco

Antagonist
14 Years
May 25, 2007
3,479
81
336
SW Wisconsin
Quote:
More calcium is not beneficial. If you feed a balanced layer ration with some free choice on the side they have all they need. This is not a problem caused by calcium deficiency and excessive calcium mixed in the feed will cause thin or poor quality shells throughout the flock. It is from the egg not spending enough time in the shell gland, or possibly a hen with a defective shell gland. The hen may have laid the egg early for some reason, or she retained the previous egg for too long giving the next one less time in the shell gland. It's just a glitch that should sort itself out. Major disturbances at laying time can be a cause. Disturbances that continually stress the flock can lead to problems with reproductive system timing.
 

CaptainSamH

Songster
Oct 24, 2019
101
221
106
Outside Albany, NY
Quote:

More calcium is not beneficial. If you feed a balanced layer ration with some free choice on the side they have all they need. This is not a problem caused by calcium deficiency and excessive calcium mixed in the feed will cause thin or poor quality shells throughout the flock. It is from the egg not spending enough time in the shell gland, or possibly a hen with a defective shell gland. The hen may have laid the egg early for some reason, or she retained the previous egg for too long giving the next one less time in the shell gland. It's just a glitch that should sort itself out. Major disturbances at laying time can be a cause. Disturbances that continually stress the flock can lead to problems with reproductive system timing.

I recognize this a fairly old post, so if it is defunct/doesn't get seen, I can post a new thread.

excessive calcium mixed in the feed will cause thin or poor quality shells...I have a question about this line in particular. I have been giving some medicated/probiotic chick feed to one of my chickens who has been showing some signs of sickness (lethargy, a little underweight - the vet recommended the chick food to bulk her up a bit). I thought I had a system where only she was getting it, but I found out that the kids have been "helping". Could a couple of days of eating the chick food screw up my other pullet who seems to have passed "punctured balloon" eggs in the past two mornings? What I find in the morning is a collapsed eggshell in a puddle of yolk/white. Thanks!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
101,524
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SW Michigan
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excessive calcium mixed in the feed will cause thin or poor quality shells.
This makes no sense.

Could a couple of days of eating the chick food screw up my other pullet who seems to have passed "punctured balloon" eggs in the past two mornings? What I find in the morning is a collapsed eggshell in a puddle of yolk/white. Thanks!
Only if you are not providing other calcium supplement, like Oyster Shell in separate container. You might also sprinkle a few pieces of OS on top of the feed.
BUT ....I would not use medicated chick feed to try to solve some unknown problem.

ETA many of use use a starter or 'all flock' type of feed for all ages and genders.
Higher protein (18-20%) and lower calcium(~1%) but provide the OS on the side for the laying birds.

If your softie layer is new layer...not unusual.
 

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