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Weak or Shell-less Eggs for Several Months

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Ann10, Mar 31, 2016.

  1. Ann10

    Ann10 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 20, 2014
    My 1.5-year-old black sex link started laying deformed eggs several months ago. They would be banded in the middle and have other swirls etc. The shells are always thin. Once or twice a week she would lay a shell-less egg that I would find below the roosting bar. This has now developed where she is only dropping shell-less eggs at night and has not laid an egg in over a week. One or two of my other chickens in the flock have some shell quality problems such as rough shells, but nothing like this one. I was doing a search on the Internet and saw this phenomenon of egg drop syndrome. The last article written on it seems to be 1976 when they said it did not exist in the United States, but it has been 50 years since it was written and I assume that perhaps it has reached the US by now. I am considering removing this chicken from my flock if this is permanent. Any advice?
  2. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 21, 2015
    No where Nebraska
    What do you feed them? I would try adding calcium to their diet. I think you can find oyster shell in your feed store. Just put a pan of it out, seperate from their food dish, and let them eat what they want.
  3. owlflights

    owlflights Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 15, 2015
    SE Iowa
    Agreed, best case scenario your hen just needs some calcium supplement like oyster shell. Also make sure you're feeding layer rations and not meat or chick feed.
  4. Ann10

    Ann10 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 20, 2014
    They are on an organic layer crumble and have oyster shell available at all times. They all look healthy with good energy.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Look through this to maybe get some ideas of the problems. This was written more for commercial operations but maybe you will see something that helps you.

    Egg Quality Handbook

    When I have a problem I first try to decide if I have an individual problem or a flock problem. You are looking at all the eggs, I’m not, but this sounds more like an individual hen problem. Still, how you are feeding them is an excellent question. Some rough shells is really normal.

    Sometimes a hen just has something wrong with her internal egg making factory. Sometimes you may be able to help her by providing more calcium, oyster shell on the side is good in my opinion, but maybe her body just doesn’t process the calcium right no matter how much she eats. Or maybe her instincts don’t tell her that she needs to eat the extra calcium.

    It’s possible a disease is causing this but if the others are normal it’s probably not a disease.

    Good luck! This one can be challenging.
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Some hens may not be able to process/absorb all the nutrition that is provided in their food/treats, so vitamin supplementation may be needed.
    Other causes from egg quality issues can be illness, stress, overcrowding, internal gitch or age of your chicken.

    Here's a link to common egg laying problems - with pictures and possible causes - that you may find helpful.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
  8. Ann10

    Ann10 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 20, 2014
    Thanks everyone, I appreciate all the responses. She has a healthy diet, no stress, no overcrowding. It is probably an internal problem. I will just have to remove her from the flock : (
  9. Tucs

    Tucs Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 9, 2014
    I just went through this with my 2 year old BO.I had to take her to the vet. I learned that oyster shell is not the best calcium to give since it is hard to absorb. The best solution is actually ground up eggshell or calcium citrate. Mine is still on medication to prevent infection from the yolk in her system. Sounds like yours is taking this much better than mine. Best of luck.
    1 person likes this.
  10. jlashaw

    jlashaw Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 10, 2015

    Hi Ann10 I would worm them. Even though the rest of your flock may not show the signs of parasites in egg deformities, they may have other symptoms. I have a few hens that do this. My worst is a year old white leghorn. If I worm her, she stops. I use Safeguard liquid goat wormer and Valbazen. Is she missing feathers around the vent? Earth worms carry hair worms or crop worms. I'd say the most common parasite I've seen in my flock are round worms. I worm twice a year because I've bought older chickens from nasty farms and they carried all sorts of stuff with them. It might not be parasites. The most common issues that cause soft shelled eggs and deformed shells are: Parasites, reproductive issues, Calcium deficiency. Feed doesn't have enough calcium in it to sustain hens. Just one shell depletes her body. I hope you figure this out!

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