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What causes soft shell eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by av8rwife, May 10, 2012.

  1. av8rwife

    av8rwife Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a 1 year old New Hampshire Red hen that has started to lay soft shell eggs. They used to be a nice deep brown color, now they are a creamy color and feel like sandpaper. Sometimes when I go to the coop her eggs are already busted and the shell is like paper.
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lack of calcium. Give her a calcium supplement like oyster shells.
     
  3. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

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    I agree. It tends to happen a bit more once the hens get older... you can provide oyster shell or you can also crush their egg shell and feed it back to them.
     
  4. proudchickiemom

    proudchickiemom Out Of The Brooder

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    I have heard about feeding them their egg shells, but you have to cook them, or heat them up to a certain degree before you can feed it back to them..is this true?
     
  5. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

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    I'm not sure if it's a requirement, but we never have. :) Just crushed the shells, usually of eggs that we've cracked and eaten.
     
  6. cva34

    cva34 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    People heat egg shells to kill any germs or bacteria that might be in them.All I can add is be sure to crush them into small enough pieces that there un-recognizable as an Egg to a chicken, you might create a egg eating chicken.Oyster shell is fine too...cva34
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Some hens do not process their calcium well, no matter how much they get. A lack of vitamin D could be the culprit. A complete vitamin supplement may help her process the calcium she does get.

    I've been there with a hen who ate at the calcium hopper regularly and her eggs were always fragile, starting from the time she was about two years old so I can only surmise that she does not process her calcium properly.


    Also, summertime and hot weather with their high need for water can cause egg issues, as well as the molt. She isn't in her big molt at a year old, of course, but if it's really hot where you are, that also can contribute to brittle shells in certain hens.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2012
  8. av8rwife

    av8rwife Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the replys. I've placed a seperate feeder in the run with oyster shell in it. I have given them crushed up egg shells before (uncooked) and they've eaten them. I sometimes scramble the eggs and/or boil them and give to them. They enjoy them till the last speck is pecked off the ground.
     

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