What else causes soft shells?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by duckinnut, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. duckinnut

    duckinnut Songster

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    I have got one girl that is laying a soft-shelled egg from the roost, think its one of the barreds but not sure. I have the girls on Flock raiser with oyster shell mixed in,free choice on the side. They get calcium containing treats,strawberry,cucumber and zucchini. They free range in a semi contained area and have plenty of fresh water. If have checked for mites and lice and found neither. I am not even sure if she lays a good one in the cycle or not, 4 /5 softies in the past 2wks. I'm at wits end and out of leads to check. Anyone got any input?[​IMG]

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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011

  2. incubatingisfun

    incubatingisfun Songster

    Dec 15, 2009
    Only other things i can think of off the top of my head would be heat or stress
  3. duckinnut

    duckinnut Songster

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Quote:I kind of ruled out heat,its been real nice here,low 80s no humidity the last couple of weeks .Even when it was hotter than where Im going at the end of my run they were still laying fairly normal. Thats why I cant understand being only one bird. As far as stress I cant imagine what about. Life is pretty good for them, 2 feeders,2 waterers,scratch grains in the am and treats mid day and room to roam.
  4. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia

  5. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Songster

    Dec 10, 2009
    Central PA
    I have a hen who lays eggs with very thin shells, so I've done a lot of reading to find out what I might be doing wrong. I've tried different brands of layer pellets, they always have oyster shell available , and I add occasional treats that contain calcium (vegetables and yogurt). Despite all this, her shells have never gotten stronger. I fear one day an egg will break before she lays it. Here is a link to information on egg quality, including thin-shelled and shell-less eggs. Sometimes the cause is a hereditary defect in the hen herself. I finally decided this is most likely the cause in my hen. You might try switching to layer pellets and see if that helps. Good luck to you. http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publi...ndbook/16/thinshelled-eggs-and-shellless-eggs
    1 person likes this.
  6. duckinnut

    duckinnut Songster

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    Thanks everyone for their input. Just cant understand why all of a sudden this started happening. I think I know who is doing it a will keep any eye on her.
  7. emptynesterMom

    emptynesterMom In the Brooder

    Mar 14, 2011

  8. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

    Jun 17, 2011
    Morristown, AZ
    Years ago we tried raising our hens with much more in the way of scraps and treat type food that was lower price and easy to come by on the farm. Each morning we gave greens, fruit, corn, etc. to the hens with layer feed only now and then, they also had free choice oyster shell.

    After a time the eggs and shell quality suffered and though not a scientific experiment in any way we went back to feeding almost only pellets and what "treats" they could come up with free ranging.

    We began seeing very thin shelled eggs here and there as well as lumpy eggs with soft tops. Asked a friend and she pointed to how we were feeding as the issue. Lack or proper nutrients and calcium (yes they were passing it up) could be our only issue it was pointed out so with nothing to lose we switched back to the mill run layer feed as most of their diet.

    Shell quality improved as did production.

    What made us agree with her and go back to pellets to solve our problem was the fact that the hens seemed to wait for treats and stuff to eat and would pass on the layer feed knowing more treats were coming in the afternoon. We sure saved on feed, but.... Heck was young then and trying to get out of buying feed for the same reasons I wish we could now, but we have learned over many years that we do best feeding about 90% layer feed from the mill and a very small amount of treat type food as they hustle their own treats while terrorizing our property during the day. The folks that make these feeds know what they are doing in most cases and years of research has come up with very well balanced feed with everything they need to live healthy and lay well especially if the birds get out to run amok....

    Again I am not saying anything except this was our experience.

    We also only give treats mid-day so the girls eat layer pellets morning and before roost if hungry.

    There are other reasons for the softies as mentioned, but thought I'd mention our experience.

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