What's going on with my flock? *Updated*

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by shiningeyes, Jun 22, 2017.

  1. shiningeyes

    shiningeyes Chirping

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    Hi everyone...I'm hoping someone can provide some insight on my little flock of 4. It's kind of a lot of information so hang in there :)

    Recently one of my girls has started laying eggs that are cracked (not after laying but during or inside) this is one of the worst ones... CB Egg.jpg Some are like this, some only have faint cracks or fissures and some have ridges and a few are ok. Prior to this I had an EE who was laying fine then suddenly stopped. She ended up with a bacterial infection leading to salpingitis, though no lash egg was seen. She was treated with baytril and recovered but did not start laying again. She recently had another bacterial infection and was treated with baytril and seems to be doing fine again. The vet thinks its a possibility she's laying internally though we're not sure. And prior to that the sister of the one with the cracked eggs (both BPR's) was laying normal brown eggs and then one day started laying pale eggs with one end like sandpaper (assuming it's calcium deposits) and thinner shells. She also lays a soft-shelled or shell-less egg whenever we go on vacation and she has to stay in the run/coop and not free range. I was thinking it's stress related. I also have one Black Sex Link who lays fine. I'm feeling pretty sad and frustrated as I know a number of people with more chicken than we have who haven't had any problems ever! They are all on modesto mills soy free layer pellets with oyster shell available (I have even started mixing it in with their food to try and entice them to eat more). They free range all day (with close access to the food/oyster shell). I clean their coop and run daily, or at the very least every other day and since they spend so much time free ranging it's never very dirty. I also clean the yard every other week or so. It's pretty big for only 4 chickens so the waste is pretty spread out. The only other weird bit of information is that they all use to go into the coop at night then one day they stopped. They'll go in and roost in their run but not go in the coop. It's not been months of me having to put them in bed everynight. Although my EE will go in about half the time while the others stay out. I'm sure it's unrelated but thought I'd mention it. So...I don't know if all of my girls issues are related or separate. I'm mostly worried about the one with the cracked eggs...she's my 4 year old's favorite and the sweetest chicken we have. Does anyone have any ideas or things I can try?
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

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    Are these new layers? As in are they still in first few months of starting to lay?

    How thick are the shells on the eggs that are cracked? Seems a simple shell thickness issue and a bird that squashes her eggs, steps on, when in the nest. They have plenty of calcium and assume they are new to laying. It all works out once their system gets in sync.
     
  3. shiningeyes

    shiningeyes Chirping

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    The shells don't seem extremely thin. The one who lays the pale eggs has much thinner shells. They are not new layers either...they've been laying for a little less than a year. We got them early last spring (2016)
     
  4. shiningeyes

    shiningeyes Chirping

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    As an update my girl with the cracked shells actually laid a broken egg this morning. I was afraid she had one break internally but finally found the egg on her poop board. I do know it broke coming out as I found egg shell on the feathers directly below her vent. The shell did not seem very thin so I have no idea what's going on. Anyone have any clue as to what would be causing shell problems with all my girls except the one? They *may* have had a respiratory illness when they were still in the brooder. They had some sneezing but absolutely no other symptoms so I figured it was the dust. I had introduced some sweet pdz into the box and they were in a room with adequate ventilation but it still got really dusty everywhere. We also have very hard well water...could something in that be causing them to not absorb her calcium adequately?
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    I don't know why the shell would be cracked, but not broken before it was laid. But infectious bronchitis, a mild respiratory virus, can cause many different egg shell problems. Since I have many more hens, I do see a variety of egg shell problems occasionally. Here are a couple of good articles to read:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/common-egg-quality-problems.65923/
    and the PDF file below:

    [​IMG]
     
    MrsBachbach likes this.
  6. shiningeyes

    shiningeyes Chirping

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    Thank you Eggcessive. I'll take a look at the article you linked to, and I have seen that chart. There just seems to be a number of issues and I'm not sure where to begin. Do you know if a respiratory virus like infectious bronchitis when they were chicks could cause egg shell problems down the line? They all laid fine at first, and gradually I've had problems with each one. I did contact my vet and all I got was an I don't know and make sure they're on layer feed with oyster shell which is what I'm doing already. It's frustrating and since I only have four they are definitely pets so we've all been worried about the potential problems that can come from egg defects.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2017
  7. shiningeyes

    shiningeyes Chirping

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    Also Eggcessive, since you have a number of chickens and I think are fairly knowledgeable...I looked at the article and she seems to have a few of those problems; body checked eggs I've seen, as well as broken and mended and misshaped eggs and speckled eggs. The common cause between them seems to be stress, frights or disturbances during the calcification process. As I mentioned in my original post, they at some point decided they no longer wanted to go into roost in their coop at night and began staying on the roost bar in the run. So I've been manually putting them into the coop at night. Do you think this would possibly be stressing her out enough to cause a problem? Or being in the coop is distressing to her? She's our calmest chicken so doesn't put up a fight but I've always wondered if something frightened them and that's why they stopped going in themselves. Or, could the jump up and down to the roost disturb the calcification process? It's a smallish coop (4x5 I think) but they're only in there to sleep, however, since it is smaller they don't have a lot of space to get up and down. The roost is probably 3ft or so high but it's a fairly vertical ascent and descent since it's only 4ftish deep and they have a poop board under the roost.
     

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