Why did my chicken lay a soft, rubbery egg? Is she sick?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 8xnoy, May 20, 2009.

  1. patnjess

    patnjess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    It take the older eggs that we haven't used and crack them and throw the shell in there and smoosh it and scramble the eggs! they love it!
  2. CDMK

    CDMK New Egg

    Jun 8, 2010
    We give our chickens oyster shell, their own egg shells, and a good organic pellet food as well as providing a big barnyard. Even so, one chicken has laid rather thin-shelled eggs for over a year. This morning, she was listless and didn't want to come off the roost. Her fluffy feathers around her vent had yellow and brown residue on them. She is only about 5 years old and lays an egg about once or twice a week. Her nest-mate lays eggs about the same frequency but is energetic and lively.
    Any thoughts about what could be going on??
  3. Jacmac77

    Jacmac77 New Egg

    May 25, 2010
    My girl just laid one as well.She has been laying around and very quiet and wont really eat much.She also has diarrhea.
  4. sunflowerenvy

    sunflowerenvy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2010
    south/west tn
    Quote:she could be egg bound wash her vent off and seperate her from others put her warm but 5 yrs is pretty old i think to lay eggs
  5. chattabox

    chattabox New Egg

    Oct 1, 2011
    My giant white hen laid a soft shelled egg, and I thought that there may be something wrong with her. I was putting her in her box in the evening (Yes, she still sleeps in a box inside the house), she made a really messy poo so I decided to put some newspaper on top of it, she seemed to get a fright and just popped out the soft-shelled egg. That was her second egg in her life, the first was the one the day before, it was small, pointy and hard, like a normal chicken egg. Is the soft-shelled egg undeveloped, or is it a lack of calcium?
  6. DOnSoCalOC

    DOnSoCalOC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2010
    My girls are about 1 yr old and I have had two thin shelled eggs within the past 3 weeks. No biggee, but I don't want to make it a habit. I feed them organic soy-free feed, oyster shells on the side, they get "treats" (fruits and veggies, freeze-dried meal worms, crickets) occasionally, but I am going to cut out treats for a month to see what happens. Let them find their own bugs, I am almost out of "egg shell powder" that I had ground up, so I am going to incorporate that again, since I had stopped when I started the oyster shell. So here is some info I found on-line:

    Most people immediately think that Oyster shell grit is what a hen needs if she is laying soft shelled eggs but a dietary deficiency can also be the cause of a ‘soft' shelled egg. Whilst chickens need grit to grind their food down in their gizzard and calcium to form their egg shells, they also need a correct level of protein in their diet as well as minerals and various other vitamins. Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) is used for the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus to be able to form egg shells as well as strong bones. Vitamin D is found in Cod Liver Oil but they shouldn't normally need this if they are fed the correct formulated layers feed and have free range and sunshine on their backs.
    Corn treats and kitchen scraps

    Wheat found in mixed corn typically contains about 10% protein. This isn't a sufficient amount for a hen that is producing eggs. Keep corn as a treat only. Kitchen scraps are a bit of a mixed bag of what a hen needs so whilst this is an efficient way to recycle them and save on feed costs, scraps should not really exceed 25% of a hen's diet. Scraps should be mixed with layers mash to make a crumbly mixture. The best way to ensure a hen is getting the correct diet is to use a balanced layers feed and then supplement this with greens and a vitamin and mineral drink that can be added to their water during the peak months of production.
    Free Range Hens

    If hens can be allowed to free range on grass or rough ground then this is much better than having to add top up vitamin and mineral drinks. They will be able to pick up a lot of the extra grit, vitamins and minerals they need from and be a lot less prone to health problems.

    Some strains of birds can lay more soft egg shells as they age. This is particularly true of hybrid breeds that have been optimised to give as many eggs as possible during their first year such as the Bovan Goldline often found in ‘battery' farming. Once these birds reach 4 or 5 years old, you may find they start to lay eggs with soft shells.

    Causes for thin egg shells
    Calcium is the primary mineral that makes up eggshells and when not supplied in the diet, the hen does not have the basic materials needed to make the shell. The problem is produced when whole grains or feeds deficient in minerals and vitamins make up the bulk of the laying hen diet. Thin egg shells are observed when calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D3 are not provided in diets at adequate levels. It is more often observed during periods of hot weather because calcium is conserved and retained within the hen's body less efficiently.
    The quality of the shells is improved by feeding a complete laying ration as the only diet. This diet supplies all nutrients in the proper proportions so the hen can produce good shells. If thin egg shells becomes a problem, it is advisable to add 2 pounds of oyster shells (as an oyster shell flour or hen-sized oyster shells) to every 100 pounds of complete layer ration.
    This will provide a quick remedy to the problem and should restore egg shell quality within a short period of time. After the egg shell quality is restored, the addition of oyster shell can be eliminated and the complete layer diet can then maintain good egg shell formation. It is also advisable to also add a vitamin supplement to the drinking water while the oyster shell is being added to the feed. This will help ensure that calcium and phosphorus in the diet is being properly absorbed through the digestive system and will be available for deposition as shell on the egg.

    Feeding Schedules for Chickens
    Poultry feeds are referred to as "complete" feeds, because they are designed to contain all the protein, energy, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients necessary for proper growth, egg production, and health of the birds. Feeding any other ingredients, mixed with the feed or fed separately, upsets the balance of nutrients in the "complete" feed. Feeding additional grain or supplement with the complete poultry feed is not recommended.
    Feed chicks a "starter" diet soon after they hatch. Continue feeding the starter feed until they reach 6 or 8 weeks of age. The starter diet has the highest level of protein a chicken receives during its lifetime. As the chick matures, it requires a lower percentage of dietary protein and a higher level of energy.
    After the chicks reach 6 or 8 weeks of age, feed them a "finisher" diet (to broilers) or a "developer" diet (to pullets or cockerels saved for breeding purposes). Feed broilers a finisher diet until they reach slaughter size. Feed the pullets and cockerels a developer until they are at least 20 weeks of age. When egg production starts, feed them a "layer" ration until egg production ends.
    The minimum requirements for protein, calcium, and phosphorus in poultry feeds are shown. Remember, chickens saved for egg production are fed pullet-type diets, not broiler diets, regardless of being from broiler or egg-type stock.

    Starter (0-8 weeks)
    Developer (8 to 20 weeks)
    Laying Hens
    eggiefarmer likes this.
  7. ChickenTeen13

    ChickenTeen13 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 28, 2012
    I found a soft shelled egg tonight. My chickens are a little over 5 months old and have been laying for 2 weeks. We have a small coop and the roosts are only like an inch off the ground so the chickens tend to sleep in their nest boxes. I was trying to move them onto the roosts when one of them layed a soft shelled egg. I think I scared it out of her. She had already laid an egg in the morning so i assumed the soft egg was just underdeveloped. I give them oyster shells and they free range most of the day so I dont think it was a problem with the diet.
  8. Chazwork

    Chazwork Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 21, 2012
    I had the same question about softshell eggs. We have 6 layers so I don't know who is droping the softy which occurs about once a week since they started laying. Got our chickens in July, Got our first egg on thanksgiving day. We are getting 3 to 5 eggs a day. Can one use the soft egg? I let our dogs have it.

    Good to know about the eggshells, we were going to use them in the garden but I don't want to encourage the chickens getting in there during the growing season.Thanks For the info.
  9. turkey lover

    turkey lover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2013
    does any one know how a egg get a Bactria in it ,i have read about some in an incubator but no one says how the eggs gets it
  10. Karena

    Karena New Egg

    Apr 22, 2013
    Thanks for the info on the soft shells. I am feeding oyster shell. Had a soft one today --second one--tomorrow is another day--only one chicken laying so far. Can't wait for the rest to start laying!!! K

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