Why would she suddenly start laying soft shelled eggs?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by binza1979, May 14, 2011.

  1. binza1979

    binza1979 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a one year old RIR that has been our best egg layer. She rarely misses a day. Over the last two weeks I noticed a reduction in her production...less than half of what she was laying. The last 3 eggs that I have found remnants of have been soft shelled and the girls helped themselves to the innards.

    There hasn't been a change in feed. She has free choice oyster shell. We did introduce 6 new pullets to the flock about a month ago, but they all seem to be getting along just fine. The RIR is 2nd in the pecking order (from what I can tell).

    Any ideas?
     
  2. binza1979

    binza1979 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I made me some eggs for lunch and used one of my RIR's eggs. It was probably 2 or so weeks old. The shell was PAPER THIN. I am actually surprised that it didn't break when I cleaned it off. I'm worried about my RIR. She is one of the sweetest and most friendly of the whole flock.
     
  3. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    What brand of layer do you use?
     
  4. binza1979

    binza1979 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is made locally. IFA. It is what she has been eating since she started laying. She also has access to lots of grass and table/garden scraps.
     
  5. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    A lot of extra food besides the layer ration will dilute the calcium uptake % in a hen.
    You could try to mix some oyster shell directly in with her feed for awhile so she gets a little extra.
    A few of us have been experiencing soft shell problems, and one BYCer found a vitamin D3 supplement that, when added to her flock's water supply, completely solved her shell problems. I just ordered some but haven't received it yet.
    This is the only place I could find this at:
    http://www.meyerhatchery.com/productinfo.a5w?session.category=Poultry Supplies&grd_prodone_filter=PRODUCT%5fID%20%3d%20%271030%27
    It is a little pricey, but you only put a few drops into a gallon of water, so it should last a really long time.
    Hope this helps you. [​IMG]
     
  6. willkatdawson

    willkatdawson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    Ga
    I feed mine Purena Layena, but they free range all day, so they really don't eat much feed at all. I fill up the feeder about 1x a month for 13 chickens. Their shells are really paper thin, but the chickens look super healthy. Maybe they just don't get enough cal. I do have free choice oyster shells for them too. Do you chickens free range too.
     
  7. binza1979

    binza1979 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She doesn't free range, but gets lots of grass, clover, and other weeds from around the yard. There is a "salad bar" in the run where she can eat all the grass she wants. She looks super healthy. I'll try to make sure she gets more calcium. Thanks for all the advice.
     
  8. zoo357

    zoo357 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had that happen with our App's (our others are too small to lay). Their eggs were so soft my finger went right into one. We feed the Layena as well but we started adding a little oyster shell to their feed and it has made a vast improvement on their egg shells. They are in tractor coops which get moved and also get to free range when we are outside. We only give them the oyster shell every other day or so.
     
  9. EquestrianGal

    EquestrianGal Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2011
    I have been having the same problem with my red (who I think is actually a production red, not a true RIR). We have free choice oyster shell, as well as some mixed into our feed.

    I freaked myself out by doing research and coming across Egg Drop Syndrome, but eliminated that b/c there was no way she could have contracted it. I have been talking to our local extension office, as well, but he seems to think it is just her being a poor layer. (she has been a great layer prior to this, but I heard from one person that production reds sometimes burn out after just a couple years--although I don't know if there is any truth in that).

    I might try the D3. Thanks for sharing that tip!
     
  10. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    Quite a few of us BYCers had a thread going regarding soft-shelled eggs that we were all experiencing. The only thing we had in common was we were all feeding our chickens Layena, but that is not binza's issue. I compared Layena against Du-mor, the brand I was previously using, and the Layena had a lower calcium % in their feed.
    I am going to check what our local feed store carries, but otherwise, I will be going back to the Du-mor layer ration, since I had experienced no problems with my eggs when the girls were on that.
    It might be that they are producing lesser quality feed in the Layena to save money. They might have cut back in the Du-mor also, I don't know. It may just be because my girls are getting older & are no longer in their prime, or it could be a hereditary defect in their genes/bad stock. Or that they aren't getting enough calcium despite my best efforts. One thing that does stand out is that there seems to be way more complaints about soft-shelled eggs than ever before around here. But that could also be due to more people on this sight than ever before too? I don't know for sure.
    EquestrianGal, reds have been known to burn out after only a few years, but I sure hope it isn't 2, which is how old mine just turned. Fingers crossed! [​IMG]
     

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