Wow. And all I wanted to know was how to STOP egg production.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by InTheJungle, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. InTheJungle

    InTheJungle In the Brooder

    Jun 10, 2012
    We'll, I'm back after avoiding the group for what? A good year now? Anyway, we tragically lost our beloved rooster Reggie this past summer. He jumped up on my son's shoulders, slipped off or was shaken off and broke his neck by the time he hit the ground. I carried him around and cried for several hours before letting my partner bury him.

    Anyway, the reason for my post, my girls...... Btw I tried hatching the last dozen eggs or so from before he passed and they looked great, veins and everything, but I have this curse on me that any eggs I really really want to hatch all die. So no Reggie Jr. For me. I was so upset that I let the eggs in the incubate ran extra month, yes on, and they oozed! They literally had gunk sweating from tiny pores in the shells! I have never seen that happen, ever.

    So any ways, my two red stars, my white leghorn and my tetra tint leghorn (especially the white) are laying very thin shelled eggs lately.. They are fed blue seal flock maintainer and late a with omega 3 essential fatty acids added, wild birdseed, grit, oyster shell, and tons of grass from mowing the yard. Oh and I forgot to add bread and their own hard boiled eggs since we get 4 daily, we give at least that many back, and if I remember, dried meal worms and left overs from my poor excuse of a garden.

    Am I doing something wrong? They lay huge eggs and sometimes the ends are transparent, sometimes when picked up our fingers go right through the shells.

    Is this a virus?

    Is there a way to stop them from laying and take a break this fall and winter? The eggs always freeze and split open in winter anyway.

    My two ducks actually stopped laying towards the end of August, so why don't these ladies have a shut off time?

    They are in an 8x16 run with a covered top, a covered hideaway, and a small maybe 24" x 24" cube that they lay their eggs in. We made it for a stray cat that adopted us, that is now an inside cat. They get fresh food daily, and they have two water founts, that get cleaned and refilled daily, though the metal one is rusted inside which ticks me off because I paid an arm and a leg for it last fall. Supposed to be galvanized steel with the double tower/cover. I think I might invest in that heated 3 gal plastic one. The steel on is 3 gal and my plastic one is one gal, they sit side by side on a heated heavy duty dog crate/kennel pad.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    This article tells you some possible causes of thin-shelled eggs. It’s pointed more toward commercial operations but I think it’s pretty good.

    I don’t know how many total hens you have and whether all of them or just a few have this problem. If it is your entire flock, then it needs to be looked at as a flock problem, not an individual problem. A flock problem could be a disease or they are not getting enough calcium.

    I assume you are offering the oyster shell on the side so they can regulate how much they eat instead of you trying to micromanage that by mixing it with their feed? Most hens seem to instinctively know how much calcium they need and do a pretty good job of regulating that, but occasionally you get one that does not have real good instincts.

    Good luck with this. This can be frustrating.

    It sounds like your hens are more than a year old. If you are in the northern hemisphere, they should go into molt and stop laying as the days get shorter if you don’t provide supplemental light. Them molting is the only way I know of to stop production.
  3. boyswillbeboys

    boyswillbeboys Songster

    Apr 19, 2013
    Do not offer supplemental light, the shorter days in the winter should at least help decrease the number of eggs they lay.
    I think it would be good to free choice oyster shell as well, as it works both as grit and calcium, also are you feeding the shells back to them?
  4. InTheJungle

    InTheJungle In the Brooder

    Jun 10, 2012
    4 hens total, and 2 female mallards. Hard boiled eggs are crushed with shells and yeah we mix the oyster shell with the food. Is that the issue? It looks more like a white grit than shell. I can add a small animal feeder inside the hideaway for the oyster shell.

    They are 1 1/2 years old. You should have seen me cry (I'm 37) when I had to give up my two CCx Roos last summer. My profile pic is one of them. I thought they were hens, but I was wrong. My favorite would crawl right into my lap, and steal my chair.

    We had no trouble with no coop last winter, yes northern hemisphere, Pennsylvania USA . I have a partially built coop. This is round two. The first one was insulated but started to rot before we got a roof on it. I think I have pictures in a file here. I just have no money to finish this time. But the chickens will not go hungry.

    Still seems like clockwork, one egg a day from each of the 4 chickens.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by