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Really, really soft egg shell...............

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Really, really soft egg shell...............

Post by backtotheland on Sun Jun 16, 2013 6:35 pm

I found an egg on the coop floor last evening that was perfectly formed and soft and squish. Does this mean that my girls need more calcium? I've never had this happen before.

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Re: Really, really soft egg shell...............

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:11 pm

that sounds like a lack of minerals in the diet, but since I do not have chickens lets wait for the others to chime in.  I have read that calcium (ground shells, and other minerals should be offered in a separate feeder at all times for best egg laying results.

Another thought...just one egg out of how many?? and have you found any more? could just be a fluke.

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Re: Really, really soft egg shell...............

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:23 am

I've had the same thing happen before. Yes you need to add an extra calcium source for them such as dried crushed egg shells or crushed shells from seafood. I find it easiest to buy the bag of crushed oyster shells from the feedstore and add a scoop to the girls daily feed along with a scoop of grit.
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Re: Really, really soft egg shell...............

Post by Farmfresh on Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:06 am

Adding the extra calcium is a good idea, but sometimes that is not really the problem.  Often a young or older hen will lay an egg like that.  It is just the reproductive system going wonky for a bit.  If you continue to have those eggs it would be best to identify who is laying them and cull her.  A soft egg like that can train other hens to start eating eggs if they set on it and it breaks.

Double yolk eggs are also caused by a wonky reproductive system.  Same deal there often a hen just starting laying eggs or at the end of their cycle.
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Re: Really, really soft egg shell...............

Post by Sonshine on Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:12 am

FF, that's what I was thinking.  When my girls first started laying we had several with soft shells and some that were so tiny they looked like my doves had layed them.

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Re: Really, really soft egg shell...............

Post by PATRICE IN IL on Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:16 am

I actually had one hen lay an egg with a full shell inside of the full shell outside, it was huge compared to the regular size eggs. I felt sorry for the poor girl who had to push that thing out, it had to hurt terribly.
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Re: Really, really soft egg shell...............

Post by backtotheland on Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:43 pm

Thanks my friends. It only happened once and it was the night I collected 15 eggs. I'm going to get them a bag of calcium and a bag of grit at the feed store.

Does anyone know how to tell which hens are laying and which ones aren't? I'm only getting about nine or ten eggs a day (not that I'm complaining) out of 20 hens and I know the big white fluffy ones are about three years old so I know they will get culled out this fall.

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Re: Really, really soft egg shell...............

Post by Farmfresh on Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:38 pm

There are several things to look for, but the easiest way to tell ... at least for me is to pick the hen up and feel for her pubic bones.  A non laying hen will have barely enough room to place your finger between those bones at the vent.  A hen that is currently laying, like a pregnant woman, has a spread to those bones.  You can fit two or even three fingers between them and the whole area is soft and supple.
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Re: Really, really soft egg shell...............

Post by backtotheland on Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:56 am

Thanks FF. I will see if I can get my friend Joan to help me with this or even the guy who sold me the chickens will help me. He's a great friend. He's already brought me two loads of wood chips for my garden.

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Re: Really, really soft egg shell...............

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