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soft shelled eggs - is it an age thing?

(8 Posts)
plantwoman Tue 08-Sep-09 13:52:20

One of my hens has started laying eggs with shells so soft that they collapse as soon as you pick them up, and thats if she hasn't already squashed it.
Her diet is the same as my others and their eggs are fine, so I am assuming it is not a lack of grit.
Could it be her age? She is quite old now (I was given her by a farmer who didn't want her anymore as her laying was slowing down)

LittleB Tue 08-Sep-09 14:18:23

One of my chickens went through a phase of laying thin shelled eggs, but she's a young chicken. I baked some egg shells and crushed them and mixed with the pellets and this seemed to help, this is in addition to the grit they have. She also laid thin shelled eggs when she had a cold (she had a anti biotic injection which sorted her out). So it could be a need for more calcium or she could be a bt under the weather. Apple cider vinegar is suuposed to help with calcium absorption too so it might be worth giving them some of that. Mine get it for the first week of every month - a teaspoonful in their water.

plantwoman Tue 08-Sep-09 16:20:54

I have tried apple cider vinegar in the past,as a sort of pick me up, but don't have any at the moment, I'll get some and see if it sorts her out - thanks

nickelbabe Tue 08-Sep-09 16:25:41

it might be that she's not taking all the food.
but if she's really old, then it might be that too.
we've got an ex-batt who consistently lays soft-shells (if any eggs at all).

if she's healthy in her self, i wouldn't worry too much, but do try to feed her extra calcium (in the form of live yoghurt and milk grin ) just in case (it won't be nice if she gets eggbound eg).

defo do the ACV thing that littleb suggested.

ps: if the shell is still present, but just moves when you touch it, you can still eat the egg!

plantwoman Tue 08-Sep-09 17:00:56

Thanks - The only dairy food they get is the odd bit of milk that gets thrown in with the kids left over cereal. Perhaps I'll give a little bedtime drink grin

PurpleEgluggedblood Fri 09-Oct-09 21:50:58

I know this is quite old, but you could try adding limeston flour to her diet. It makes the calcium easier to absorb. I had this problem with one of mine and it soon sorted it out.

bramblebooks Fri 09-Oct-09 22:27:10

Is she going into moult? They can do odd eggs when they start to moult. Try limestone flour, or bake egg shells in the oven at over 170deg then crush them well so they don't resemble eggs (you don't want to start them eating their own eggs!).

Or she could just be going into henopause, bless her.

RacingSnake Thu 15-Oct-09 16:39:46

Of course you can eat these soft-shelled eggs. I grew up on a chicken farm and we used to sell bags of these eggs. We used to say that it was young hens which laid them most often, but young, old or moulting, it is obviously a sign of something going wrong with the shell-laying on mechanism.

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