While collecting eggs yesterday my husband found some weird ones in the nests. They were not very big and they were totally soft. Now we give our girls oyster shells they can eat as they want so we knew that was not the issue, so I went to look in the recent Chicken magazine by Hobby Farms as they just had something on this. The article said it could be numerous things like lack of calcium but it says this is cured by the oyster shells), it could be from newly laying hens (possibility), they said old hens do this also (we only have young hens), or it could have happened while the chicken was laying and got scared by a loud noise or other disturbance (possibility). So we had 2 of these and figure it may have happened before as we have found remnants of egg in the box with no distinct shell pieces. We are going to keep an eye out on this. If any of you have any ideas please share.
In better news today is a nicer day out.
The chickens are sure enjoying foraging after the rain…
The dogs are loving the nicer weather to play outside in.
We have also occasionally had soft shell eggs. Best to remove them asap before the hens crack them open and get a taste for eggs which can happen. It seems to be one of those things that can happen, then not happen again for ages. We also put down the oyster shell but of course you cannot guarantee that each hen is actually eating some. Do you feed them cooked vegetable trimmings aswell? Ours love cabbage leaves, and potato peelings but they have to be cooked and cooled first. I shouldn’t worry about the soft shell eggs too much, it will probably just pass.
Good to know. We try to check multiple times a day, but some days we are at work and there is about 4-6 hours where we can’t check about 3 days a week. Yes we also feed them vegtables. I read they like them and remember my family doing this when I was a kid. I fear we have had a couple cracked ones and worry some of them have tasted that. I hope it will pass.. fingers crossed. Thanks for the input and advice I apperciate it. 🙂
I’ve had the same thing as you – two weird soft shelled eggs when I give the girls grit/oyster shell. As there seem to be so many weird causes, I’ve decided to not worry for now but keep an eye on things.
My girls are still quite young so I wonder if it’s just them getting their body’s used to laying. One of the mysteries of chickens!
I also heard that it is common in young and then old layers. I am going to do the same thing, not worry, but keep an eye on things. Thanks for the input 🙂
Our girls are still too young to start laying but it is interesting to hear about the “what can happen” before they really happen.
So glad to help and prepare you. It’s wierd when it happens, but from what I can tell it’s not a huge bad thing.
My hens just started laying yesterday so I have absolutely zero advice from experience but I guess I’ve read the same things you have. When you have real layers it’s all about eat, eat, eat for them to be able to stay healthy and produce sturdy eggs.
One thing I do (or don’t do) is, when I let them out of the coop in the morning, I leave them alone for a while. They immediately start eating their feed (which is a high-protein layer mix and includes grit and calcium) even though they’ve had access to it before I open the door. That openning and letting them out seems to trigger their breakfast instincts. I leave them alone until this feeding frenzy is over. I figure this is when they are really stocking up on the calories they need. (I’ve noticed the same thing at night – they tend to eat like crazy just before heading to where they sleep). After they’ve settled down and go around scratching and investigating I introduce treats. When they get a treat, they eat like mad again.
By avoiding giving them treats right away I hope this means they are eating more than otherwise.
3 eggs so far – no soft shells. But I’m on alert. Thanks for sharing your experiences and providing a spot for us all to bounce ideas off each other.
No problem I am glad for the feedback and a place for us all to learn from each other 🙂
Rats, I keep doing that, My last post was from my writing account, not my garden account. My ID should have been http://laurarittenhouse.wordpress.com/ – feel free to update that one and delete this one.
See ya ’round the blogosphere.
Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment today! It’s nice to meet another blogger who likes chickens 🙂 My “girls” look a lot like your “girls”!
I’m currently trying to train mine to go in the coop by themselves–and stay there! No luck yet. They’ve only been outside for two weeks, and just recently learned how to climb the ladder. Just when I think they are going to stay in, they come back out, and I end up catching them and putting them to bed manually. They don’t seem to especially like their coop for some reason.
They will get use to it. We kept ours in a run by their coop till they started going in at night by themselves. It only took a couple days they seem to feel safe there. They will get it 🙂 Thanks for stopping by I look forward to further posts and comments 🙂
Just found your blog from your nice comment on mine (thank you!), and indeed it is nice to see someone else enjoying her chickens. We occasionally get the soft shelled egg and I find them fascinating. I assume someone just wasn’t getting enough calcium. Although we provide them with the occasional oyster shell supplement, I was totally surprised last summer to see how the chickens reacted when I accidentally dropped some shells from the beach on the driveway-they went nuts for it! I couldn’t believe how the gobbled up the smashed shell (they’re never that interested in the stuff I get from the bag)
How interesting they wanted the ones you dropped. I will have to get some from my mom when we go to her place by the beach. Thanks for the idea 🙂
My husband and I are thinking about getting chickens, do you have a lot of problems with snakes coming for the eggs? This is my biggest concern-I hate snakes!
You can sometimes, it sucks I just make sure i have gloves and my dog with me and you can usually scare them out (Or I run for my husband to get it out). We also use snake repelent on the outside of the fense where the chickens can not get to and the dog smell usually keeps them out of the inside.
Just collected a soft shell egg like that the other day. I wonder if it has anything to do with time of year and starting to lay more often with more sunlight or if it is just a fluke…. Definitely a mess to avoid!
I read they can come form new or old layers, ones who don’t have enough calcium, or happen if they are scared while laying. I guess the weather and season change could also affect them. I think sometimes it is just a fluke. I agree is is a mess to avoid. Thanks for the comment.