Featured Weak egg shell

Discussion in 'Emergencies, Illness, Meds & Cures' started by clucklucky, Jul 29, 2017.

  1. clucklucky

    clucklucky New Member

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    I have three ISA Brown hens. They were about 5 months old when I got them in December 2015, which means they're around 2 years old now.

    One in particular (her name is Subway) has always seemed a little more "fragile" than the others. She loves attention, loves to gently peck at my clothes or hair for hours if I'd let her, and is okay with being held. Unlike the others, she doesn't run unless she's being chased (or has been left behind), and she sometimes perches 6-12" up, but prefers to stay on the ground. She always sleeps in the nesting box, and the others sometimes do it too.

    Today, in the late afternoon, she was out in their run. She walked slowly, didn't move around much or seem very interested. After a while she pooped something strange and it took a while before I realised it was an egg with little/no shell [attached]. I shut the others out of the run so she could eat it in peace. She eventually ate most of the yolk, but took at least 30 seconds of blank staring between each peck. Meanwhile the others were desperate to get at it.
    It's starting to get dark and she's the first one to walk herself up into the coop.

    Some time in the past few days, someone laid an egg in the nesting box that had a shell, but was so weak that it crumbled when I went to pick it up, and I now suspect that it was her. In the past all of their eggs have had strong shells.

    Their feed hasn't changed - they get a layer's mix of pellets, sunflower seeds, and assorted seeds. You can see a pile of this feed in the pic.

    Is this something to worry about? Should I look into calcium supplements? Protein? Could there be some underlying issue?
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    ImageUploadedByChicken Forum1501323195.948337.jpg
     
  2. robin416

    robin416 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There could be several causes for soft or missing shells. If she just came out of a molt, soft eggs will show up when they go back to laying. Heat can be throwing her system off.

    I would go ahead and start her on the supplements. It won't hurt anything and if she is having a problem this could get her back on track.
     
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  3. Nm156

    Nm156 Active Member

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    As chickens get older their shell quality declines. ISA lines lay lots of eggs and will start to become what is referred to as "spent" at around 2 y/o. I have an 2 1/2 ISA brown who has laid over 450 jumbo eggs and still lays ,but most of them are always broke in the box.
     
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  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind SuperModerator Staff Member

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    I would agree and give her supplements. I just hope it doesn't lead anyone to egg eating.
     
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  5. clucklucky

    clucklucky New Member

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    @Nm156 I don't care if she continue to lay or not, I just want her to be healthy. Is your ISA otherwise affected by her age/eggs?
     
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  6. robin416

    robin416 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    When a hen begins to struggle with egg laying due to a physical shortcoming there is little you can do other than spaying. Try the calci boost for goats, add D3 and things just might go along for her for some time.

    I have old hens, hens that stopped laying because they went through basically a menopause. They made that transition smoothly. Those are my birds like the one in my avatar. One is over 11 years old now. Two are still laying at 8 years old. These are not hatchery birds.

    But my hatchery egg layers started to have issues by the time they were a year and a half old. They both died before their third B'days and it was egg related.
     
  7. Nm156

    Nm156 Active Member

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    She lays an egg almost every day,although they almost always break.Eventually she'll have ELRS (egg laying related symptoms) and have to be culled.
     
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  8. Maryellen

    Maryellen Active Member

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    My hatchery birds are all gone but one now, and she doesn't lay anymore and is 4 ,which is old for hatchery birds. My breeder birds a bunch are over 5 and still lay but not like hatchery ones. They are bred to lay alot until 2 and then they usually die by 3:(

    Give supplements and spoil her

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