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    • CommentAuthorFaye
    • CommentTimeMar 21st, 2012 10:56pm (Mar 21st 2012)
    Hello all, and thanks for having me on board.
    One of my 2 year old Lohmann lite chickens has for the last 6 weeks been laying eggs with either a soft sort of leathery egg shell or a partial hard/soft egg shell. I suspect she may have infectious bronchitis but she shows no other signs of 'unwellness' and nor to her two other 'coop' buddies. Just their usual happy free range chickeny selves. I have done the adding more oyster grit thing to see if I can up the calcium intake to no effect and am wondering if there is something else I can do to get her to be well again and give me 'good' eggs. Look forward to a magical fix or if not just a bit of advice. Thanks all.
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd, 2012 11:12am (Mar 22nd 2012) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    :welcome: Faye!

    Hmm, that's odd! Couple things to consider...

    Loud / sudden noises can contribute to the number of soft shelled eggs. If the coop is in a noisy part of the garden, if you've been having lots of thunder storms or building work done...even a dog barking or sudden rain showers! They could all be reason enough.

    Are they in moult, or have they just moulted? Have they just started laying after winter?

    Hot weather can also lead to more soft shelled eggs, especially if it's a sudden change in weather.

    Lack of calcium, but as you've provided them with oyster grit it shouldn't be this - chickens are very good at self-regulating and using the calcium if they need it. Do they get a lot of treats? That can lower their overall % of calcium. Are they eating the oyster grit? You could try feeding them high-calcium treats such as yoghurt or grated cheese.

    Is it definitely just one girl laying the soft shelled eggs? Infectious Bronchitis would affect all of them; egg production would suddenly drop and often there will be wheezing & sneezing. However there are strains which affect just the reproductive tract, so there would be no respiratory symptoms...all the girls would be affected though.

    It can take a couple of weeks for the diet changes to have effect, so if that hasn't passed wait a while longer. Otherwise all I can suggest is a trip to the vet; try asking around for one that has experience with chickens, otherwise they're worse than useless! :smile:

    Good luck, let us know how she gets on!
    • CommentAuthorFaye
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd, 2012 7:47am (Mar 23rd 2012)
    Thanks Red, There have been quite a few feathers a-floating, we have just about finished a revolting wet and cloudy summer here, (I live in Mangawhai, north of Auckland in New Zealand)- there is nothing that has changed for my gals since they moved in they all seem very relaxed as per normal, happy to hear me sing the chicken song every day etc etc. (They're a great audience!) I've been keeping a very beady eye on them of late to check out symptoms and other than this really annoying icky egg habit thing they seem just dandy. I'll up the calcium though and try the yoghurt and cheese too, and let you know how I get on. Haere Ra. Faye
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd, 2012 11:34am (Mar 23rd 2012) edited
    Gosh Faye, I am amazed at how far Hencam is spreading!
    Such a wonderful community of very friendly and polite folks. Not all of us have hens even! We just learn so much about these wonderful birds that, up to coming here, I had considered pretty boring...

    Have a look at Googlemapdirectory" at the top of every page to see where we all are. Maybe you would you like to put your pin on too?
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd, 2012 5:52pm (Mar 23rd 2012)
    Welcome, Faye - hope you find the answer soon!
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd, 2012 11:22pm (Mar 23rd 2012)

    Keeper of the hens

    Here's hoping the extra calcium works :)

    The fact they are acting happy, healthy and normal is a very positive sign!
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeApr 26th, 2014 4:47pm (Apr 26th 2014)
    Young Nugget has begun to lay, but they're soft shelled eggs. Is this something she'll get right as she grows older d'you think? They're eating the soft ones and we're having the hard ones!
    • CommentTimeApr 26th, 2014 7:39pm (Apr 26th 2014)

    Keeper of the hens

    Yes, soft shelled eggs are common in just begun laying hens, and at the start and end of the laying period. After some practice she should start laying 'proper' eggs.

    I remember one time Tilly stood on a soft shelled egg and was wearing the rubbery casing as a slipper...hilarious :rolling:
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeApr 27th, 2014 8:22pm (Apr 27th 2014)
    Posted By: Red Tilly stood on a soft shelled egg and was wearing the rubbery casing as a slipper...hilarious

    I'd have paid good money to see that; did you take a pic?
    • CommentTimeApr 28th, 2014 3:36pm (Apr 28th 2014)

    Keeper of the hens

    Nah, I didn't have a camera...chickens always do the funniest things when a camera isn't available :smile:
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeApr 28th, 2014 4:45pm (Apr 28th 2014)
    Another soft shelled one today. But on cleaning out the rabbit hutch, I find the rabbits have laid four perfect hard-shelled ones, so that's all right...
    • CommentTimeApr 28th, 2014 8:53pm (Apr 28th 2014)
    You have such clever rabbits!,
    • CommentAuthorTrevs Mum
    • CommentTimeMay 14th, 2014 4:38am (May 14th 2014)
    Ha ha ha ha:rolling::lol::hurray::rolling: