Eggs with no shells

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

QI have two hens, by all ap­pear­ances ap­par­ently healthy. They are good friends (no squab­bling) and both only two years old. How­ever, there have been no eggs for these past sev­eral months. Rather, shall I say - there have been eggs laid but no shells. I am quite des­per­ate for a so­lu­tion and so would wel­come ad­vice. They live well in ex­cel­lent con­di­tion and other­wise seem happy.

AJeremy Hob­son says: By say­ing ‘no shells’, I’m pre­sum­ing that you mean they have no hard egg shell and that the yolk and al­bu­men is held to­gether by a sort of soft, rub­bery cas­ing.

As­sum­ing that to be the case, quite of­ten ‘soft-shelled’ (as op­posed to thin-shelled) eggs like these oc­cur when hens are go­ing out of lay (into the moult, for ex­am­ple). Good lay­ers are the most sus­cep­ti­ble. The rea­son that they oc­cur is be­cause the egg de­scends through the oviduct so quickly that there is in­suf­fi­cient time for the se­cre­tion and de­po­si­tion of shell to take place… al­though on rare oc­ca­sions it may be that a par­tic­u­lar bird’s shell gland is not func­tion­ing nor­mally.

An­other pos­si­bil­ity could be in­suf­fi­cient shell­form­ing ma­te­rial or cal­cium ab­sorp­tion prob­lems, or in­suf­fi­cient pro­tein in the food. If your two chick­ens are fed cor­rectly bal­anced feed and have cal­cium in the form of crushed oys­ter­shell, there shouldn’t be any de­fi­ciency on ei­ther of those counts, but they also need vi­ta­min D and a proper bal­ance of other vitamins so they can process the cal­cium.

As your birds are ob­vi­ously well, it’s ex­tremely un­likely that in­fec­tious bron­chi­tis might be an is­sue – but it can be a cause of soft-shelled or no-shelled eggs. Stress and/or shock can some­times cause soft-shelled eggs.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.