So­lu­tions to soft-shelled eggs

Your Chickens - - Feature | Wellbeing -

MOST CHICKEN own­ers will have come across soft-shelled eggs at one time or an­other. You go to col­lect your clever chick­ens’ eggs and as you pick one up it breaks in your hand be­cause the shell was so thin. Om­let, which sells a range of fan­tas­tic coops, ac­ces­sories and healthre­lated prod­ucts for chick­ens, has some ad­vice on what to do if you en­counter this prob­lem.

“Hy­brid chick­ens tend to lay more soft shelled eggs than other breeds of chicken. The odd soft-shelled egg is noth­ing to worry about and is fairly com­mon,” says Jo­hannes Paul, di­rec­tor at Om­let. “How­ever, if one of your chick­ens is reg­u­larly lay­ing a soft or shell-less egg then there may be some­thing wrong with her diet.

“The most com­mon rea­son for soft-shelled eggs is a lack of cal­cium — 95% of an egg shell is made from cal­cium, so it is very im­por­tant that your chick­ens have lots in their diet,” con­tin­ues Jo­hannes. “You can en­sure that this is the case by giv­ing them grit con­tain­ing oys­ter shells. If you have a con­stant sup­ply out for them to peck at, then your chick­ens should eat the amount they re­quire.

“If you have been feed­ing your hens a few too many treats, this could also be the rea­son, as the more treats you feed your hens, the less they will eat their lay­ers’ pel­lets, which is where they ob­tain all their im­por­tant pro­tein and cal­cium from and which is so es­sen­tial for their well­be­ing.

“Soft-shelled eggs can be a sign of stress from other un­der­ly­ing health prob­lems, such as par­a­sites or dis­eases. There­fore, if adding more cal­cium to their diet and feed­ing them less treats doesn’t work, keep a watch­ful eye on the hen(s) to try and fig­ure out what else could be caus­ing the prob­lem.” For more in­for­ma­tion on Om­let, visit www. om­

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