One bird laying thin eggshells

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Henrietta
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One bird laying thin eggshells

Post by Henrietta » Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:02 pm

Hello,
Have looked all over for advice about this. I have a lovely bird - a bluebell hybrid and an excellent layer until recently but over the past few weeks her shells have got thinner and thinner and are now nearly always broken at the point of lay. All my birds are fine. I have ensured good balanced diet, they have access to grit etc. This bird is about 18mths old and is a huge healthy specimen as far as I can see. Not an "old" bird. Any ideas? Concerned that if they get thinner I may get problem with internal breakage.
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chrismahon
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Re: One bird laying thin eggshells

Post by chrismahon » Mon Sep 28, 2015 1:58 pm

Hi Henrietta and welcome to the forum. Our Bluebell went exactly the same way unfortunately. As well as Calcium the hen needs some Phosphorous and vitamin D. These are required in the process of taking Calcium from storage in the bones and moving it to the oviduct to coat the egg. Phosphorous should be in the feed already and vitamin D comes from exposure to sunlight. There is a product called Zolcal D which is sometimes given by vets to hens with this problem- I have no idea how effective it is. You could also try Nettex mineral powder, which has phosphorous and extra Calcium and a 0.5mL single shot of Cod Liver oil for vitamin D. Problem is it may simply be her coming to the end of laying or her own internal issue so these things may not work. You are quite right to worry about a broken eggshell inside her, but many birds lay regular 'softies' without any issues at all- we've got one laying two eggs in a day every two days. The first egg has a good hard shell but could be laid anyway, the second has a soft shell and appears several hours later, usually dropped off the perch. We got upset by the mess left in the nest box by our Bluebell every day and of course egg eating may become an issue with her or the other hens, a habit (when established) which can be difficult to cure.
Henrietta
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Re: One bird laying thin eggshells

Post by Henrietta » Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:03 pm

Thanks very much for this - it does seem like Bluebells are prone to this from what you say. I think it may be a vet job to see if they can give something which will perk her eggs up.......I wouldn't like her to end her days with an internal breakage problem. I do remove the broken egg as soon as possible.....and so far the other girls don't seem to have put two and two together to start breaking others. Much appreciated. Will let the forum know if anything works.
Icemaiden
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Re: One bird laying thin eggshells

Post by Icemaiden » Thu Oct 01, 2015 9:55 pm

Hi Henrietta,
Do try the Nettex mineral powder before you put your hen through the upheaval of a trip to the vet.
I've had great results with it in the same circumstances and swear by it. It's also much cheaper than a vet's bill!
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
Henrietta
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Re: One bird laying thin eggshells

Post by Henrietta » Mon Oct 26, 2015 11:23 am

Just to say that I have appreciated the replies. I talked to my vet who was helpful in suggesting that she didn't have a magic solution to this issue and suggested a supplement. I bought "Enhance" which was the one sold by my local poultry supplies and have added the smallest amount to the flocks water. The results were positive and Bluebell laid some fully formed eggs! As soon as I stopped the additive her eggs reverted and were broken in the coop again. So I think I will need to see this as a long term investment. Does anyone know if there are problems if the supplement is added long term?
antonis
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Re: One bird laying thin eggshells

Post by antonis » Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:04 pm

Hi Henrietta,
I think that your bird needs to rest, until the hours of the day start to augment again. At 18mths Naturally there is fatigue in the body is expressed in different ways and different in each bird. You must let the hen to change feather normaly. You must change the nutrition by trying to stop the egg production and to start again in 3-4 months when the hen is stronger and healthier.
Icemaiden
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Re: One bird laying thin eggshells

Post by Icemaiden » Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:42 am

Hi Henrietta. If the supplement isn't OK to be used continually, it'll say so on the container. (With Nettex mineral powder you give it a break every four weeks, I seem to recall.) Re. egg laying you'll probably find that at 18 months your Bluebelle will take some time off laying this winter anyway, if she hasn't already. As Antonis has suggested, this'll give her body a rest ready for the next laying season (i.e when the days start to get longer again). Do keep us posted...
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
Henrietta
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Re: One bird laying thin eggshells

Post by Henrietta » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:06 pm

Sorry I haven't updated again. Bluebell stopped laying fairly soon after the last comment. Her eggshells improved with the calcium supplement but it was heading towards autumn and I was hoping she would soon have a rest from laying. She did......and then just before Christmas she had the most extraordinary moult that I have ever witnessed. From information gained in research, I understand it is "normal" although not usual for such a dramatic loss of feathers. I think they refer to chickens who go through this as "oven ready".......and she certainly looked it. Thank goodness she has just managed to get sufficient feathers back to go through this cold snap!! Will see what her eggs are like when the days get longer and warmer and hopefully she will start again.

thanks to all for their helpful input.
Icemaiden
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Re: One bird laying thin eggshells

Post by Icemaiden » Sat Jan 23, 2016 1:27 am

Hi Henrietta.
A rapid moult such as you've described is indicative of your Bluebelle being a good layer. When Heidi, my utility Light Sussex moults, the run looks like an explosion in a duvet factory for a few days!!

Hopefully your hen will lay eggs with better shells when she restarts. I'd still keep up with the mineral supplement though.
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
Henrietta
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Re: One bird laying thin eggshells

Post by Henrietta » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:36 pm

Brilliant! Thanks Icemaiden.....didn't know about the rapid moult and egg laying!! Excellent. All replies have been really helpful and I am keeping up with the mineral supplement through the winter even though none of my girls are laying.
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