Weird Egg

Weird Egg

weird green shell-less egg from an Easter Egger chicken

Have you ever gotten a weird egg? The first time we got one, it sure seemed bizarre.  If you keep chickens long enough, you are bound to eventually get one, too.   My neighbor came over and asked me last week “Why is her Easter Egger laying shell less eggs?”  She is not the crazy chicken lady that I am, and has yet to read every chicken book she could get her hands on.  This was her first chicken to lay shell less eggs and she was worried there could be something wrong.  I took a picture of the egg of course.  It had the consistency of a water balloon, but the feel of dry skin.  The common causes of shell-less eggs include the following:

  • A young pullet just starting to lay whose system isn’t completely functional yet, might initially lay a few.  It usually corrects itself within a few eggs.
  • Insufficient calcium.  Chickens need a lot of calcium to create good, hard shells.  Give the chickens layer feed and offer free choice oyster shell or crushed egg shell.
  • Stress or a sudden disturbance.  My son, J, found this one out the hard way.  He accidentally freaked out a hen when trying to pick her up and out popped a shell less egg.
  • Lack of vitamin D due to little or no sun light exposure. With backyard chickens, which normally get plenty of time outdoors, lack of vitamin D usually isn’t a problem.
  • Infectious bronchitis, a contagious chicken disease, causes respiratory problems like nasal discharge, gasping, and coughing, along with a decrease in egg production and poor quality eggs, including shell-less and misshapen eggs.  If nothing else is wrong with the hen, don’t assume this is the cause.
  • If the problem continues with no other symptoms, it could be a defective shell gland.  There is no cure for a defective shell gland.  Some flock owners cull hens with defective shell glands because it can lead to the rest of the flock eventually becoming egg eaters.


This posting is linking to Tilly’s Nest Blog Hop.


2 thoughts on “Weird Egg

  1. You mentioned on in your blog that your neighbor had some concerns about having a rooster and you had a hen that crowed…. did you know there is a soft collar that will make a rooster’s crow no louder than a hen? My pet chicken is one place that sells them.

    1. Hi, thanks!

      Yes, i first read about rooster collars on backyard chickens dot com a year or so back. Collars on crowers appear to have very mixed results. I haven’t tried one on my chickens. Some folks at BYC post that it reduces the volume, some say the collars stop crowing all together, and some say it does nothing to help with the noise what so ever. I have read a number of posts that report in order to reduce the crowing, they had to tighten the collars to the point the roosters lost weight.

      The one person who i know who has personally used one of the collars sold at my pet chicken said it wasn’t worth the price and said her homemade collar out of extra wide velcro was a little more effective, easier to fit with bantams, and was much cheaper. Also, she said collar only helped with one of her younger crowing roosters, not any of the older roosters.

I would love to know what you think about this.

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