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Egg Shell Quality

Posted: 30 Jun 2018, 12:21
by LaFemmedePoule
I am new to this forum, so firstly apolgies if this is a duplicate discussion.
My set-up is as follows:
I have 11 backyard hens, probably hybrids, 5 white (friendly), 1 bluebell, 3 speckled, and 2 ginger with black tails. The girls are free-range and live in a semi-wooded area about 50ft x 30ft. Occassional access to grass but they are so destructive! Ages are between 2&4. They have access to a wooden henhouse and/or an Eglu Cube (they choose the scappy wooden house mostly 🙄). I am getting about 5/6eggs a day, rarely more these days. They are fed layers pellets, treated with flubenvet every three months, fed plenty of green veg & salad too. They have a grit tray in their shelter. I put apple cider vinegar in their drinking water.
My Problem is as follows:
I get a fair few eggs with low quality shells, soft sacks, no shells or soft-topped.

What am I doing wrong. How can I help my girls? Does the yield -vs- age seem about right?

Thank you.

Re: Egg Shell Quality

Posted: 30 Jun 2018, 15:30
by kated
So, first welcome to the forum.
As far as I can see you are doing all the right things. Most chickens' eggs decrease both in number and quality over time and some of yours could qualify as middle aged now. There are products on the market which purport to improve shell strength. I have not tried them but it might be worth a punt.
Here is a rather academic description of what may be happening: ... ing-layers

...and here a possible purchase: ... over_500g/

Re: Egg Shell Quality

Posted: 30 Jun 2018, 17:17
by LaFemmedePoule
Thanks Kated, that article was helpful. I shouldn't be suprised that 2-4 is classed as middle aged, clearly they are as life expectancy is around five isn't it. They still seem so young to me. Time for some new girls next year, as in additional, not....! 😊

Re: Egg Shell Quality

Posted: 30 Jun 2018, 19:26
by CP
Do they have oyster shell in with the grit?

If you get some good shells, dry them off & crush them to add into their food. Can sometimes help. ;)

Re: Egg Shell Quality

Posted: 30 Jun 2018, 21:29
by LaFemmedePoule
Thanks CP, we do that about once in a while, we bake egg shells for 10 or so mins and crush them up and put it in with something, normal pellets, or if they are having a treat of anykind like sweetcorn. I might do that tomorrow actually, haven't given them that for a couple of months. Thanks, I think they are just past their prime, bit like me really 😆