Very weird chicken experience.......

COWLOVINGIRL Posts: 954 ✭✭✭✭

So today I noticed that one of my hens was just standing in the corner of the run and not looking great. It has been VERY hot the past two days and I figured it was just that. Then I though that maybe she was plugged up. So I checked and she was not plugged up. So then I thought that maybe she had an egg in there that didn't want to come out, so I put her in a nesting box. She was in there for 30 seconds then jumped down onto the floor and settled on a pile of eggs in the corner. I was stroking her back and she started to lay an egg. She looked like she was have trouble but when she finally got it out it had no shell.

I went to the house and came back a minute later and stroked her back again and she layed another egg that was smaller, no shell, and either came out broken, or broke right after being layed. Then she got up and walked out of the coop, she obviously felt better. And I stayed in the coop dumbfounded. Two no-shell eggs within three minutes of each other! I was flabergasted to say the least!

Google to the rescue! Come to find out, my chicken is not the weirdest chicken on the planet after all. So based on what I found it could either (and probably is) be the heat or a calcium deficiency or stress.

Has this happened to anyone?

Chicken keeping life is very interesting these days between having teenage chicks, a broody, and this! Yikes!!!

P.S I hope I didn't bore anyone with the details. Sorry if I did! :)


  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,541 ✭✭✭✭✭


    Its always good to hear othejr peoples experiences so that it will help you in the future if you have such an issue

    Its a good think she copuld pass them and get them out without then creating a toxic issue in the hen. I imagine your kind words and attention helped her

    I think it could be a combination of all three things, heat, lack of calcium and stress.

    My friend had a chicken that laid a few eggs with no shells. I think she added more calcium to her diet.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    I wonder if serious heat and the stress that causes messes up their calcium levels. In the bad heat spell we had here, my Wyandottes seemed most affected. They laid fewer eggs and the eggs had really thin shells; one had no shell, I also added more calcium to their diet and the shells thickened up again. But the problem came on so suddenly, a couple days after the heat got really bad. And it was only the Wyandottes. The other chickens, who seemed somewhat less affected by the heat, didn't have that problem of thin shells.

  • Annie Kate
    Annie Kate Posts: 683 ✭✭✭✭

    OK, that is so interesting. But we would identify with the idea that chickens sometimes really thrive with a bit of human attention. It's amazing what love sponges some of them can be.

  • naomi.kohlmeier
    naomi.kohlmeier Posts: 380 ✭✭✭

    I noticed an egg that had a very soft shell in the nesting box yesterday. The weather here has been fairly hot. Maybe that was the reason?

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    Heat can make a difference. My chickens usually stop laying in the heat, and/possibly are laying soft eggs & eating them. We had a noticeable difference in eggs being found in the coop over the hottest days. The heat just takes so much out of them.

    @COWLOVINGIRL it is good that she could pass them. They can cause problems if they stay inside. They are very hard to pass. Thin shelled eggs can break inside the oviduct & cause damage and then infection as well.

    I am glad that everything was fine in the end. It's a bonus that you learned something new as well! There is never an end to learning where animals are concerned.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,293 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I had Araucana chickens and lived on the Southern edge of the Mojave desert. The shells were a light green. It was a very long time ago and those chickens didn't seem bothered by the heat.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,602 admin

    @dipat2005 It is more the onset of high heat that they aren't used to. If the bird is used to the heat, it is generally not an issue.

  • karenjanicki
    karenjanicki Posts: 1,001 ✭✭✭✭

    That's fascinating! I'm glad she is feeling better though. It has been tremendously hot here. I wouldn't at all be surprised if that was having some effect.

  • soeasytocraft
    soeasytocraft Posts: 237 ✭✭✭

    A fascinating experience! Soft shells have been a concern here as well. Many more soft eggs layed then we've ever experienced. Perhaps it is the unexpected heat that we aren't used to. Certainly adds stress to the poor things. The egg production is way down and more hens are broody then normal as well.

  • Merin Porter
    Merin Porter Posts: 1,026 admin
    edited July 2021

    I actually thought hens couldn't lay more often than once every 24 hours! So this story is super interesting to me....

    Thanks for sharing, including all the details! :)