Hens are miscarrying

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Help! I have one and perhaps two hens that are delivering premature eggs. One hen is nearly a year old and has been a very prolific layer. Now it seems she cycles toward bigger and bigger eggs, often double yolkers, then drops one to two premature eggs from her roost at night! The second hen just began to lay, and seems to be developing similar trouble. I have a total of four seemingly healthy hens in my urban backyard. They live in clean surroundings and are fed on organic layer pellets (free choice), plus vegetable scraps mixed with assorted grains (cracked corn/wheat, sunflower meats, millet, peanut pieces once a day in the morning. They have plenty of oyster shell available. Does anyone know what/why this is happening??

-- Julie Whipple (jdwscript@aol.com), February 22, 2001


Hi Julie,

What do you mean by "premature egg?"

-- Laura Jensen (lrjensen@seedlaw.com), February 22, 2001.

Is something scaring or upsetting your hens? This can cause shelless eggs.

-- Laura Senderhauf (gsend@hotmail.com), February 22, 2001.

Sometimes it happens .If you have young chicks maybe they are laying them .I assume you are talking about eggs with no shell.

-- Patty {NY State} (fodfarms@slic.com), February 22, 2001.

If you mean eggs with no shells. Make sure they have a constant source of calcium. Some people use crushed oyster shell. I use GRANULAR Lime, NOT the pulverized(powdered) lime, it's much cheaper than the oyster shells(about $2.50 for a 40 Lbs. bag).

-- David in NH (grayfoxfarm@mcttelecom.com), February 22, 2001.

The other option is perhaps "wind eggs" which are very small eggs containing only a bit of yolk and maybe a brown/grayish speck. My hens do this occasionally and I've not been able to find a cause in any of my reading. Best explanation is that it just happens. I thought the other name for them "cock eggs" was funny--supposedly people once thought they were laid by roosters.

-- marilyn (rainbow@ktis.net), February 23, 2001.

I've not had this problem with the chickens, but have occasionally with the Pekin ducks. The ducks eat the oyster shell like they are treats. The only reason I can deduce for this problem is they are let out of the duck house too soon in the morning.

-- Duffy (hazelm@tenforward.com), February 26, 2001.

Do you have a well? If not, the clorination in city water can be one cause of this...

If you are on city water, watch carefully.... You will find that the problem is worse the day after water treatment (though with only four hens, that might be negligible).

The cure, without going into debt buying water, is to let their water sit over night in a container, then only use the top two thirds when watering them. Lots of work, but safe and healthy!!

-- Sue Diederich (willow666@rocketmail.com), February 28, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ