chicken seems sick and eggs with no shells : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

We recently were given some chickens, free to good home, which we have put in with our others. There are 5 of them which the lady thought were around 18 months old. They are all still laying but one of them has a very floppy comb and has no feathers around the bottom of the vent. I thought that maybe it was caused from diarrhoea although I have not noticed any. One of the chickens (it may be the same one) seems to be laying eggs with no shell or very thin shells which the chickens then eat before I have a chance to get them out. We are feeding our chickens oyster shells and the chickens we already had lay beautiful eggs so i am not sure what is wrong. We have only had these new chickens a week and I am not sure whether the lady was feeding them grit. Please help:)

-- lilac (, December 28, 2001


One piece of advice I'd like to pass along ~ unless you get chicks from a hatchery or from your own hens, they should be quarantined away from your flock for 3-4 weeks so no possible diseases are passed on to your birds.

I've been told that it's not unusual for a hen to pass a shell-less egg once in a while.

Feathers missing from the vent area is usually caused from the other birds pecking that area. Remove the bird with the missing feathers until they grow back, or the other birds may peck it to death. Check the pecked bird's vent for injury or prolapse. It could be why it's being pecked. The other birds could also be keeping this bird away from the feed.

Separate the egg eating bird before it teaches the rest to do the same. This is a very difficult habit to break and many folks put these birds in the soup pot.

If the birds free range during the day, they will pick up rocks, gravel, etc. and don't need grit. If they're cooped up, they will.

Don't fill the birds up with treats and food from your kitchen. They need the feed that's formulated for them so they can thrive.

Hope this helps.

P.S. If you don't get birds from auctions, swap meets, shows, folks you don't know, etc., the chances are you'll have a healthier flock. My opinion! :^)

-- ~Rogo (, December 29, 2001.

I have a little rir banty hen that began laying shelless eggs her 2nd year. She strains and it takes her an awful long time to pass the egg. Seeing her distress and knowing she was in desperate need of some calcium, i one day took her out by herself & offered oystershell. She turned up her beak. I then tried crushed egg shell; she still wasnt interested. I finally tried wrapping bits of oystershell in bread because she loves bread. the smart little thing knew something was up & picked at the bread until the shell fell out. I gave up and she still lays shelless eggs. I just keep a good eye on her making sure she doesnt become eggbound or have prolapse from the strain of passing those eggs. Good luck!

-- Buk Buk (, December 29, 2001.

For the lady with the banty that doesn't like oyster shells. With a motar & pestal grind up some of your calcium tablets and dampen the bread or butter it if she's really fussy and sprinkle the calcium powder on top of the bread. Also check your local health food store to see if calcium comes in powder or liquid. Good luck

-- elaine Olly (, March 31, 2002.

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