At Backyard Poultry, we love to tackle common reader questions, such as: “why have my chickens stopped laying?” or “how to clean a chicken coop.” With our popular Chickens in a Minute video series, we’ve created quick, informative videos to answer your common queries in an entertaining way. This video answers the question: “why are my chickens laying soft eggs?” This is a common problem throughout the year for people who are raising laying hens, but it’s most likely to happen in summer.
Chickens Laying Soft Eggs Happens More In Warm Weather
Here’s an interesting egg fact for you: Warm weather brings thin shells as chickens pant. That’s why you see more soft or shell-less eggs in the summer. Panting helps water evaporate cooling the chicken and causing a reduction in calcium being put into egg production.
Stress Can Cause Chickens Laying Eggs to Rush
When you’re raising chickens for eggs, it’s best to keep them as stress-free as possible. A soft shell, or an egg with just a membrane, can happen when a hen rushes laying; maybe she’s startled by a predator or loud noises. Remember, when raising backyard chickens, it’s important to learn how to protect chickens from hawks, owls, raccoons, dogs and other predators.
Check Your Chicken’s Health
Even if you have the best chickens for laying eggs, soft shells can be a sign of a sick chicken. Symptoms like soft eggs can mean disease has infiltrated your flock. It’s good to perform a comb-to-toe checkup on your hens to make sure the flock is healthy.
Age Can Affect Even the Best Chickens For Laying Eggs
Older hens need more calcium. A great supplement is to feed your chickens their own shells. Save the used shells, clean and microwave them for a few seconds. When they’re crispy, break them up and mix them with their feed. You can also add more calcium into your flock’s diet by purchasing a commercial feed with added calcium. Learn how you can have strong eggshells with the new Purina® Oyster Strong™ System.
Overall, the occasional soft egg shell isn’t a cause for concern, just something to keep in mind.
Chickens In A Minute videos are a great reference for both new and experienced chicken owners alike. Feel free to bookmark them and share! And look for more Chickens In A Minute videos in the coming weeks.
Originally published in 2015 and regularly vetted for accuracy.