From time to time you may experience a soft shelled egg. This tends to be more common amongst young pullets and is caused by the egg passing through the hens system too quickly thus not allowing the shell to harden.
If it becomes frequent, it may be that the hen is lacking calcium in their diet or vitamin D which assists calcium absorption. I have 2 ex-farm hens who lay massive eggs but the shells have never been great in quality and it’s these two that lay the soft-shelled eggs quite occasionally.
As I have not experienced this in my hens to date here are a few tips I have picked up from reading various literature and scouring websites.
- Bake your left-over egg shells in the oven, crush them up and add to the hens feed. Baking the shells, kills off bacteria and make sure you crush the shell to a point where a hen would not recognise it as part of a shell or she may end up trying to break eggs.
- You can purchase calcium supplements from most livestock stores. I’ve used Davinova C before and have noticed improvement in the quality of the shell.
- Increase the amount of oyster shell and limestone in their diet. This is usually found in their grit but you may not be adding enough to meet the hens requirements. Recent tests have found that hens require one hundred times more calcium when they’re in lay than when they are off. You can buy limestone flour from most livestock stores and online. It can be adminstered by sprinkling it into the feed occasionally.