Yesterday I couldn’t have been more excited and I was very nearly late for work. It started out with a missing hen, our Flo…I thought maybe she had just had enough and didn’t want to play with the girls that morning but I had to check she was okay. I slowly opened the door and had a peek to find her on the nest box! The nest box, our Flo putting some serious consideration into laying an egg. I hurried to work and thought I’ll run home at lunch time and run back to work, I thought better of it. But I’ve never been so pleased to get home and look in the next box, a tiny bantam sized pale egg like none we have ever seen before. I’ve never felt so proud.
Needless to say they all got spoilt, I was so pleased Flo was happy! They got to snuffle around the garden, they were fed copious amounts of corn from my favourite perch on the back door and we all had a lovely evening.
Today I’ve paid for my indulgence. As it’s the weekend I was a little less keen to get out of bed and I wanted an extra chapter of my book so the start to the day was delayed, I could hear the normal clucking and cooing & thought all would be forgiven. I opened the hen house and they appeared one by one the garden was theirs to stretch their legs while I gave Coop a once over. I opened the external door to the hen house and to my delight, an egg! A lovely pale small egg. I wanted to see if it was warm, I reached my hand in and it was soft.
A soft egg.
I don’t have rubber chickwans so why am I getting rubber eggs?
A little investigation and I could see a yolk hiding between the wood shavings. I start to panic, all the hens seem in good spirits chasing each other around, generally get in the way, no one looks sickly. Everyone is eating and drinking as part of the routine. I get some corn out and we sit by the back step and I give them all a thorough inspection just to satisfy my confuddled mind that they aren’t rubber.
It turns out that it is in fact quote common for hens to lay the odd soft shelled egg. I immediately thought lack of calcium but they have good grit available whenever they need. Glen placed the egg gently in my hands…weird. Pale, almost translucent and the skin is oddly like a balloon, you can manipulate the egg between you fingers and it really does feel very rubbery and powdery, like someone rolled it in flour.
Its likely to have happened for a number of reasons, because we found one complete egg and one clearly split egg with only the yolk remaining in tact its likely someone by sheer magic had two eggs on the go, it didn’t turn into a double yolker and in doing so there wasn’t enough energy and nutrients to ensure two hard shelled eggs so we had two soft shelled eggs fall out as it were in the night as they were under the favoured perch.
Still its possible someone in our flock is defunct in something. I think someone’s lacking protein…in the week of mixed corn being heavily on the menu and a lack of sunshine on their backs, protein will have been lacking with only about 10% protein in mixed corn with 18% available in the layers pellets we keep them on. But whose is going to eat layers pellets when they know if they fuss around my feet my heart will melt and they’ll get corn if they so much as look at me with the cute tilty head thing.
I’m confident that no ones unwell, but I will certainly be keeping an eye out for anymore and wouldn’t think twice and booking an appointment with a poultry proficient veterinarian. So we’ll keep them on pellets only for a week with a once a week treat of corn, find other ways of having fun together and watch this space.