Hello I'm new to this...I have a question. I have a Brown Shaver, her first night in her new home last night and she laid an odd shell less egg on the grass not in her nest. She's going in to her second season I'm told. Should I be concerned? She will be free ranging in the yard during the day and I'll be feeding her Peck n lay.
Stress of any sort can effect reproductive efficiency, and there may be many reasons why.Shell-less may not be related to weather at all, but be a primary reproductive problemthat happens to coincide with the heat stress. the best thing is to have them on high-quality hen pellets, lots of dark leafy green vegetablesand 12 hours good sleep at night. all the oyster shell in the worldwill not helpif the rest of the hen is in trouble( the calcium is very difficult to extract from the shells, not really a good source for hens anyway). You might look into a mist/fog system to help with the heat. However, its normal for hens to go off lay when its hot.
Hi Avis, where did you get this ben from? If it is an ex- battery hen you have rescued she may not know about laying boxes as they are used to just dropping eggs where ever and may take some time to learn where to lay her eggs. If you can train them to lay in the right place it saves a lot of searching. Ifyou have an artifical egg put it in the laying box to give her a hint. Or else use some golf balls.
Hens need a lot of calcium to lay proper eggs, and will strip it from their bones if they don't have enough in their diet. I can remember reading in one poultry magazine that most hens will stop laying if they don't have enough but Brown shavers are so programmed to lay, they will keep laying. The critical time for the hen to eat extra calcium is in the evening shortly before they perch, and I have notice that the hens will often have a extra feed just before they go up.
I haven't had any real problem with shell less egs since I went to the old breeds. I agree with Matt, that provide them with good quality hen food, green vegetables, and natural night. Do have some extra crushed oyster shell available.
What about the other hens, I assume you have more than one.
Thanks for the heads-up. She laid a great egg in her nest today. Yay;o)