Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Shelly And The Shell-less Egg

Show-Off Shelly

Shelly was born to be different, and probably a bit of a show off to boot.   

When she layed her daily egg, the other chicken clucked with jealously; as hard as they tried, they couldn't duplicate those lovely light powder blue eggs. 

Smug Shelly basked in her wonderful uniqueness.

However, slowly but surely, the eggs she layed became old hat to the others.  They didn't fuss and fawn over them anymore, and in Shelly's mind, this would not do. 

So, she had to shake it up a bit...

It's very freaky to see a shell-less egg, but it's not always something to panic about.  There are several reasons why a chicken might lay a egg without the shell, some more serious than others:

  • Poor diet/nutrition.  Your chickens may not be getting enough vitamin D3 and/or calcium
  • End or beginning of cycle.  They may just be reaching sexual maturity or reaching the end of their egg laying cycle
  • Recent trauma.  A traumatic event such as a skunk invasion or other animal attack in the coop can give the chickens "shell shock".
  • Defective shell gland. Unfortunately, there's not much that can be done about that.
  • Other diseases or infections. 
My suggestion?

I'm not a vet, but common sense tells me that if this happens persistently, the chicken is sick and needs medical care, or you need to supplement their diet better.  If it's a rare occurrence (like it was for show-off Shelly, who has layed her blue eggs since), then it's probably a fluke, but something to keep an eye on for sure.

After Shelly layed the shell-less egg, the other scared and concerned chickens did a egg intervention.  With soft, reassuring clucks they convinced her that it wasn't the color of the egg that make Shelly special, but what was inside that counted. 

Inside, all the eggs were special. 

"So Shelly," said Henny Penny, in her no-nonsense tone,  "Get off your high horse and stop being a silly show-off!"

And they all lived eggly ever after.  :)

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