When a hen lays soft shelled eggs it is almost without question caused by a lack of Calcium and/or a lack of Vitamin D3 (Sunlight)
The hen usually has trouble passing the egg and this can be fatal. The hen in this circumstance will often lay the egg whilst on the perch or on the ground rather than in the nest.

Lack of Calcium & or Vitamin D3 (Sunlight)

The hen could appear very poorly and puffed up sitting in a corner, or you may find a soft shelled egg on the floor.

If the hen has not layed the egg a drop of olive oil can be placed on the vent. Place the hen in a hospital cage or warm cage until the egg passes.
Do NOT attempt to push out, or break the egg as this will be fatal.
To treat Calcium deficiencies, provide shell grit and cuttle fish bone, and you can also provide calcium supplements. You must also provide Vitamin D3 or sunlight otherwise the calcium will not be metabolised.
It is far better to provide the grit and Calcium supplements than to treat when Soft Shell occurs.
CALCIVET (Vetafarm Wagga Wagga) Liquid Calcium and Vitamin D3 supplement for birds. It is a palatable syrup that can be diluted in drinking water or administered directly to the bird. When used as directed, Calcivet will not only supply Calcium but will supplement the birds Vitamin D levels and will boost magnesium intake. These three elements are necessary for the production of eggshells and strong bones. Calcivet can be used in egg bound birds to aid in the expulsion of the egg. Calcivet should be administered to breeding birds for approximately one month prior to egg laying and through the chick rearing period. Calcivet can be used with Aviclens, Soluvet, Coccivet but not Psittavet.


Published Joseph Gallea 15th July 2005