Having shell-less eggs? Here is why

Having shell-less eggs? Here is why

A chicken laying eggs without shell (shell-less eggs) does so for a reason and you may not be able to stop it until you figure out the cause. It may be beautiful for the first time to see a shell-less egg in your poultry farm or chicken house at the backyard. But when you start seeing a few of your hens laying eggs without shell, the feeling changes. There are a few reasons, as a farmer, why you don’t want your chicken to lay eggs without shell, they include;

  • Since you cannot sell those shell-less shells, it’s a blow to your farm
  • Thin-shell eggs quickly crack and create a mess
  • It’s a big concern when the cause is not yet known
  • The chickens continue to eat but lay poor quality eggs
  • You will start to worry it could be a disease

Causes of shell-less eggs

  • Low Calcium

This is one of the most popular reasons your chickens could lay eggs without shells. For your information, an eggshell is mostly calcium that is deposited over a few hours before the egg is laid. And as the saying goes, you don’t give what you don’t have-when your hens are low in calcium deposit, they can’t lay eggs with shells that are strong. The eggs come either with thin shells or without shell at all. The cure for this reason is supplementing calcium in your hen’s diet. Examples of sources of calcium include oyster shell and bone meal.


  • Vitamin D deficiency

This might not be addressed by many people, but it is more critical than you would think. The truth here is that if you have a chicken that lays eggs without shell, the hen may have vitamin D deficiency. You might ask, how does eggshell affect vitamin D? Nutrient D is the nutrient that lets your hen take advantage of their dietary calcium. You need to test your micro-ingredients, and make sure you give your hen what she wants for a good shell of eggs.

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  • Low or excess phosphorus

Low phosphorus causes shell-less eggs while excess phosphorus can lead to thin shell eggs. Check the formula on your chicken feed.


  • Saline water

Thin shells will result in too much salt in the water.


  • Stress

This is another factor that can lead to a shell-less chicken laying eggs. The egg formation process takes around 16 hours from beginning to end. And if your hen is overexcited, particularly during the night period, it could have an effect on the egg formation process, leading to low calcium deposition on the formed egg.

This stress may sometimes come from the disturbance caused by rodents or predators such as snake. Hence, sealing all crevices and preventing intrusion of any dangerous animal is important.

During hot periods stress can also come from heat. Offer the serenity and ambient temperature that your birds deserve and you will remove shell-less eggs from your farm.


  • Immature or Defective Shell Gland

The shell gland of the hen may still develop. There are instances in which some hens develop an issue with their shell gland. This will trigger shell-less eggs to lie in.


  • Diseases

Such as Avian Influenza, Newcastle Disease Virus, Infectious Bronchitis, Egg Drop Syndrome, and the presence of mycotoxin in feed can also affect the thickness of the eggshell.

  • Early Laying

When you see shell-less eggs at the start of laying, it is most likely because the chickens are still adjusting to production. The shell-less eggs will disappear when the birds’ system is fully adjusted in a few weeks’ time. Do your hens a favor and turn to layer mash to provide them with the nutrients required to produce the eggs.

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  • Old Age

Just as the human body system tends to slow down in metabolism and many other processes in the body, so does the hen’s reproductive system. Old age can cause the chicken to begin laying eggs without the shell.

If this occurs after your chickens have been laying for 18 months, you will need to sell them in the nearest time. There’s nothing you can do at this age-they’re just worn out.

In general, the genesis for solving the problem is to determine the cause of shell-less egg or thin eggshell. And while one can operate on some factors, others cannot.



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