Spring in the Garden

Spring in the Garden

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Chickens can lay more than one egg in twenty four hours.

According to wikipedia chickens cannot lay more than one egg in 24 hours. I'm sure it isn't good for them, especially as their life-span is closely related to the number of ovum they use up, so laying too many double-yolked eggs will shorten their life, or so I have been told by someone who ought to know.

I'm sure it is neither normal, nor desirable, but Robin has proved it is possible for a chicken to lay more than one egg in 24 hours. I noticed she was in the nest box last night, although hubby had collected 3 eggs in the morning. One of those eggs had a very thin shell, though, and it was cracked. The egg I collected about twenty past seven last night was smooth and pale, but the shell was thick enough.

This morning I collected two eggs from the nest box, presumably from Amber and Betsy. Later on I noticed Robin pop up into the nest box, but she came down again and nothing was there. This happened again. Then about quarter past twelve I realised I'd forgotten to replace the roosting bar after cleaning the floor of the chickens' sleeping quarters. When I went to do that I noticed Robin was missing and could hear her in the nest box again. At ten to one I found a smallish, pale and very warm egg in the next box. Unfortunately this one also had a cracked shell as it was so thin. Poor Robin, I hope she sorts herself out soon.

Update, 20th May 2009. We have been getting a very regular supply of three eggs a day from our three pullets for the last couple of weeks, so it seems this was just a teenage blip. To be honest Robin seemed to just start laying with no problems from the word go, so she was due a short spell of irregularity, I suppose.


  1. Im assuming that you already give crushed oystershell grit so I would try giving a liquid calcium supplement for a little while to see if this helps with the soft shells, something like ZOLCAL-D.

    I add Orego Stim to my hens drinking water, really helps with shell quality.
    Hope things settle down soon.

  2. We've only just started giving crushed oyster shell as the people at Forsham said it wasn't necessary. I've not heard of the other preparations, so I'll bear them in mind.

    Thanks for the suggestions Karen.

  3. I find ours often lay a big, hard shelled one when they have missed the previous days egg...and the lay a softy late the same day..

    its just what they do..

    You sound like you are getting to know your girls very well, which I think is the biggest secret to being a good chicken owner...so if anything IS wrong, you can spot it fast.

    Chickens mask being ill so well, the sooner you can spot any problem with them ,the better...

    29 April 2009 23:51

  4. As far as we can tell Amber lays the giant eggs and doesn't seem to regularly lay a soft one afterwards, but I'll look out for that as a possible pattern.

    Sometimes it's obvious who laid what, but other times it isn't.

    It's really good to share experiences with other chicken keepers as some of this things aren't mentioned in books etc.

  5. Hello everybody, one of my hens had passed an egg with a very soft shell last night or this morning. It was not a nice picture. I am a little worried now because I do feed them Oyster shells but they don't seem to like them much. I was wondering if I could crush up a calcium supplement that i take in the morning and put some into there drinking water. Does anyone know if it could hurt the chickens?

  6. I want to add liquid calcium to my girls water how much do I use for a gallon

  7. Sorry not to have replied sooner to both of the last two comments. We've had a few soft shell eggs but since we added oysters shells to the grit it hasn't really been a problem. The odd one doesn't matter, but if it is happening a lot or the shells remain very thin then I suggest you consult a good book that covers chicken health or talk to an expert, which after just over a year of keeping chickens I am not.

    In reply to the second question I'm afraid I don't use liquid calcium.

    I have read that adding calcium to the chickens diet isn't a good idea, but the oyster shell seems to work for our 'girls'. Otherwise, make sure you give them a reputable brand of layers mash or pellets that contains all the right nutrients. I believe chickens also need a good supply of greens, especially if they don't have access to grass.


I look forward to reading your comments, it's always good to hear encouraging words or relevant hints and tips.