We had already had a couple of eggs from the girls this morning so I wasn't expecting anything when I went to put them to bed tonight. Spying a tan coloured blob in the half dark I put my hand in to retrieve it. I quickly retracted it when what I touched felt more like a fruit jube lolly than an egg. Taking a closer inspection to confirm that the cold slightly moist and squishy feeling thing wasn't a different sort of product from the chicken vent, I saw that it was a soft shelled egg.
|The yolk in the centre can just be made out with transillumination|
If you haven't come across one before there are several reasons chickens can throw a soft shelled egg:
- Lack of calcium or another dietary deficiency
- Advancing age of the chicken (particularly as mine are ex-battery hens bred for a short period of high production)
- Heading towards off-season or moult
- Fast transit through the oviduct (can occur if the first egg was overcooked, then the next egg was laid the same day)
- Unseasonal hot temperatures
Having said all that a one off isn't necessarily such a bad thing. Besides, they look pretty all lit up.