This is a follow up to my last post about not getting any eggs one day. After that post, I received another soft-shelled egg from Coco which had me worried. That just wasn't like them. So I did some research online and found more fascinating info.
Chickens have rather sensitive digestive systems. Now for you non-chicken owners, you are probably rolling your eyes like I did when I first read that. I mean really, they eat off the ground all day long. But it's not the dirt factor. It's the fact that their little bodies require an amazing amount of protein and calcium every day to produce an egg. And if their bodies are not getting the required amount of protein and calcium, they become protective of those vital nutritional building blocks.
Chickens can stop laying eggs altogether. They can lay eggs that don't have a yoke. Or soft-shelled eggs if calcium is what their bodies are trying to protect. This is why it is so important that chickens are fed a diet that is specially formulated just for them which is high in protein and calcium. I call it Chick Chow, but the proper term is Layer Rations.
And my girls have access to a whole feeder full of chick chow. The problem is their Flock Mistress (aka: me) loves to dole out treats. And while I feed them healthy things like fruit and veggies. Those are not high enough in protein or calcium to supplement and must be given out in very small quantities.
So I cut them off from treats except for a handful of BOSS (black oiled sunflower seeds) which I toss all around in the morning to give them something to hunt and scratch at for a bit. And within a day, we were back to three eggs a day.
Unfortunately, we're also back to all three eggs being laid in the same nest box. But that is their issue to work out.