There are a number of factors that can change the texture of eggshells. In general, as chickens age, they make larger eggs. However, they use the same amount of calcium during shell formation. This means that the calcium is spread over a larger surface area – resulting in thinner-shelled eggs. This type of thinning is normal, but producers should be mindful of any checks on the shell. If the shells are habitually cracked or have small checks, then the hens could be stressed. It could also mean that there isn’t enough padding in the hen boxes.
However, there are other texture changes in eggshells that should be monitored. If backyard keepers notice any pimples or little calcifications on the outside of the shells, it could be indicative of mycoplasma or infectious bronchitis. Shells with a leathery or rigid texture could also indicate mycoplasma infection.
In general, one symptom doesn’t indicate a single cause, and symptoms should never be viewed in isolation. For most of the egg abnormalities with the Chicken Whisperer, we seeing the occasional one isn’t cause for alarm. However, consistently producing abnormal eggs should be viewed as an indicator that something may be amiss.
Backyard keepers should keep a close eye on their production numbers. If production begins to drop significantly, it could be an early warning sign for diseases like influenza, Newcastle disease or mycoplasma. In this case, he reiterated that backyard keepers should collect data on their flocks and monitor their health.