Chickens Laying Liquid Eggs? (5 Reasons & What To Do!)

Commercial eggs have been selected before packaging, so you will very rarely see any problems with them at all.

But, as a backyard chicken owner, you’ve got to expect your hens to have a few “practice eggs” and problems with egg production — it’s just natural.

Although it is normal and you can’t expect perfect eggs every time, if your chickens are laying liquid eggs there are often a few key reasons why.

Here are the top five reasons why your chicken is laying liquid eggs and what you can do to help them get their egg production back on track!

What Is A Liquid Egg?

Chicken’s egg production is an amazing phenomenon. But, you can’t expect them to get it right every time!

Although it’s common to find a few smaller-sized eggs or soft-shell eggs, finding a liquid egg can be a little more concerning.

Liquid eggs are basically completely shell-less eggs or eggs that are wrapped in very thin rubbery eggs that can easily be pierced. 

Being completely shell-less, you would think it could be a calcium deficiency since eggs are almost all calcium.

But, as it turns out it can be more than just nutrition!

Why Is My Chicken Laying Liquid Eggs?

When you’ve found somewhat of a mess in the nesting box and what looks to be a liquid egg with no shell, its normal for your first reaction to be:

“What the ??!!”

Obviously, something has gone wrong here. 

Although it’s normal for chickens to have problems in their egg production sometimes, a liquid egg can be a sign of something more.

The most common reasons your chicken has laid a liquid egg come down to stress, nutrition (particularly calcium), illness, or simply the age of your hen.

Let’s take a closer look.

Too Much Stress

When we talk about stress in terms of chickens or poultry farming, there are three main contributors/categories. These are environmental stress, temperature stress, and rooster stress

Environmental stress is related to what’s going on in your chicken’s immediate environment, from predators to lighting and noise, or not having enough space in the coop!

Temperature stress relates to whether your chickens are too cold or too hot. 

Rooster stress is simply when a rooster will overdo it with one hen in particular, or if they’ve experienced bullying from the rooster.

When your chickens are under stress, their diet, health, and immunity all take a hit, and it all ends up impacting a chicken’s egg production. If your chicken is too stressed it’s much more likely to lay liquid eggs, or eggs with other problems too!

Improper Nutrition (Particularly Calcium Deficiency)

Your chicken and its diet can be likened to the fuel that powers your car. After all, you don’t want to go and put diesel in your petrol engine!

Improper nutrition in chickens can lead to countless health, immunity, and wellbeing issues. This is why it’s so important to feed your chickens a formulated layer seed mix or layer pellets, matching the needs of your chickens.

Since an egg is about 94% calcium, this is the most critical mineral you need to feed your chickens.

However, general malnutrition can also see similar effects on egg production, even if your chicken is getting enough calcium.

This can also be caused simply by feeding your chickens too many treats or table scraps!

Feeding fruits & vegetables or other chicken-safe table scraps to your chickens is completely fine, so long as your chickens are eating 90% or more of their intake from their normal formulated feed.

Younger Or Older Hens

It’s quite common that younger hens have a few problems with their egg production, usually during their first cycle of laying (roughly 3 weeks,  depending on your breed).

But, as hens mature, they too can face issues with egg production. This is particularly true if you’ve got some of the best layers, like ISA Brown/Cinnamon Queens/Golden Comets, as their reproductive system takes a lot of strain on your chickens.

So, if you’ve got very young or old hens, it’s much more likely you’ll find a liquid egg in the coop, and it can be caused by age!

Even though younger hens can have egg production issues, it’s still completely safe to eat their first eggs.


Unfortunately, a chicken that continuously lays liquid eggs can be a sign of something much more serious. Again, don’t jump to conclusions if you’ve found one liquid egg. But, if it’s something that’s happening often then it’s time to consider illness.

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact illnesses that cause a chicken to lay liquid eggs. It can range from conditions directly impacting their digestive systems, to general sickness which takes a toll on most of your chicken’s normal functions. 

If you’re constantly finding liquid eggs in your nesting boxes and you suspect it’s an illness in your hen, then it could be worth a consultation with a vet to diagnose it properly and see if anything can be done to help.

They Just Do

We can sit here and think up all the theories and reasons that lead to chickens laying liquid eggs, but at the end of the day it sometimes just happens.

If you’ve found one liquid egg, although it’s concerning, it’s often completely OK. However, if you’ve found more than one recently, then it’s worth looking at further to see if it’s something you can help your chicken with!

How To Help A Chicken Laying Liquid Eggs

If you’ve found a liquid egg and you’re not too sure what’s caused it, you can follow these steps to cover all bases:

  • One of the main causes of liquid eggs is a calcium deficiency, followed closely by an overall protein deficiency.

    To combat this you can feed your chickens scrambled eggs, with their crushed eggshell added in too!

    Other high calcium supplements include oyster shells or even shrimp shells.
  • It could be down to stress. Check the size of your chicken coop and if you think they need more room they probably do! If things have been too hot or cold lately take the necessary actions to help your chickens regulate their temperature properly!

  • If you notice any bullying going on this can cause stress too. Or even if your rooster has taken too much of a liking to one of your hens. If you suspect this to be the cause then keep them separated for a while!

  • If you still can’t find any answers or possible causes, you can always consult a vet who can do a full diagnosis for you!


So, next time you have a chicken that’s laid a liquid egg, you can go through the checklist of the five most common reasons to see what might be causing it.

Usually finding one or two misshapen, deformed, or “practice eggs” is completely normal. It’s normal for commercial chickens too, we just don’t end up seeing these ones as their removed from the production line

Still, some general advice for any egg issues is to go back to the basics. Make sure your chickens have a healthy, balanced diet, with enough protein and calcium. Make sure their coop is always secure, and big enough to fit your flock comfortably.

If you still haven’t found the answer, it can be worth consulting with a veterinarian, just to rule out any illness!

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