Why is Goose Laying Soft Shelled Egg?

Geese are some of the birds that lay eggs with thick and strong eggshells. Their eggs are also relatively larger compared to most birds’ eggs. However, you could have a goose in your flock or some geese laying soft eggs. There are possible reasons why geese lay soft eggs. A goose with calcium absorption problems will ultimately produce soft-shelled eggs.

Furthermore, your goose will lay soft eggs because of a calcium deficiency. It’s helpful to ensure your egg-laying geese get enough calcium in their diet. Above all, look into why your geese are laying soft-shelled eggs.

Reasons Goose Lay Soft Shelled Eggs

Geese and ducks usually lay eggs with hard shells. Geese are unlikely to lay eggs with extremely soft shells, otherwise known as soft eggs. However, geese keepers will notice that there could be one or two geese in their flock laying soft-shelled eggs. It isn’t easy to deal with a goose laying soft-shelled eggs.

It would help if you comprehensively understood why your goose is laying soft-shelled eggs to know why your geese are laying soft-shelled eggs. Here are the exact reasons why your goose is laying soft-shelled eggs.

– Ovary Infection

Some egg-laying geese have ovary infections that impact their egg production and quality. Geese will remain healthy when they have an ovary infection, although the quality of eggs they lay will diminish drastically.

Ovary infection occurs due to many diseases that affect a geese’s reproduction system, making the bird lay soft-shelled eggs if it happens to lay eggs. Here are some of these diseases that could be causing your goose to lay soft-shelled eggs.

  • Salpingitis-This disease results from an inflammation of a goose’s oviduct. This complex disease is common in geese with many different kinds of ovary infections. It makes a goose have smaller ovaries, making the bird unable to produce eggs with hard shells. This condition introduces a bacterial infection that damages the goose’s ovaries, increasing the likelihood of the bird laying soft-shelled eggs. Signs of this disease include reduced egg production, damaged ovaries, and damaged vents.
  • Avian disease– the viral infection is to blame for low egg production in geese and other birds. The condition introduces a virus into a geese’s body, known as the IB virus. The virus causes a reduction in egg production among geese by 15%. It also weakens a goose’s oviduct, so the bird won’t be able to lay eggs with hard shells.
  • Newcastle disease-Newcastle disease causes severe damage to a goose’s reproductive system. It damages the bird’s reproductive tracts, ultimately affecting egg production and the quality of eggs a goose lays. The geese suffering from this disease will most likely lay soft-shelled eggs because of its effects on their reproductive tracts.

– Egg Bound

An egg-bound goose is a goose that can’t pass out an egg from her reproductive system because of an egg sticking inside her oviduct. Egg binding doesn’t only prompt a goose to lay soft-shelled eggs, but it’s also a life-threatening issue that can make your goose die if you fail to address the problem promptly.

If the goose is lucky to pass out the egg within 24 to 48 hours from her reproductive system, there are chances the egg will have a soft shell.

Egg binding in geese occurs when a goose’s muscles that squeeze the egg out of her vent fail to function. Instead of the egg passing out of the bird’s vent, it sticks in its uterus before the egg formation process is complete. Therefore, your goose will lay soft-shelled eggs if it suffers from egg binding.

Young geese will likely experience egg binding when they start their laying journey. The reproductive system of young geese is undeveloped, and the birds can’t lay like their mature counterparts. Their bodies aren’t used to laying, making them highly likely to lay soft-shelled eggs.

In this case, you should allow your geese some time for their reproductive systems to develop before they can lay quality eggs.

– Calcium Deficiency

Calcium deficiency is the most probable reason your goose could be laying soft-shelled eggs. Your goose will lay soft eggs if they lack sufficient calcium. Calcium is essential for improving the quality of eggs your geese lay. Besides making geese lay soft-shelled eggs, calcium deficiency also causes geese to experience other health complications, such as bone formation deformities.

Geese need enough calcium to lay high-quality eggs. These birds will not necessarily depend on the calcium they get from their diet. They also require additional calcium from other food sources.

Before suffering from a calcium deficiency, your geese will obtain the calcium they need for their eggs production from their bones. Your geese will not have enough calcium to extract from their bones if they lack calcium to extract from their bones due to a calcium deficiency.

You need to provide your geese with calcium-rich foods to enable them to improve the quality of the eggs they produce. The more calcium-rich food you give to your geese, the more likely the birds will lay eggs with hard shells. You can provide your egg-laying goose with calcium supplements if you think the birds aren’t getting enough calcium from their diet.

– Stress

Stress from several sources can make your geese lay poor-quality and soft-shelled eggs. Many types of stress can make your geese lay soft-shelled eggs. Some of them include heat stress. Heat stress mainly occurs during hot months. Geese are more likely to lay soft eggs during hot weather because extreme heat affects egg production in ducks.

Geese are naturally warm-blooded creatures. Their body temperature usually reaches 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Nonetheless, geese lack an efficient cooling mechanism to cool their bodies when the temperature is too high. That means these birds are unable to regulate their body temperature like humans. Consequently, geese end up suffering from the effects of heat stress more than humans.

Heat stress can lead to severe dietary deficiencies because geese depend on the nutrients they get from their food to counter heat stress more than the nutrients they need for egg production. Excess heat can hugely impact your geese’s egg production capabilities.

Although geese keepers can’t alter the weather conditions, they can keep their geese cool by doing simple things. For instance, you can give your birds enough cool water during hot water days.

You can also offer nutritious frozen treats to your geese to help them counter heat stress. Some good healthy treats to help your geese lay quality eggs in the hot weather when they are susceptible to heat stress include frozen vegetables, frozen fruits, and frozen mealworms. Ensure your free-range geese have access to an abundant source of cool water in hot summer.

Egg-laying geese can also suffer from stress because of gander. Although roosters are an important part of a geese flock, they can be stressful toward the egg-laying geese, making them likely to produce eggs with soft shells. Gander can sometimes over-mate with the geese hens in your flock, chasing the hens around and ultimately stressing the hens.

Because of the stress, your geese hens will experience from roosters; they might experience stress that will prompt their bodies to produce thin-shelled eggs. Your geese hens need sufficient time to relax to help them produce quality eggs. You can solve this issue by isolating the females from roosters because the females don’t need roosters to lay.

Are Soft Shelled Goose Eggs Edible?

Yes, soft-shelled goose eggs are edible. However, soft-shelled goose eggs aren’t nutritious as hard-shelled or high-quality eggs. They are also not as delicious as high-quality geese eggs. Soft-shelled eggs often won’t make the best eggs for egg lovers.

How to Provide Calcium to Your Geese?

Geese mostly lay soft-shelled eggs because they lack sufficient calcium in their bodies. Your geese couldn’t necessarily be suffering from any health condition hindering them from laying quality eggs. It’s simply because they lack sufficient calcium in their bodies.

The best way to provide calcium to your birds to ensure they don’t produce soft eggs due to calcium deficiency is by giving them plenty of calcium-rich foods. You can provide your geese a feed with a high calcium content to meet their calcium requirements.

Or, your geese can get enough calcium necessary for egg production by introducing greens to their diet. Greens will give your birds plenty of nutrients, including calcium.

Alternatively, your geese can benefit from eating calcium supplements from the stores. You can mix such supplements with your geese’s regular foods. Or, you can give the calcium supplements to your chickens directly without mixing them with other food items.

You can provide your geese with some natural calcium supplements without necessarily buying calcium supplements from the store. Some excellent natural calcium sources for your geese to lay quality eggs include crushed eggshells and oyster shells.


Though quite rare, geese will lay soft eggs sometimes. Laying soft-shelled eggs is something geese keepers shouldn’t take lightly. Instead, they should look into what’s making their birds lay soft-shelled eggs.

For instance, if you have a goose laying soft-shelled eggs due to egg binding, the best way forward is to consult an avian who will assist the bird throughout the laying process. Or you can give calcium-rich foods to your geese if they are laying soft eggs because of calcium deficiency.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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