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 Post subject: Calcium supplement
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:52 pm 
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Gallant Game
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I am going to give my hen, who is producing soft shelled eggs, a calcium supplement...Calcivet.
This is a liquid which is added to water. I don't know if the hen will drink it yet but that is the only source of water so I am hopeful.

Is there a better supplement out there?? Perhaps one that can be administered individually orally??
It is much more expensive to give Calcivet supplement for birds than it is to give Calcium Sandoz to dogs, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Calcium supplement
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 10:56 pm 
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Golden Swan
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I have used it. If she is getting/eating shell grit she probably has enough calcium. The problem could bee not absorbing calcium rather than not enough of it. Mineral/vitamin supplements can help that - especially vitamin d, and (I believe) phosphorus.

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 Post subject: Re: Calcium supplement
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:05 pm 
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Gallant Game
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I won't say it's better, but to treat my soft-shell large Orpington girl, I got a bottle of human calcium tablets, ground 1 tablet up with mortar and pestle, cut a grape in half, dipped the cut end into the ground up powder, and fed to Miss soft-shell. I gave her one dipped grape dose each day for about 3 days whilst watching egg quality. That usually sorted things out. I repeated if the egg shells started to thin. Only one girl had egg issues, so I figured it was her, and not the feeding routine.

If I had to say, the grape dip would probably have been less than 1/4 of a tablet. I ground a new tablet each day, but threw the excess out. If your girl is small, maybe use a smaller bit of fruit.

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 Post subject: Re: Calcium supplement
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 9:26 am 
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Gallant Game
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That's interesting Smallflock. What brand and what strength calcium did you use??

Seeing as I have the Calcivet liquid now I will use it however I may run into problems if it isn't palatable in the water.

Your idea is definitely sounds like an improvement when it can be dosed individually.


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 Post subject: Re: Calcium supplement
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 11:06 am 
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Gallant Game
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It's Caltrate Calcium Supplement by Pfizer. It also contains Vit D and trace minerals, which supports Nelly's comment about absorption.

So, Calcium 600mg, D3 500IU, Magnesium 50mg, Zinc 7.5mg, Copper 50mcg. Manganese 1.8mg per tablet

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 Post subject: Re: Calcium supplement
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2016 12:07 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Calcivet is a supplement that is specifically designed for the use in birds. Its individual dosage is 1ml/kg bodyweight per day. In one ml of Calcivet, there is about 33 mg calcium and 25 IU of vitamin D.
On the other hand, one tablet of Caltrate plus has 600 mg of calcium and 1000 IU of vitamin D. If you crush a tablet of Caltrate and feed it to a bird at a rate of about 1/4 tablet per day, you risk to overdose on calcium and even more on vitamin D. Of course, it depends on the weight of your hen, but at an assumed weight of 2kg, you are giving more than double the recommended daily dose of calcium and 20 times the recommended dose of vitamin D.

Excessive oral intake of calcium and/or vitamin D lead to a build up of calcium in the kidneys and other organs. It can lead to kidney failure in the long term.

So, if you wanted to use Caltrate instead of Calcivet or similar, make sure you only give it for a very brief period and only at the lowest dosage possible.
You can individually dose a bird with Calcivet if you just give it with a syringe directly to the beak at the recommended rate of 1 ml/kg bodyweight.

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 Post subject: Re: Calcium supplement
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:22 am 
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Gallant Game
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In my experience in other animals, giving too much calcium results in diarrhoea and that's about all but then I have only administered calcium on a short term basis. Thanks for the dosage rates though nostress.

I have separated the hen and given her the Calcivet in her water so it will be interesting to see if it makes any difference. I suspect not unfortunately.

When I put her in isolation I noticed that she has lost a little weight and isn't as plump in the keel as I would like.
It is about 3 months since she was last wormed so maybe it's that but again I suspect not.

She isn't noticeably sick, she is very alert etc. but one thing I did notice was this morning she was doing a hens version of crowing.
Could it be a hormonal imbalance that is causing soft shell eggs?


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 Post subject: Re: Calcium supplement
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:57 am 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Saltwood wrote:
She isn't noticeably sick, she is very alert etc. but one thing I did notice was this morning she was doing a hens version of crowing.
Could it be a hormonal imbalance that is causing soft shell eggs?


I believe that hens can have hormonal imbalances just as humans, but I honestly don't know whether that would have any effect on the calcification of the egg shell.
Apart from calcium and/or vitamin D deficiency or an oversupply of phosphorus, she could suffer from a number of problems that, unfortunately, occur relatively often. She could be at the start of an infection of her reproductive tract, she could suffer from some form of stress, she could be developing a cancerous growth, etc.
Worming her certainly wouldn't hurt and if she's feeling a bit light she might benefit from a little bit of general TLC, as well. Time will tell whether there is something more sinister going on or whether she'll bounce back to laying normal eggs again.

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 Post subject: Re: Calcium supplement
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:20 am 
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Gallant Game
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Thanks Nostress. As you say, time will tell.

Used that diagnostic tool on the website I found and it came up with a Copper deficiency.
How do you supplement for copper?


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 Post subject: Re: Calcium supplement
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:29 am 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Don't supplement for copper without close supervision by an avian vet! Copper is a trace element that is easily overdosed and can do more harm than good.

I had a look at the diagnostic tool you posted in the other thread and found it interesting, but what I don't like about it is that it can lead to more and severe problems, if the wrong conclusions are drawn without the aid of an avian vet.
Diseases simply can't be diagnosed without proper investigation, lab testing etc. by an experienced vet. There is a reason that studying vet science takes many years and that an avian vet has to do even more studies, once he's finished his basic veterinary education.
The tool can helpful to get an idea of what might be going wrong in a flock, but it doesn't replace a proper diagnosis.

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 Post subject: Re: Calcium supplement
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:49 am 
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Great Game
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I could have it wrong, but I do think if one is not a qualified nutritionist at least, there is no benefit in mucking around with additives or home-brew-mixes for animals. The scientists have already got it very right with the better feeds. If an individual animal's system isn't utilising good feed correctly, force feeding or watering of one vitamin or mineral is only going to put uptake or conversion of the others out of balance.

Likewise, so maybe wrong again, I don't like in general adding any "stuff" to water. Like ACV, wormer, vitamins etc. An animals fairly basic right to me, is to enjoy a clean drink without it tasting nasty, when there are other ways of administering.

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 Post subject: Re: Calcium supplement
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:53 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Yeah...broadly speaking Possum C. I agree. I am not one to medicate randomly but if a bird or animal can be helped by say feeding differently then I would definitely be interested in investigating it.

I notice that Sustenhance has Copper listed as being included in their supplement and that is designed for poultry.
Sometimes it is as simple as providing a supplement for a short period of time just to correct an imbalance.

However if it is a problem that is specific to one hen and can't be addressed easily then that is a different story altogether.


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 Post subject: Re: Calcium supplement
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:02 am 
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Hatchling
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u can mix instant corner masa and put a litter bit of flowe and them u put a little bit of salt and u mix it and then u give it to them in pic

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