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 Post subject: Calcium guidance
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 7:41 am 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:36 am
Posts: 155
Location: Brisbane
Hello BYP

One of my girls is laying thin shelled eggs about 3 times over the last month. She has always laid the biggest eggs. I have recently changed foods and also possibly given to much dark leafy greens at the moment. Can anyone give suggestions on how to give calcium supplement to 1 bird. I am sure the other 3 are fine at the moment.

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 Post subject: Re: Calcium guidance
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 9:22 am 
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Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 6750
Location: ACT area
Dark leafy greens are a good source of calcium but only if cooked. Fed raw they contain a substance which inhibits calcium absorption.
There should be adequate calcium in a good quality layer feed although there are other times when the hens require more - they will help them selves to self serve shell grit as needed.
Soft shelled eggs are rarely the result of inadequate calcium in the diet but rather as a result of the hen being unable do utilise it due to a reproductive disorder such as a faulty shell gland.
Your largest egg layer is often your oldest chook, and the one most likely to have a reproductive disorder. Large eggs require more calcium to produce a hard shell than do smaller eggs. Is she a commercial layer?
Sometimes a break from laying will be sufficient to bring things back to normal. If she does not take a natural break over the Winter you can try inducing a moult to stop her laying.
Sometimes a calcium boost (injection or calcium supplement from pet shop) will give a boost but will not be a cure.


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 Post subject: Re: Calcium guidance
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 1:21 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:36 am
Posts: 155
Location: Brisbane
sue55 wrote:
Dark leafy greens are a good source of calcium but only if cooked. Fed raw they contain a substance which inhibits calcium absorption.
There should be adequate calcium in a good quality layer feed although there are other times when the hens require more - they will help them selves to self serve shell grit as needed.
Soft shelled eggs are rarely the result of inadequate calcium in the diet but rather as a result of the hen being unable do utilise it due to a reproductive disorder such as a faulty shell gland.
Your largest egg layer is often your oldest chook, and the one most likely to have a reproductive disorder. Large eggs require more calcium to produce a hard shell than do smaller eggs. Is she a commercial layer?
Sometimes a break from laying will be sufficient to bring things back to normal. If she does not take a natural break over the Winter you can try inducing a moult to stop her laying.
Sometimes a calcium boost (injection or calcium supplement from pet shop) will give a boost but will not be a cure.



Thanks Sue

The birds are not old, only purchased them in December, as Pol birds. I have recently changed food from barastoc golden yolk to Jenco 18% layer mash. They always have shell grit available. I'm just a bit confused.

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Four happy chickens started Dec 2017
Two Isa Browns and Two Australorp crosses.


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 Post subject: Re: Calcium guidance
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 3:26 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:36 am
Posts: 155
Location: Brisbane
She is a ISA Brown, so yes a commercial layer

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 Post subject: Re: Calcium guidance
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 10:33 pm 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
Posts: 177
Location: NSW Southern Highlands
Try to make sure they don't get access to salty foods. Salt affects sodium/calcium metabolism in their kidneys. They sacrifice calcium from their needed parts in order to clear the excess sodium. (good advice for humans too...) If i remember correctly, your hens are all pretty young.
Sue55 is right about supplements. Cooked greens are easier to absorb.
Although, I would have thought the diet of one hen in a group would be similar in others in the same group. If there is a real problem with nutrition, the others will eventually display it too.
On the other hand, how sure are you that the same hen lays soft shelled eggs? The odd soft shell, especially in young birds, or during seasons of change (diet, weather), could occur without meaning they have a problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Calcium guidance
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 7:14 am 
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Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:36 am
Posts: 155
Location: Brisbane
Okaru wrote:
Try to make sure they don't get access to salty foods. Salt affects sodium/calcium metabolism in their kidneys. They sacrifice calcium from their needed parts in order to clear the excess sodium. (good advice for humans too...) If i remember correctly, your hens are all pretty young.
Sue55 is right about supplements. Cooked greens are easier to absorb.
Although, I would have thought the diet of one hen in a group would be similar in others in the same group. If there is a real problem with nutrition, the others will eventually display it too.
On the other hand, how sure are you that the same hen lays soft shelled eggs? The odd soft shell, especially in young birds, or during seasons of change (diet, weather), could occur without meaning they have a problem.


I'm home all the time, and notice which hens lay what colour eggs. I only have four chooks and only one lays these big white one's. Hopefully it's just because her diet has changed slightly. Thanks for the suggestions

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