Backyard Poultry Forum • View topic - Old Girls Low in Calcium

Backyard Poultry Forum

Chickens, waterfowl & all poultry - home of exhibition & backyard poultry in Australia & New Zealand
Login with a social network:
It is currently Sun Mar 26, 2017 6:23 pm

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Old Girls Low in Calcium
PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:52 pm 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:19 pm
Posts: 14
OK. I understand that ISA Brown's are a 'live fast die young' hybrid but I'm trying to work against the odds here. We adopted three geriatric chooks, one of whom, in particular, is psycho (she attacks at the slightest provocation), and laying weak shells. I've tried ground egg shells, calcium supplements, ground cuttlefish, chick peas (supposed to be full of calcium and protein), cat food and skim milk powder in their porridge, and so it goes. I pull her out and hand feed her a ground calcium supplement mixed with cat food almost daily.

My husband, who at the outset was indulging me in this chook venture, is now so devoted to the calcium deficient psycho chook he won't hear of moving her on.

I provide shell grit, but cannot source oyster shell grit, which seems to be the preferred potion. What gets me is that there is shell grit there, but they totally ignore it. I assume this means they are getting the calcium they want, as everything I read suggests that they will eat it they need it. Well, it's there, they need it, but they aren't eating it.

Any suggestions?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 4:29 am 
Offline
Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 11:39 pm
Posts: 622
Try adding Soluvite D to their water and make sure they have access to a good quality pellet during the day and especially the evening which is when the calcium is needed.

If you're feeding any seed before they 'go to bed' stop doing it, because if you feed grains at evening and the grains are low in calcium then the calcium for the eggs will be taken from the chickens bones instead of their feed.

_________________
Cheers, Milo.
Sitting in the shade of the mulberry I spy a plump berry or two. Stained purple, the girls look and laugh at me like a chook!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:36 am 
Offline
Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 5645
Location: ACT area
Unfortunately, you are right. Soft shelled eggs are typical of an elderly ISA. I suspect that ex commercial layers have had a calcium deficient youth. The practice of moving them on before these reproductive issues emerge mean that it is not economically necessary to supplement calcium in a commercial environment - consequently calcium needs are supplied by body withdrawal, resulting ultimately not just in symptoms from the reproductive end but also as Osteoporosis. If the shell gland hs deteriorated to the point of no return however, the problem is permanent and progressive. At some stage euthenasia will be the kindest option.
Vitamin D is necessary for the metabolism of calcium. In most cases sunshine should supply adequate however additional as suggested by Milo is worth trying.
I would induce a moult as the first step. This will stop her laying. Supplementing with calcium, vitamin D and plenty of protein may then give her a reprieve. When she recommences laying it is likely that her egg output will also have decreased but hopefully the quality will improve.
Your chooks should self serve as needed from the shell grit but no amount of extra will cure an existing metabolic problem.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:17 pm 
Offline
Golden Cockatoo
Golden Cockatoo
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:07 am
Posts: 21917
Location: toodyay, WA
hi wendy,

has it been hot where you are by any chance?

thin shelled eggs can also be a sign of heat stress............http://thefrugalchicken.com/chickens-laying-soft-eggs/

http://livestocktrail.illinois.edu/poul ... tentID=141

_________________
Anconas, Silkies and Pekins :) Caladenia Cottage
Silkies
Wonderful Silkies


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:48 pm 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:19 pm
Posts: 14
Thanks to all. Yes, it has been hot here, but psycho chook's shell problem was well established when they arrived last October.

I think we just accept the inevitable and let her become the watch-chook for the other two.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 11:26 am 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:14 pm
Posts: 118
Location: Melbourne
sue55 wrote:
. I would induce a moult as the first step.


I've never heard of this. How do you induce a moult? (I don't need to, just interested.)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:35 pm 
Offline
Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 5:56 pm
Posts: 38
I believe you separate the hen from the flock,usually into a small cage, feed her a low protein diet and reduce the amount of light she receives.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:47 pm 
Offline
Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 5645
Location: ACT area
Link to thread on inducing a moult

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=8021261&hilit=inducing+a+moult

- note that in chooks other than the ISA type commercial layers, most will be moulting now or very soon and will naturally stop laying. If this is the case the best practice is to continue with a high protein diet (min 15%) and have shell grit freely available. This will set them up for optimal condition to recommence laying after the Winter Solstice.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Mar 12, 2017 2:57 pm 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen

Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:14 pm
Posts: 118
Location: Melbourne
Thanks for that. My girls have moulted and are growing feathers and shedding the new ones as well as old ones! Crazy Indian summer I guess.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:57 pm 
Offline
Newbie
Newbie

Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:19 pm
Posts: 14
Haven't been back to the forum for a few weeks so just catching up on more recent contributions. Have abandoned the calcium supplementation (except for skim milk powder in the porridge), but I've increased the cat food a bit, and, I don't know whether I'm delusional, but I'm pretty sure psycho chook's eggs have picked up a bit - not a lot, but a bit. We've had quite a few now that are whole, though frail at the pointy end.

Sadly, it hasn't improved her temperament.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 10 posts ] 

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 5 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
©2004-2014 Backyardpoultry.com. Content rights reserved
freestone