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Thin shells...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

So my duck has been laying great for a few months now. Up until about three weeks ago, they had nice, strong shells. Now suddenly they're thin and breaking really easily. As soon as I noticed, I added crushed chicken/duck egg shells. They seemed to get stronger for a week. Now we're back to paper thin. I feed her Layer Feed. Do you think I should quit the egg shells, and switch to oyster shells? Anything else I should be doing?

 

The other weird thing is that at least once a week, she'll lay two eggs in one day.Leave it to me to get a bizarre duck, lol. I'm positive that I have a hen and a drake. He has the tail curls and is a little meanie, too. He hasn't managed to bite me yet, but that doesn't stop him from trying/pretending. It's kind of funny. He'll start to run at me, get to about a foot away, and then runs and hides.

 

They're Magpies.

post #2 of 7

Yep, in order to get the extra calcium required for good egg production, your female needs a permanent supply of oyster shell.  Otherwise, her calcium gets depleted and could lead to weakened bones.

Love my family...8 ducks, 4 cats, 2 dogs, a boyfriend, grown-up son & BYC lamps!

Check out new BYC photo contest:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1124563/official-byc-contest-post-your-best-poultry-dust-bathing-pics/0_30  

Helpful general duck info for newbies:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/256233/ducks-sticky-topics-index

Link to Metzer duck breed comparison chart:  http://www.metze...

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Love my family...8 ducks, 4 cats, 2 dogs, a boyfriend, grown-up son & BYC lamps!

Check out new BYC photo contest:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1124563/official-byc-contest-post-your-best-poultry-dust-bathing-pics/0_30  

Helpful general duck info for newbies:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/256233/ducks-sticky-topics-index

Link to Metzer duck breed comparison chart:  http://www.metze...

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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

The layer feed and crushed egg shells have calcium. I guess just not enough. I added oyster shell today. thanks for the feedback.

post #4 of 7
The extra calcium in the layer feed can be bad for the drake's kidneys. Just an FYI.
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you. Should I feed them separately?

post #6 of 7
That's up to you. Some folks say they feed their drakes layer feed without issue but you never really know. You could change to an all flock type food for both and offer calcium just to the hen. But with thin shells you may not want to do that.

I'd also add that low calcium is not always the culprit in thin shells. It can also be due to not enough vitamin D, like if it has been really overcast. There may be something preventing her from absorbing calcium, like spinach. Or it could also be due to stress. Maybe a pradator has been around or the drake might be over mateing.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

I live in Arizona, so I don't think Vit D is the problem. But I will keep an eye out. If it doesn't look like the Oyster shell is working, then I'll figure out another culprit. There was a cat in the yard a couple of days ago, but it was pretty scrawny. I think my drake can take him. lol

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