Calcium Carbonate Supplement - How Much?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sledzeppelin, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. sledzeppelin

    sledzeppelin In the Brooder

    Sep 21, 2007
    Embarrass, MN
    My hens are laying very thin-shelled eggs. I went to the farm store to get oyster shells but all they had was a bag of calcium carbonate, labeled for chickens (as opposed to industrial grade). However, the bag doesn't say how or how much to feed. Should I mix some portion of it in with their food (laying mash) or put it in a separate feeder like people do with oyster shells?


  2. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    *Kinda depends of how many mg. of calcium per ounce of the supplement. Does the bag give you ANY info??
  3. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    Last edited: Aug 31, 2008
  4. sledzeppelin

    sledzeppelin In the Brooder

    Sep 21, 2007
    Embarrass, MN
    My mistake - I found on the back of the bag where it says "keep in front of chickens - free eat" or something like that. I put a small dish out there so I'll see what they do with it. It looks like gravel and it's very heavy. Oh, and the bag says 95% calcium carbonate, 35-40% calcium.
  5. Kennykbe

    Kennykbe In the Brooder

    Apr 28, 2007
    Calcium carbonate is EXACTLY what the egg shells are made of. Oyster shells too. Thats pretty popular around hear (Chesapeake Bay). Let them have free choice. Some people will have a small feeder just for Calcium Carb. I usually toss a handfull around in the chicken yard when I feed in the morning.
  6. 88keysau

    88keysau In the Brooder

    Jan 2, 2014
    We bought calcium carbonate powder from our local farm supply for $3 - 2kg. A 3kg bag of bran for $3 and mixed 2 tablespoons Calc.Carb to 1 cup of bran with warm water. I added some flax seeds as well as they were lying about and the parrots don't like them.......Never seen such enthusiastic chickens - all I could see was little feathered butts!!!

    Anyone know if the proportions I have used were ok. We only have 4 hens. Also, how often can I feed this?
  7. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Its not the ratios of bran and flax seed that matters it is the percent of calcium in their total diet. In their diet hens in lay need around four percent calcium in their diet. I would check to see what the percent of calcium is in their regular feed. If it is four percent layer then you are good without the added calcium. If you are using another feed with less or you are getting soft shell or thin shelled eggs then adding the calcium carbonate to bring the calcium percent up is in order. The best way to give them extra calcium is just to put it out in a dish and let them take what they need. Forcing them to take in extra calcium can lead to possible damage to their kidneys.
  8. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    But it does matter how much wheat bran and flax are in the mix as they both have inverted Ca:p values meaning they have much more P than Ca causing the overall Ca % to drop even more. Use up the bran sparingly. Don't buy any more and offer the Ca on the side free choice.
  9. Read the tag one corner of your chicken feed bag. Laying pellets or mash is supposed to contain about 4% calcium. Doe's yours? I would not recommend that you exceed this percentage of calcium in the feed by much. Feed small amounts free choice or on the side but don't force your birds to consume more calcium or plaster than is good for them. If egg shell thickness or strength is an issue explore other causes. Your local agricultural university is a good place to start. Many AG schools now have BYC departments.
  10. RoseMarie1

    RoseMarie1 Songster

    Mar 31, 2013
    My Coop
    Brigitt likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: