Calcium deposits-but they free range ???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 3chickchicks, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    615
    166
    138
    Jun 25, 2013
    N. Texas
    One of my girls (began laying this fall) has been laying eggs with lots of calcium deposits. Poor thing!
    I thought it was just a phase but she's been doing this for weeks now. They free range all day long and rarely touch their feed. They have oyster shell available but they haven't touched it. I give them black sunflower seeds (a handful split between four birds) once or twice a day to get them into the coup for when I let the dogs out to use the restroom. They aren't locked up but 15 minutes.

    So I'm not sure how to fix "too much calcium" when she's basically eating her natural diet?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,307
    8,153
    666
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    20,627
    4,135
    526
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    If it is common across your flock, it is a flock problem. If it is only one hen, it is a one hen problem. Since it is only one and is consistent, it has something to do with that individual hen. Maybe how she processes the calcium she eats or maybe something to do with the shell gland.

    Why do you say “poor thing”? How bad is it? It’s not all that uncommon. What makes you think she is hurting?

    As for a natural diet, chickens that forage can get calcium from a lot of sources, certain plants they eat, hard-shelled bugs, and if you are in limestone country even the pebbles they use as grit. How much calcium they get depends on what plants, bugs and rocks they eat. Obviously yours are in a calcium-rich area. I don’t have an idea of how to fix that when it is something individual to one hen if it even needs to be fixed. Just don’t hatch any of her eggs to pass that trait on to future chickens.
     
  4. 3chickchicks

    3chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    615
    166
    138
    Jun 25, 2013
    N. Texas
    She seems okay. I say "poor thing" because I wouldn't want to pass an egg like that.

    When she first began laying, she didn't have the calcium deposits. I haven't changed their diet but we did go from fall to winter. I wonder if available foods in the winter have more calcium?
    It's just her. No other birds have calcium deposits. I just wanted to make sure there wasn't something I could do. If it's a faulty shell gland then I'll just let her be and hope she never has complications from it.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by