Calcium supplementing

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by veronicasmom, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My runner, the only one that lays almost year round has been laying very thin shelled eggs for the last few weeks. They have access to oyster shells constantly, but I am wondering if there is something else I can easily give her that might help. She is acting fine, eating, pooping, being LOUD, it's just these gross eggs. They were molting recently.
    I also have a drake, so I don't want to get something that he can get into and have a problem with. I will also add, as with most runners, she does not like being handled, so I really don't want to have to give her something that requires me to syringe it into her if I really don't have to. How dangerous to her are these soft shelled eggs? This did not happen last year.
     
  2. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bump up the protein with what? Possibly cat food? And will that be ok for the non laying hens and the drake?
    Lately, it's been every egg. For maybe a week or so.
    Thanks for that link, will read it later when I am home for the day.
    I appreciate your response!!!!!![​IMG]
     
  4. cuntryuppiechick

    cuntryuppiechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ours seem to like tuna and egg. The chickens are nuts for beef but haven't offered to the ducks.
     
  5. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I sometimes use cat food, usually it has about 30% protein in it. Not a whole lot of it though. You can also use Flax, shelled sunflower seeds, Alfalfa if they'll eat it (mine won't, even if it's the cubes soaked in water), beans (such as kidney beans)... soaked until they're soft. You can soak beans in water for about 24 hours to soften them without actually cooking them. I try to stay away from anything canned because of the sodium content. But if canned peas go on sale I'll get those and just rinse them thoroughly.

    When researching our human diet, it led me to all sorts of things the birds can have as natural supplementation over artificial supplements. So the cat food is a treat more than anything for an animal protein source. We eat all the eggs they lay right now, so we don't feed those back to them. Likely will when everyone is laying though! Come Spring I'll have eggs coming out of my eyeballs.

    There's several links like the one I posted, it can help rule things out or give possibilities. Just search the web for "causes of poor egg quality" or a similar term.
     
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    I suspect that protein doesn't have much effect on egg shells.

    The duck might need more calcium, more vitamin D, more sunshine.

    Protein will help speed up the molt. You can buy a bag of game bird or a bag of turkey feed, which has a much higher protein content. It won't hurt any of your birds as long as it is only fed for a week or two. The only birds you don't give it to are ducklings and goslings between the age of week 2 and the point where they are fully feathered.
     
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Also, check the oyster shell and make sure it is clean and nice. Because it lays around for a long time and doesn't spoil, sometimes it gets wet or muddy or can get algae or fouled in other ways.
     
  8. RunnerWhisperer

    RunnerWhisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've been using kitten food because I ran out of oyster shell about a month or so ago. They really like the cat food! I give them a couple of hand fulls with their pellets at night because there are two of them. I do notice they pine around still where I had the oyster shell so I think they are trying to look for a calcium supply. Their shells are still very hard though so I think by them free ranging they are still getting enough calcium somewhere!? My vet said to get a bag of chicken scratch as well and put about a handful in with their food during the winter months. They are already spoiled little fat things so I won't over do it!! Well not too fat but happily healthy as you can see...
    [​IMG]
     
  9. destinduck

    destinduck obsessed with "ducks"

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    If you want to make sure your duck is getting that oyster shell into her body mix it directly with her food. Alot of times they have access but that doesnt mean they will always eat it by itself. By mixing it they definitely cant avoid it all. This will cure your problem.
     
  10. veronicasmom

    veronicasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have a drake, so I didn't want to mix it in their food. I know it won't be good if he gets too much. She generally is pretty good about eating it.
     

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