Egg Quality: Too Much Calcium?

RynsHens

In the Brooder
Nov 16, 2020
8
20
27
Hello all! I'm new here but have really loved reading all your posts. Thank you for having me.

I have a question!!!! We have 4 hens: An Australop, a Black Copper Marans, an Olive Egger and a Red Star. 4 months ago, we moved from our "country house" way out in a rural area outside of Asheville, to our "City House" (as our 5 year old likes to say.) At both houses, the hens have a fenced in area (imagine the size of half a typical suburban backyard). Same coop, very similar setup. Same feed, which is Dumor Organic Layer feed crumbles. They get meal worms and fancy seed mix from tractor supply for treats, as well as some tomatoes and berries. All the hens are great layers, they are all a year - 2 years old. Since our move to the City House 4 months ago, 2 of our hens now have egg shell quality problems due to excess calcium --- according to the research I have done looking at the symptoms of their eggs. The Olive Egger lays eggs that have pimples and chalky calcium deposits that can be scraped off. The Red Star has a purplish shell with white spots all over. Both of them are laying terrible looking eggs and I have no idea why!? The only clear change is the location. Note I do not give them oyster shells on the side; I have experimented but it doesn't seem like that makes any difference at all. Help! What could be causing the excess calcium? Or is it just a weird coincidence??? Thank you for your help
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
11 Years
Mar 19, 2011
8,286
7,105
602
NW Oregon
Big changes in location can cause laying problems. That's my first thought. It may take them a couple of more months to settle.

Bumpy eggs and discoloration *could* be aging egg glands...but typically not at 1 to 2 years of age. It could also simply be excess bloom on the RSL, which causes the "purplish" coloration (actually a coveted color in egg breeding caused by tinted bloom).

I'm more concerned with the bumpy egg. That *can* be a sign of viral disease. Are they all healthy? No sneezing, runny eyes/noses, diarrhea?

Can you get some photos uploaded? That would help us ascertain better.

LofMc
 

NatJ

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Mar 20, 2017
11,988
27,587
916
USA
If you think they may be getting too much calcium, you could switch to a Flock Raiser or All Flock type feed (lower calcium, appropriate for chicks rather than laying hens), and then provide oyster shell in a separate container.

That way they can choose how much calcium they want, instead of always getting the amount that is in the layer feed.

(Chick Starter or Grower feed would work equally well-- just look for something around 16% to 20% protein that is labeled for chickens but not specifically for laying hens, so it has the lower calcium level, if you want to try this.)
 

CaramelKittey

Crowing
Feb 15, 2019
1,052
2,534
362
New Jersey
If you think they may be getting too much calcium, you could switch to a Flock Raiser or All Flock type feed (lower calcium, appropriate for chicks rather than laying hens), and then provide oyster shell in a separate container.

That way they can choose how much calcium they want, instead of always getting the amount that is in the layer feed.

(Chick Starter or Grower feed would work equally well-- just look for something around 16% to 20% protein that is labeled for chickens but not specifically for laying hens, so it has the lower calcium level, if you want to try this.)
We have a lot of roosters which is initially why I switched to a Flock Raiser feed, but I must say, I've been really happy with the higher protein in the feed for all my birds and haven't noticed any calcium deposits on eggs since I switched! Really love this feed mix! The only pens I ever see calcium deposits from, are 2 of my silkie pens which get a different formula (Used them as the control for my calcium deposit experiment 😊) that I will now be switching over to Flock Raiser since the experiment is complete.
 

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