Egg shell problems

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cute bantams, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. cute bantams

    cute bantams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2015
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    hi fellow byc friends I have some hens whose eggs are soft shelled I am assuming it's a calcium problem and I have offered the birds some crushed oyster shell but they refuse to eat it [​IMG] does anyone have any other ideas on getting calcium to my hens thanks - cute bantams
     
  2. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Hi there, and [​IMG]

    The very best way to get calcium into your hens is by feeding 24/7 free access to a formulated layer's pellet. You should also offer a dish of oyster shell on the side, but generally speaking the layer's fed contains enough calcium and they won't eat much of it. Don't feed other treats for a while (vegies, scratch, wheat etc) to ensure that they eat adequate amounts of their pellets.

    I am wondering how old your birds are? Young pullets fresh into lay will often lay soft shelled eggs as a matter of course, whilst they figure out how to get the 'Egg Factory' working properly. Older hens approaching the end of their egg laying life can also throw out the occasional soft shelled egg. Would either of these scenarios apply to your hens?

    There are other causes to be aware of (illness, defective shell glands etc) but if it's only the occasional soft shell I wouldn't be concerned.

    Failing all of that, if this is a consistent problem which is not improving, you can buy liquid and powdered calcium suppliments which can be added to the bird's food. Whilst layer's pellets are adequate for most laying hens some birds just need that extra support.

    Good luck!

    - Krista
     
  3. cute bantams

    cute bantams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2015
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    Thank you krista for the helpful suggestions I have a couple of different age birds three of the birds will be three in March and the others will be two in March the younger birds are the ones who usually lay the abnormal eggs I wouldn't be surprised to see this problem from the older birds but not the younger ones
     
  4. cute bantams

    cute bantams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2015
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    Do you think purina omega 3 layer pellets would help we currently feed Texas natural layer crumbles as the birds don't like pellets LOL but they don't really like crumbles either I have started a new thread called hen egg problems I think I have a horrible memory [​IMG] so I could be wrong
     
  5. cute bantams

    cute bantams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2015
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    Correction we feed h and h layer crumbles
     
  6. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Layer's Crumbles and Layers Pellets will both contain adequate calcium and nutrients for your girls. The crumbles (which my birds prefer to pellets too) are just the pellets crushed down to smaller sized pieces. So whichever your birds seem to prefer is fine.

    I used to say that my birds didn't like their crumbles either. The thing with chickens though is that they will eat any other feeds offered before they will eat their crumbles. So if you feed vegetables or table scraps or scratch or wheat, they will always eat that first and leave the crumbles sitting there. Why eat the crumbles when they know other treats will be forthcoming?!

    The trick is to take away all other food sources. I know that's easier said than done, because it is so lovely to sit out in the run with them and throw a handful or two of scratch out. I put it under the heading of "It's For Your Own Good" and just take everything away but for the crumbles. They may get cranky and hold out for a day, but when you don't show up with other tasty treats, you better believe they will learn to like crumbles! Chickens are all about the food, so it won't take long before they start scoffing it down.

    ETA: If you really think your girls don't like the crumbles you are feeding them you could always try another brand. I think there are a few brands of crumbles available so perhaps switch over to another brand and see how they go with that....

    - Krista
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
  7. cute bantams

    cute bantams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 27, 2015
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    Ok crista thank you I will implement that plan after I change the locks so they cannot escape and mug me LOL
     

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