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egg shells TOO thick, some bumpy

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by saildog, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. saildog

    saildog In the Brooder

    May 8, 2012
    I feed layer crumble and spinkle in some oyster shell, they get scratch grains corn, and i give veggies , kale , lettuce, and melons berries etc. And they free range all day , so they actually dont eat a whole lot of the layer feed and oyster shell.

    The egg shells are very hard compared to grocery store eggs which I know is normal as these are healthier chickens but a couple eggs every day have some little extra bumps on them, ( looks like would be painful to lay them ) and I am wondering if they are Over supplemented on calcium and should I stop adding any oyster shell.??? They only started laying a couple months ago, I have 17 hens and 2 roosters. They were born in June.

  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Excess calcium in the diet is one of the causes, but it may just be a glitch in the hens' productive systems that they will work out by themselves.
    Layer mash contains all the nutrients hens need, so if you are feeding them only that you don't need to supplement with oystershell, but if you are feeding lots of extras like scratch and veggies I'd suggest you offer the oystershell in a separate dish so the hens can regulate their calcium intake by helping themselves to the shell as and when they feel they need it.
    1 person likes this.
  3. x2
  4. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    There is no need for oyster shells. You can still offer it but do so as free choice, in a side dish not added to feed.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I believe in moderation. Too much of a good thing is not a good thing. The way I read this, all your pullets are laying really thick shelled eggs, not just a few of them.

    Stop sprinkling on the oyster shell. It's obvious they don't need it. Offer it off to the side if you absolutely have to, that won't hurt. Just quit sprinkling it on. They are not doing this because they are healthier. They are doing this because they are eating too much calcium. The opposite of healthy may be going on. If they eat too much calcium, their body has to work extra hard to get rid of the excess. You want moderation not excess.

    Hens that are laying need a certain amount of calcium for the egg shell. That can come from Layer. If Layer is all they eat, they should get plenty from that. You can offer oyster shell on the side if your shells are not hard enough.

    But they can also get calcium from their environment. Wild birds lay eggs with shells and no one is feeding them oyster shell. Chickens and wild birds can get calcium from certain plants they eat, from the shells of bugs, or even the gravel they use for grit if that gravel contains limestone. Since yours free range so much, it's pretty obvious they are getting extra calcium from some other source. As hard as you say those shells are I'd bet you have a lot of limestone in your gravel.

    Don't worry about thoes bumps. That does not hurt them when they lay those. Bumps are not a problem.

    When they start to lay, some pullets can lay eggs with thicker shells. The eggs are small and the shell gland can make more shell material than they need for those small eggs. It can take a while for pullets to get the kinks worked out of their internal egg laying factory. That's why you can get those funny eggs when they start laying. If it were only one or two of yours laying those this might have something to do with it, but yours have been laying too long for that to be very likely, plus I think it is all of them doing it.

    Let your egg shells tell you how to manage the calcium. If they are too thin, they need more calcium. If the egg shells are about right , keep doing what you are doing. If the egg shells are too hard they need less calcium.
    1 person likes this.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Just give them the layer feed, no oyster shell. Young hens often don't need it anyway.

    New layers have glitches in their egg laying. Bumps, lumps, ridges, wrinkles, pointy ends, weird shapes, double yolks, no yolks, and sometimes no shell at all. It's all part of having your own birds, weird eggs and all.

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