Fragile shells

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sammyg21, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. sammyg21

    sammyg21 In the Brooder

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    I have 6 gals in my flock and one of them consistently lays thin shelled eggs. There was a short period of time where the flock had a duck feed (wrong feed was purchased and not noticed until egg production for everyone went down)We went back to our Purina Lay pellets and her shells are still pretty thin. She's been laying for about 6 months. Is there anything else I can do?

    Edited to add: I offer oystershell in a separate container (I used to add it to the food but they would pick it out and leave it) so they have access to that whenever they want it. I also break down egg shells and add that to their feed
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2017
    penny1960 likes this.
  2. B Redhawk

    B Redhawk Chirping

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    do you have some crushed oyster shell set out as free choice? usually thin shells are an indication of not enough calcium but along with calcium there needs to be enough manganese, zinc and other trace minerals available or the chicken can't utilize the calcium. so you may need to give trace minerals as well as a free choice supplement.
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  3. sammyg21

    sammyg21 In the Brooder

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    Rocklin, Ca
    They have access to oyster shell at all times and I crumble up egg shells and add that to their feed. I'll have to look into a mineral supplement. Thanks!
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    I would suggest that you get them on a good multi vit. I have found that when a hen is laying weak shelled eggs, simply adding calcium is not enough. Many nutrients are co dependent on other nutrients for good absorption, and calcium is not exempt.
     
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    Egg shells mixed with layer feed is not a good idea; the layer feed shouldn't have anything mixed in, and egg shells aren't the best for good shell development. Just have the oyster shell in a separate container, and consider shifting to a richer (higher protein) diet. Some hens will produce thin shelled eggs no matter what you do because it's genetic, so that's possible too. Mary
     
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  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    FP, a recent study stated that egg shell works just as good as OS as a calcium supplement. Egg shell quality did not differ when comparing eggs from birds supplemented with OS to the eggs from birds supplemented with ES. However, one can't depend on simply feeding back the egg shells, as eventually it will be a diminishing return. I've had my adult flock on starter for the last 9 weeks. Only twice in that time have I given them OS. They have been able to free range. This morning, I had to FIGHT my way into an egg so I could cook it for breakfast.
     
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  7. Fabidon

    Fabidon Chirping

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    I'm back and still having the same problem with weak shells. I have 9 chickens with 6 being the younger, more productive egg layers but several are laying huge eggs, Jumbo; XXJumbo and even XXXJumbo. I am feeding Purina Layena crumbles with oyster shell available at all times plus they are free range during the day. We feed them some veggie and fruit scraps and as recommended earlier, mix their feed with water to make it a mush in the mornings. I think the extra size is causing the weak shells because the more normal sized eggs have strong shells but I don't think I can make them produce smaller eggs if they are genetically geared for such large ones. The six younger birds are all sex-link Rhode Island Red/Leghorn crosses. One last thing, we do not get double yolked eggs, just more white with typical yolks. Any ideas?
     
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  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    There is really nothing you can do. As a hen gets older, her eggs get bigger. That's just the way their laying cycles go.
     
    penny1960 likes this.
  9. Fabidon

    Fabidon Chirping

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    Thank you for that input....they are just a little over two years old, is that considered "older"? Their eggs have increased in size since they started laying but they are so big now they won't fit in "Large" egg containers.
     
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

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    Yes, they are 'older' hens. Commercial producers cull birds earlier; those of us that keep our nice hens just have to deal with whatever they decide to produce, and thinner shells will happen. I think that Flock Raiser with oyster shell on the side works out better, for my birds, rather than a layer diet. Mary
     

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