Hello from Ohio and also a question

hlong444

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 23, 2013
6
1
11
I started raising chickens as a hobby last April. It has brought tons of joy to my life :) Love seeing the ladies forage now that it is spring. We had a harsh winter and they all survived :) I have used this site at random times but my hens have been having a variety of problems lately. I had a girl today with a vent problem, another laying eggs without a hard outer shell. It seems like a calcium deficiency. I feed them a lot of leftovers from the table (not the bad things they are not supposed to have though) and I was wondering if that may lead to them not wanting to eat their layer pellets?

Any help is appreciated -Happy Easter!!
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium member
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,683
4,863
556
Ohio
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Chickens do like their treats, if you are feeding a commercial feed they usually recommend limiting treats to about 10-15% of the diet so as to not unbalance the diet. Do you have oyster shell available to them on the side? How many shell-less eggs has she layed? They happen occasionally, they are pretty common in new layers or ones just coming back into lay, or in chickens that have been under some stress and can be just a glitch in the egg laying system as it gets into gear with the egg moving through the system too fast. It is not necessarily related to a lack of calcium as such, it can be related to the bird's ability to use calcium or a defective shell gland. If it is just one bird, I would be inclined to think it is a problem specific to her, and probably not diet/ disease/ disturbances. There is a list of causes on The Poultry Site ...
http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publi...ndbook/16/thinshelled-eggs-and-shellless-eggs
 

feathersunshine

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 19, 2014
43
4
26
the country wilderness
My Coop
My Coop
well first off....

and the no-egg shell does sound like calcium deficiency
the layer pellets would solve the problem, but it sounds like we might have spoiled chickens on our hands haha.
i guess the only way to get them to eat the layer pellets is to provide them ONLY iwht layer pellets.

good luck
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium member
10 Years
Aug 26, 2009
125,443
175,890
1,857
Out to pasture
Chickens quickly discover like children, that treats taste much better than the stuff they are supposed to eat. Personally I'd rather have ice cream but have quit cold turkey because it's not the healthiest thing to be addicted to.
 

hlong444

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 23, 2013
6
1
11
thanks! I think that is what happened :) my girls are going on back to boring :) It wouldn't hurt if I stopped eating so many treats myself -LOL
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
Staff member
Premium member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
40,952
61,825
1,492
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop


Welcome to BYC!

I have a hen with the same troubles....laying thin or no shelled eggs. Some birds are highly susceptible to laying like this if they don't' get enough layer feed and calcium. Others are not as effected. So keep the treats down to a dull roar. My flock gets one plate of left over goodies once a day and that is it. If they fill up too much on other stuff, the hen with the laying problems may not eat enough layer feed. This is what happens in my flock. However she will still lay these shell less eggs occasionally and I haven't been able to stop this. Tried all kinds of supplements, vitamins, minerals,etc...and as she is aging, she is getting worse. I would imagine it gets harder to absorb all the minerals needed to convert this calcium.

Good luck with this hen! I am in the same boat over here. Make sure your other birds do not turn into egg eaters as mine are on the verge of. Hang some curtains over your nest boxes so it is dark in there. If you hen lays a shell less egg, she is more likely to get up and leave it, rather than eat it or attract others to also join in and eat it. Curtains seem to help keep the egg eating under control here in my coop.
 

hlong444

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 23, 2013
6
1
11
One more thing-foraging isn't considered a treat is it? Just human food right?
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
Staff member
Premium member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
40,952
61,825
1,492
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
Foraging is good for them, but unless they are finding the right nutrients and calcium, they are not getting enough. Most hens can get a lot of foraging in and not be bothered with calcium conversion and absorption. But hens like we have are bothered. I try to keep my hens foraging also down to a dull roar. She really needs to eat her layer feed all day long or she lays these types of eggs. My hen is 3 years old this year. She started this up at 8 months old. But it wasn't that bad until this past year. And this year she is awful. So I would keep her inside and with a buddy and not free range all day as this can cause her to lay more thin or shell less eggs. At leas this is how my hen is. My knowledge on shell less eggs only comes from my own experiences. LOL So you will need to know your hen better to know what she can handle.
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
Staff member
Premium member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
40,952
61,825
1,492
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop
Oh, and you might want to try just plain oyster shell, the kind for the automatic dispensers. The stuff from Manna Pro, the pullet sized stuff is a mix of Oyster Shell and Coral Calcium. I have also tried cuttle bone calcium. And the plain oyster shell works the best in my hen. The other calciums seem to cause her to lay more funky eggs.

Oh, and keep the protein down to a dull roar too. Too much protein will cause them to release a yolk too quickly and with hens that have these laying issues don't have time to get the calcium converted and on the yolk. So less protein will slow the yolk release down and more eggs will have shells on them with these hens. :)
 
Top Bottom