Hen won't eat oyster or egg shell

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by airmom1c05, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, Brandy laid an egg again today with a shell so soft it broke when I was removing it from the laying box. She won't touch the oyster shell or egg shells. She was never particulary fond of layer pellets unless I broke them into smaller pieces, so per the feed and seed store's recommendation, I switched to layer crumbles which she practically inhales. Is there anything else I could add to her diet that will harden her egg shells? This never happened until I got the new birds. She is very jealous, but I thought she had adjusted except at treat time. I am backing off the Romaine lettuce for a few days to see if that helps. Today at treat time I only offered broken up layer pellets to the grown birds and sunflower seeds to baby Dahlia. They didn't seem to realize they weren't really getting "treats" since I hand fed them. Anyway, I hope one of you can suggest an alternative to oyster shell and egg shell to improve Brandy's egg strength. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If you just got other birds she can be stressed and thus laying funky eggs. When she needs the calcium, she will go and eat it. One thing that will probably help out though is if you stop feeding treats for a few weeks to get her balance back up of what she should be eating.
     
  3. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very sound advice. Just what I was starting to try today. I was just hoping something she might eat would contain enough calcium to give her a boost, but I am learning that calcium without the right ratio of phosphorous, magnesium, and vitamin D3 wouldn't help much because of balance issues, so layer crumbles and pellets for at least 7 days. Do you know if the crumbles are as balanced as the pellets? Just wondering....
     
  4. Dana

    Dana Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I'm pretty sure they are the pellets, just crumbled up.
     
  5. Cheryl

    Cheryl Chillin' With My Peeps

    On the same subject, does a 16% protein layer crumble have oyster shell, or should I go buy a bag? My girls just started laying and the shells are not soft at all.
     
  6. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Layer does not have oyster shell in it...it's sold separate in bags.......I just leave a dish out 24/7 in each of my pens so if the hens need or want it it's there for them.......
     
  7. stilwellchick

    stilwellchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They do need some kind of grit and crushed oyster shell or crumbled egg shells are very good. Crushed egg shells in small amounts mixed in with their feed or in some yougurt will work for the picky eaters. If they are free ranging they will pick up little stones to work as grit in their gizzards. If not ranging they need the grit to be made available to them. I think they all know what they need and the soft shell thing might be temporary and she will get it worked out.
     
  8. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just went out to check on the flock, and Brandy was in the rafters pecking around. I climbed up there and found two perfectly good hard shelled eggs with peck holes! I brought them in, disposed of the insides (since I had no idea how old they were), microwaved the shells, ground them up and took them back outside and fed them to her. She ate almost every bite! Brandy just won't lay in the same place everyday anymore. Looks like I'll be practicing Easter egg hunting for a while until she settles down into a steady routine. [​IMG]

    As soon as Dahlia lays her first egg in about 5 or six weeks I'm estimating since I don't know how old she is, I think I'll put Pocket and Penny in the coop pen if Brandy doesn't start acting more like she did when she was an only bird to see if that helps. The little bantams don't show much interest in leaving the coop, so they would be happy in there as long as I take them out once or twice a day. The coop pen is about 4'x4'x3'. I was planning on letting Penny hatch some eggs in there, but I may wind up with a smaller pen for that. If I get any baby chicks, I will need the big coop pen for them. I think I need to embark on another building project. I didn't think chickens were supposed to like being only birds since they are flocking by nature, but I think Brandy may be the exception. Never a dull moment in chickenville! [​IMG]
     
  9. Churkenduse

    Churkenduse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you grinding up the egg shells enough. I grind my to a powder and there is no way she an tell what or where it is.

    Try mixing it with some oatmeal. I am not a cooker of chicken food but this is an exception. If it is like powder it will get lost in the mush and she WILL eat it.

    Good luck. [​IMG]
     
  10. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's all so interesting. Seems that everything about chickens fluctuates. When Brandy laid her first egg, it was perfect. Granted, it was the smallest egg she ever laid, but it was speckless and hard. She produced bumpy, (probably calcium deposits) eggs after a really cold night fairly regularly and still does. She laid every egg in the box I had prepared for her until I got the new birds. I keep oyster shell available for her in a bowl, and even though she free ranges for an hour or two on pretty, dry days, I sprinkle grit around on the coop floor in case we have a run of rainy weather. Now I have a separate bowl of grit for the little bantams since they rarely jump out of the coop into the run, and I sprinkle it in the coop pen for the young Dahlia. Every time I think Brandy has adjusted well to the new birds (who by the way have definitely adjusted to Brandy) she gets weird and changes her routine. Unpredictable. A hen who doesn't want to be figured out! Lord knows I love that chicken! [​IMG]
     

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