how can I improve calcium uptake?


Building the Castle
11 Years
Nov 15, 2008
Martinez, CA
I have 3 BO's. One has only been producing an egg every two weeks or so, and it is either shell-less or very thin-shelled. This has been going on for a couple of months, since around the time I lost another BO to EYP. I'm wondering if the two situations are related.

Since seeing this problem, I have been offering oyster shell and ground eggshell, free choice. I have also been giving a small amount of cooked oatmeal sprinkled with quinoa, flaxseed, and ground eggshell. The birds free range for bugs and weeds most days for about an hour and a half, more on the weekends.

Two of the birds have responded to the added calcium in their diet by producing shells that have little calcium deposits on the them, making them a bit rough to the touch. The other bird who had the soft-shell problem doesn't seem to be responding at all. She is otherwise healthy.

Should I be adding a vitamin like Aviacharge to the water? Should I avoid foods like spinach? (I heard both yes and no on this one.) What else can I do to increase her calcium uptake?

They eat Layena crumbles. Last year, they had a few months on Layena Pellets, but that was a disaster, and we had one hen die of EYP, and the soft shells started. Switching back to Layena crumbles got them eating, but still leaves me with one hen who has soft shells. The girl with soft shells seems to be eating well, with a good weight. She is the biggest of the three.
I'm not sure I just need to provide more calcium. The other two have calcium deposits on the eggs from so much calcium. Is there another mineral or vitamin that specifically will assist in calcium uptake? I know that both magnesium and vitamin D do that for people. Is there a magnesium rich food?
I've heard a tums a day works well. I haven't had to do this myself so no first had experience, but I can't see how it would hurt. I sure hope you don't have to go thru another heartbreak like with Paris.
I have Durvet's vitamins and electroytes. I haven't used this for the coop waterer because it's a little giant, and I was worried about it reacting with the metal. I have added a plastic waterer in the run, so maybe that is where I should use it. How much do you use for a gallon of water? It says an 8 oz package for 110 gallons, but I'm not mixing that much. How many teaspoons in an 8oz pkg?

also, it has vitamin D, but doesn't have any magnesium in it. anyone have an idea of what would help the magnesium?
Spinach contains oxalic acid, which binds more calcium that it offers, actually reducing the total calcium available.

Do your hens have access to natural sunlight? if not you may want to bet a UV bulb this may help I know with my reptiles the UV bulb gives them the rays to adsorb the calcium to prevent metabolic bone disease. and also to help with the eggs of a gravid female
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Steff, I have heard that organic ACV in the water will aid in calcium absorption. Perhaps put it in the plastic waterer?

Tell those girls that Aunt Sally says to straighten up and fly right!

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