How ELSE to get Calcium into the chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dogdollar, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. dogdollar

    dogdollar Songster

    May 19, 2010
    For the past two weeks, I have on occasion been disappointed to go to collect eggs in the afternoon, only to find the entire day's production coated with dried yolk and dirt. To me, these are beyond cleaning. I throw away the whole lot.

    Today I noticed one of my hens out in the yard, walking slowly and carrying her rear end close to the ground. I watched her for a while until i finally observed her laying an egg. Almost immediately my rooster and a couple of other hens were approaching the egg - for whatever reason - but I shooed them off and picked it up and....guess had no shell......... it was nothing but membrane.
    So.......does that mean this is the hen that has been contaminating the nest boxes via broken, shell-less eggs? What do I do about it? I have oyster shell available free choice 24-7 and I feed FlockRaiser. They also eat plain their fill of plain yogurt at LEAST three times a week. What the heck else can I do ?


  2. codymax2

    codymax2 Songster

    Jul 7, 2010
    Liverpool, NY
    When you do get eggs with shells bake them at a low temp to dry them, and feed it back to them! Mix it in some oatmeal or something you know they'll eat. I don't give oyster shell and have never had a problem and I don't have to throw the shells in the trash. Good luck
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I would separate that hen if it were me, since egg eating is a habit. You don't want your flock learning to eat eggs.

    I have noted after reading many BYC posts that occasionally a hen might lay an egg without a shell.

    If ALL your chickens' eggshells are thin, then I would recommend actually mixing the oyster shell into the feed (DRY feed) so that there is still free choice oyster shell intake, but it will encourage them to eat it. That is what I do with my flock, and the eggshells are great.

    Once that hen starts laying normal eggs again, I would reintroduce her. Egg eating is such a strong habit that many have culled chickens (and whole flocks) for it.

    I have witnessed hens eating a soft-shelled egg that was laid. That is what they do when they see that yummy egg visible.
    TearDucks likes this.
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Here are some good sources of calcium:

    2.Turnip greens
    3.Mustard greens
    4.Collard greens
    5.Blackstrap molasses
    6.Swiss chard
    9.Mozzarella cheese
    10.Milk (goat's milk and cow's milk)
    11.Basil, thyme, dill seed, cinnamon, and peppermint leaves
    12.Romaine lettuce
    16.Sesame seeds
    19.Summer squash
    20.Green beans
    23.Brussel sprouts
    26.Crimini mushrooms

    Be aware that molasses can cause diarrhea in chickens, garlic can flavor eggs, and some people do not feed their chickens oranges.

    Here is info about shellless eggs:

    Imp- Good luck & I have no idea why #14 is blank. [​IMG]
    TearDucks likes this.
  5. Jags Fan

    Jags Fan Hatching

    Feb 25, 2018
    A huge thank you for the list!
  6. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Is this an older hen, or a new pullet? Either can be laying odd eggs. The pullet will likely do better, while an older hen might not. Having free choice oyster shell is necessary, as you are doing. The yogurt might be a problem, rather than helping; cut it way back, or eliminate it.
    Mixing oyster shell in the food is not a good idea; hens will eat what they need. Do they all know where it is? My oyster shell feeder was almost out this week, and I finally noticed and refilled it. Bad on my part!
    No bird will eat enough of any of those extra items to provide the calcium needed for the egg shell in the early morning hours!

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