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How much liquid calcium supplement to fix soft shell issue?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dweder, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. dweder

    dweder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 12, 2010
    Glen Ellyn, Illinois
    I've done everything possible with my hens diet to fix her soft shell issue (which nearly kills her everytime she tries to lay them) and have had no success. I've just bought a liquid calcium supplememt (with magnesium citrate, human grade) to try fixing her issues with. Does anyone know how much to give her? Frequency? Dosage?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If she has been fed calcium in her feed, as layer normally has high calcium and you've tried other calcium sources, such as feeding back egg shells or tossing a handful of calcium carbonate in the feed or on the litter, then at some point, she may actually have a processing or uptake of calcium or reproductive issue. What I"m trying to say is that she may have issues that just providing more calcium may not correct. I'm so sorry about this.

    Also, sorry I cannot recommend a dosing on the liquid. Better to under dose than over due, I should think. Hope you get some guidance. Wishing you the very best.
     
  3. dweder

    dweder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred's Hens :

    If she has been fed calcium in her feed, as layer normally has high calcium and you've tried other calcium sources, such as feeding back egg shells or tossing a handful of calcium carbonate in the feed or on the litter, then at some point, she may actually have a processing or uptake of calcium or reproductive issue. What I"m trying to say is that she may have issues that just providing more calcium may not correct. I'm so sorry about this.

    Also, sorry I cannot recommend a dosing on the liquid. Better to under dose than over due, I should think. Hope you get some guidance. Wishing you the very best.

    You refer to calcium carbonate. Would this be equivalent to oyster shell? She has free choice oyster shell, Nutrena layer feed, ACV in her water daily.​
     
  4. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine won't eat oyster shell. I feed them back the crushed shells and occasionally give them cheese or cottage cheese as a supplemental treat.
    sharon
     
  5. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I give my girls layer feed and lots of yogurt. I like to give them yogurt for several reasons.

    1. They LOVE it, so it is a nice treat for them.

    2. Because I let them freerange for a while most days, the enzymes in the yogurt help them have happy tummies.

    3. It has lots of calcium!

    4. It is cheap! I buy the big quart containers of plain yogurt. Some people use cottage cheese too.
     
  6. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As Fred's Hens said, it sounds more like she has an absorbtion problem. It kindof sounds like she get all the calcium she could possibly need. Maybe you could try adding magnesium and vitamin D and B to her diet to help her absorb the calcium she is already getting rather than adding even more calcium (which in growing mammals could lead to hyper calcification, dunno if it is the same for chickens).

    As far as the liquid calcium suplement, I use a coral calcium (because it has other trace essential nutrients, and is very bioavailable [ie-readily accepted by the body]) that is actually designed for people. The dosing is two tablespoons per day for an adult human. I use 1/8 teaspoon when I give it to my hens, usually only once or twice a week, but more often, I just use plain yogurt. I use the human calcium suplement when I happen to be out of yogurt.
     
  7. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Australia
    Quote:That!

    AND Do you keep them in a covered run all the time? They need exposure to direct sunlight to make their own vitamin D which in turn will let her convert the calcium into an absorbable form
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    At a garden shop/farm store, for $4., you can buy a 25 # bag of lime (the calcium carbonate with roughly 12% magnesium kind, NOT the dolomite with roughly 40% magnesium kind). It is pelletized and easy to either mix into the feed or toss into the litter and let them pick at.

    Oyster shell is not the only way to introduce calcium carbonate, the main ingredient of an egg shell. But again, if she has had access to calcium rich layer feed and still struggles passing these soft shelled eggs, she may have other reproductive heath issues that simply upping the calcium being offered may not "fix". (The word "fix" being in the original posting title.) Wishing the very best outcome for you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2011
  9. dweder

    dweder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you to everyone for their help. Last question. Can she die from this? I'm thinking it must be her shell gland that doesn't work. I can find anything else in their anatomy that would cause this with proper diet and sunlight.
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I've had soft eggs but never a bird that laid only soft eggs so I'm not sure. Vitamin D is important in the absorption of calcium.
    Sounds like you're doing good things.
    If you give treats or scratch I would cut that out entirely and only give layer feed, ACV water and either oyster or egg shell as supplement. If you've already cut out all treats/scratch/supplements I don't have another answer. Keep us informed.
     

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