icky soft shell eggs

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by zebra2u, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. zebra2u

    zebra2u Out Of The Brooder

    Hello everyone, one of my girls ( I have 4) started laying, so I went out and bought the purina oyster shell to give to them. It said to set it beside the normal feed. I did this and they won't eat it. I found one good egg today and 2 softshell eggs laying beside it. How can I supplement the calcium that they won't eat? Can I grind up the oyster shells, which by the way looks nothing like oyster shells, and add it to the food? And I have purina pellet layer feed and they don't seem to like that either, can I add something to make it more palatable?
    Thanks for all of your help in advance!! I love my girls and want to make them happy!
    Sincerely
     
  2. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    11,005
    445
    328
    Jun 1, 2009
    Ohio
    What feeds and treats are you feeding, how much treats are you feeding?
     
  3. WeBeCluckin

    WeBeCluckin Out Of The Brooder

    43
    4
    24
    Aug 4, 2014
    Spokane Wa
    Our girls have laid an array of unusual eggs...tiny fairy eggs, super long double yolkers, shells that look like pearlized plastic, some that look like they've gone through a texture spray, some with kind of a swirl like an ice cream cone, and one with no shell at all! The rubber egg was the most curious of all and I can certainly relate to your concern for your girls. I have just recently started to save the shells after I crack them, let dry, crush and give back to the chickens. I've read the calcium from egg shells is absorbed better than oyster shell. The only unusual egg we've had since was a single egg with an additional uneven coating of white hard powder. Looked like it had been dropped in drywall mud and partially wiped off. It was right after offering egg shell so I think it was probably from excess calcium.
     
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    11,005
    445
    328
    Jun 1, 2009
    Ohio
    Eggs shells have a small calcium particle size and will have a negative affect on the *egg specific gravity.

    To have eggs with a good specific gravity you need to have calcium with large particle size in there diet. The best source of large particle size is calcium carbonate and second best would be oyster shells.

    * Egg specific gravity is a test that is done to tell the quality of a egg sell.
    Having a bad specific gravity means a egg has poor shell quality and thin shells.
     
  5. WeBeCluckin

    WeBeCluckin Out Of The Brooder

    43
    4
    24
    Aug 4, 2014
    Spokane Wa
    Thanks for the correction. Don't mean to pass on misinformation. So having offered plenty of oyster shell since laying age, what causes odd shells? Or lack of? Is it just from stress? What's a good source of calcium carbonate? Or I should say an economic source?
     
  6. zebra2u

    zebra2u Out Of The Brooder

    Their food is Purina layer feed that I got at the local feed store. It is pelleted, and they don't seem to like it. I mix it 75/25 with the starter that I had left over so that it would not go to waste. I have a bucket with nipples for their water outside and they don't seem to understand that concept either. I don't give them treats. At least not store bought treats. I do let them free range for a couple of hours in the evening when I get home from work. Thank you for responding, I appreciate your help.
    Viola
     
  7. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    11,005
    445
    328
    Jun 1, 2009
    Ohio
    Protein, Adequate levels of lysine and methionine is need to produce good egg shells. When pullets begin laying, there is an increase in protein, vitamin and mineral requirements per day due to deposition in the egg. If dietary protein is too low or the amino acid requirements are not met, poor egg production and hatchability will occur.

    Calcium, The egg shell is composed primarily of calcium carbonate. The pullet's requirement for calciumis relatively low during the growing period, but when the first eggs are produced, the need is increased at least four times, with practically all of the increase being used for the productionof eggshells. Inadequate calcium consumption will result in decreased egg production and loweregg shell quality.
    Hens store calcium in medullary bone, a specialized bone capable of rapid calcium turnover. As calcium stores are depleted, bones become brittle. In severe cases, hens are unable tostand. The condition is known as caged-layer fatigue. Birds on the ground or on litter floorsrecycle calcium and phosphorus through consumption of feces, and do not have caged-layer fatigue.
    Calcium can be supplied in the diet as either ground limestone or oyster shell. Particlesize affects calcium availability. Usually the larger the particle size, the longer the particlewill be retained in the upper digestive tract. This means that the larger particles of thecalcium source are released more slowly, and this may be important for the continuity of shellformation, especially in the dark period when birds do not ordinarily eat.
    Periodically, dolomitic limestone is offered to the feed industry. However, dolomitic limestone(which is used in the steel industry) should never be used in poultry diets. Dolomitic limestonecontains at least 10% magnesium, and this complexes with calcium or competes with calcium forabsorption sites in the intestines. The consequence of feeding dolomitic limestone is inducedcalcium deficiency.
    Young birds should not be fed a high calcium layer diet because the calcium/phosphorus ratiowill be unbalanced, resulting in increased morbidity or mortality.

    Phosphorus, The nutritional role of phosphorus is closely related to that of calcium. Both are constituentsof bone. The ratio of dietary calcium to phosphorus affects the absorption of both these elements;an excess of either one impedes absorption and can reduce egg production, shell quality and/orhatchability.
    In addition to its function in bone, phosphorus plays a primary role in carbohydrate metabolism,is active in fat metabolism, and helps to regulate the acid-base balance of the body

    Vitamin D, Vitamin D is required for normal calcium absorption and utilization. If inadequate levelsof vitamin D are fed, induced calcium deficiency quickly results and egg production decreases.
    Feed grade vitamin D comes in two forms, D2 and D3. In most animals, both are equally potent. In birds, however, D3 is substantially more active than D2. In poultry diets, therefore, vitamin D must be supplied in the form of D3.

    Magnesium, Magnesium is needed for healthy bones, proper nervous system functioning, and energy metabolism.

    Fat, Dietary fat is a source of energy and of linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid. A deficiency of linoleic acid will adversely affect egg production. Dietary fats also serve as "carriers"of fat-soluble vitamins, and some fat is necessary for absorption of vitamins. In fact, impairmentof the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) is the most serious consequence of a dietary deficiency of fat.

    The general make up of a egg shell is --
    Calcium carbonate.............................................................:94-97%
    Phosphorus.......................................................................:0.3%
    Magnesium........................................................................:0.2%
    Sodium, Potassium, Manganese, Iron and Copper............:traces
    Organic matter...................................................................:< 2%


    The best source for calcium carbonate is calcium carbonate. Most feed mills that mix there own feeds will have it, it's a little dusty.
    If you don't have a mill around and don't need a lot you could try finding a online supplier.
     
  8. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    11,005
    445
    328
    Jun 1, 2009
    Ohio
    What do you mean by, "At least not store bought treats"?
     
  9. zebra2u

    zebra2u Out Of The Brooder

    I give them carrot tops, lots of clover, lettuce, and left overs from the table, no meat but veggies and rice.
     
  10. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    11,005
    445
    328
    Jun 1, 2009
    Ohio
    Depending on how much of this your feeding you could be depleting proteins, calcium, throwing off calcium/ phosphorous balance etc.

    You might try just feeding the poultry feed (no treats) and see how the egg turn out.
    Treats shouldn't exceed 10 to 20% of there diet, thats 1 lb treats to 9 lb feed.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by