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Is too much fruit harmful?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chick-e-chick, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. chick-e-chick

    chick-e-chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2008
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    My three hens love fruit, but can they have too much?

    They are all laying now, but for the last few weeks, come Fridaynight/Saturday morning, we've found one or two soft eggs that seem to be dropped from their perch overnight. The rest of the week they are giving us a decent sized 'proper' egg each.

    We have been giving them a bowl of melon (flesh plus seeds) peaches, plums chopped up with yoghurt each day because they love it so much........could this have an effect on the eggs? We also mix some oyster shell in with the fruit mix.

    They are also having their usual layers pellets and any cooked veggie scraps that we have.
     
  2. sussexgal

    sussexgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Just a thought.... you give the fruit every day but the soft eggs only appear Fri/Sat. Seems if it were the fruit you'd have a steady soft shell problem rather than intermittant. Besides the fruit combo, do the birds also have free choice of regular feed like pellets or mash of some sort? This is a quandry! [​IMG]
     
  3. sussexgal

    sussexgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Doh... I should have read a touch better. Skip the questions about the pellets. How long have your girls been laying? I stumbled across a post on another forum that said that some hens will ocassionally put out soft shelled eggs intermittantly like you speak of. It's just a quirk of the hen. But if you've had these girls and they have been doing okay right along - meaning the soft shell is a new thing - then it could be a nutritional thing. It's just the regularity of the soft shell has me scratching my head....
     
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A light-weight hen eats about 120 grams of feed, containing 17 grams of protein, each day. Let's say her "capacity" is more like 150 to 160 grams of food (or even a lot higher).

    If you are giving her a cup (154 grams) of peaches each day, she has 1.4 grams of protein.

    An egg contains about 7 grams of protein, in and of itself. Your hen just can't eat enuf peaches (or any fresh fruit) to gain enuf protein to make eggs.

    soft-shelled eggs - Your cup of peaches contains .009 grams of calcium. An egg shell contains 2.2 grams of calcium (5.5 grams of calcium carbonate).

    Your hens require little fruit and plenty of more nutrient-rich foods for egg production.

    Steve
    whose numbers may change a little day-to-day depending on which gov'ment or university poultry science website he looks at . . .
     
  5. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Too much fruit can cause egg laying problems.

    Try cutting back on the fruit and watch for a change in the eggs.
     
  6. chick-e-chick

    chick-e-chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2008
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    Thanks for the replies.

    Sussexgal - they've been laying for about 5/6 weeks, we were getting quite a few 'softies' to start with, but things have settled down over the past few weeks except for this wierd 'end of the week' soft shell we're getting!! It is odd. They have a constant supply of layers pellets in their run to take as and when they want, likewise with oyster shell. I think we'll cut down a bit on the fruit like rooster-red says and see what happens!

    Nice statistics didgitS'.
     
  7. sussexgal

    sussexgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    chick-e-chick,

    Keep us posted as to how the cutting back in fruit effects the friday/saturday soft shells? You've piqued my interest! [​IMG]
    My thoughts are that although the fruit may have some effect, the sporadic nature of the soft shells may lie more with the young girls than it does with what they're eating. But it's just a guess.

    Thank you.
     
  8. chick-e-chick

    chick-e-chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2008
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    I'll keep you posted! Getting 3 good eggs a day now (one each) except one softie yesterday, cutting back on the fruit now and waiting to see what happens come Saturday morning!!!!
     
  9. chick-e-chick

    chick-e-chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 21, 2008
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    Hello again, the last two weekends have been fine!! and we've been getting three eggs a day (one from each hen), except the last two days where one of them has missed laying, but I've posted a seprate post about that!
     

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