Molting Hens and Paper Thin Egg Shells

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rileysgranny, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. rileysgranny

    rileysgranny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hens have been going through their first molt. Why o why are they molting one at a time instead of all together?!! Anyway, I've been finding ruptured eggs with tissue paper thin shells in the nesting boxes and under the roost. I'm thinking this is just the norm for a hen coming out of molt, but don't know for sure because this is my first experience with molting. What do you think?
     
  2. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

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    Maybe they need more calcium.
     
  3. rileysgranny

    rileysgranny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They get Layena mixed with crushed egg shell everyday and there is a feeder filled with oyster shell in their coop. This just started when they all started molting. That's what made me think the two were related.
     
  4. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

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    That's odd. [​IMG]
     
  5. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Molting is the end of the lay cycle and is when shell quality often deteriorates noticeably. I usually up the protein in their feed and make sure they have plenty of shell mixed into their feed. When the molt is over shell quality and color usually improves.

    .....Alan.
     
  6. rileysgranny

    rileysgranny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alan,
    Thank you. I had read on this forum somewhere to add cat food to their feed, so I've been grinding up cat food and adding to their feed as well, for the last couple of days. Do you know if it would be ok to give them tuna? I have a couple of cans in my pantry and I don't eat it myself, so thought it would help as well. What do you think?
     
  7. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    I'm not keen on feeding pet food myself because we don't eat pets so I wonder if some of the ingredients that get used in it are appropriate for food animals.

    Tuna would be fine.

    What I do is mix game bird starter half and half with their normal ration. It's 28% protein. I feed additional oyster shell.

    .....Alan.
     
  8. rileysgranny

    rileysgranny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll have to get some game bird starter. I like the sound of that much better than the cat food. Thanks for the info. I also scrambled some eggs a couple of times and fed them that. The standards loved them, but the bantams were indifferent.
     
  9. mbleily

    mbleily Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know that some people don't like feeding cat food to their chickens but I did this year with great success. I had one hen that the rooster had almost defeathered. LOL She had nothing on her back or wings. I put a saddle on her and the feathers grew out some but it took for ever. Then the molt set in and she lost them all again. And the other hens began to lose their feathers also. Egg production all but stopped. I am still not getting many eggs. But the chickens are looking much better and the little black Australorp has all her feathers in.

    I was feeding Layena with Black sunflower seeds and scratch as a treat/diversion in the yard. After I started adding the cat food to the treat is when everything took an upswing. I now have a light on in the house that comes on at 4:30 AM and goes off at 6 PM. The house is very dark even in the day time and It seems to help them eat more layena with the light on.

    I am still feeding the cat feed and will until the whole flock looks back to normal. I see nothing in the ingredients that should hurt the eggs or the chickens.
     

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