Oyster shell and rubber eggs

Noellereagan

Songster
Jun 20, 2018
842
1,893
232
Big Bend, Wisconsin
I have two turkey hens. Broad breasted. They are laying like mad (26 eggs in the last week). That’s okay because I only have broad breasted toms and know the chance of a successful breeding is slim to none.
I have them on a mix of 15% grower (1/2) and 16% layer (a little over 1/4) and 18% game bird because they’re in a winter molt (a little less than 1/4 of their ration) and fresh bananas daily or whatever else I may pick up that day.
They are going on 26 weeks this week. I know young birds can have rubber eggs when they start laying. I found two - two days in a row. It was laid far from the nest that the two hens have been taking turns laying and sitting. I also took in a broad breasted white hen but the Tom doesn’t like her so she steers clear of where the rubber eggs were laid otherwise I’d think she laid them because she came to me very malnourished a few weeks ago. But the Tom statys near where the rubber eggs were laid. There was also two normal eggs laid in this area of the coop. All three hens have access to the area.
My biggest question is this: I read it’s normal for young hens to lay a rubber egg when they start laying but that if it continues to happen it’s indicative of a problem. Is one two days ina row uncommon for 27 week old hens?
Also, with the ground snow covered in Wisconsin they don’t have access to grit. Should I be feeding oyster shells for egg production and grit for that matter and if so- should it be free fed? Can the toms have it too? Or should I provide something else for grit? Or is the all flock food sufficient for the grit?
Thanks to anyone in the community who may choose to help me here. There’s a ton of conflicting info out there about turkeys and providing grit.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
44,788
78,293
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Wisconsin
I see shell less eggs occasionally from my turkeys, when starting or stopping. Always provide free access to grit and oyster shells. The toms won't eat it usually and if they do they probably needed it. Feeding too many bananas could possibly through off the calcium balance as potassium and calcium need to stay balanced in a diet. So if your hens continue to lay shell less eggs cut out the bananas and see if it helps.
 

R2elk

*
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Feb 24, 2013
32,818
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Natrona County, Wyoming
My Coop
My Coop
I have two turkey hens. Broad breasted. They are laying like mad (26 eggs in the last week). That’s okay because I only have broad breasted toms and know the chance of a successful breeding is slim to none.
I have them on a mix of 15% grower (1/2) and 16% layer (a little over 1/4) and 18% game bird because they’re in a winter molt (a little less than 1/4 of their ration) and fresh bananas daily or whatever else I may pick up that day.
They are going on 26 weeks this week. I know young birds can have rubber eggs when they start laying. I found two - two days in a row. It was laid far from the nest that the two hens have been taking turns laying and sitting. I also took in a broad breasted white hen but the Tom doesn’t like her so she steers clear of where the rubber eggs were laid otherwise I’d think she laid them because she came to me very malnourished a few weeks ago. But the Tom statys near where the rubber eggs were laid. There was also two normal eggs laid in this area of the coop. All three hens have access to the area.
My biggest question is this: I read it’s normal for young hens to lay a rubber egg when they start laying but that if it continues to happen it’s indicative of a problem. Is one two days ina row uncommon for 27 week old hens?
Also, with the ground snow covered in Wisconsin they don’t have access to grit. Should I be feeding oyster shells for egg production and grit for that matter and if so- should it be free fed? Can the toms have it too? Or should I provide something else for grit? Or is the all flock food sufficient for the grit?
Thanks to anyone in the community who may choose to help me here. There’s a ton of conflicting info out there about turkeys and providing grit.
Not all hens can process calcium properly. In the few that can't process it properly, it can be due to a vitamin D deficiency. Another culprit can be the use of ACV. ACV is a known inhibitor to proper calcium absorption.

I agree with @oldhenlikesdogs that I would not feed them any bananas.

Do not confuse certain manufacturers who wrongfully label their oyster shell or crushed limestone as grit. Oyster shell and crushed limestone are both a source of calcium and are a soft material that easily absorbs water and will not serve as grit. Most real grit that is sold is crushed granite. Grit always needs to be available to enable poultry to grind up the food as it passed through the gizzard.

Broad breasted turkeys are capable of successfully mating especially when they are yearlings. The commercial industry uses artificial insemination because it is much more efficient and eliminates the possibility of the toms causing injury to the hens.

Broad breasted turkeys are not good at successfully hatching and brooding turkey poults. They just cannot move their feet in the delicate manner that heritage hens can. This makes the likelihood of broken eggs and stepped on poults very possible.
 

Crazydoglady99

Crowing
Nov 6, 2018
621
3,063
271
Any chance you could hard boil up some eggs (either their own or other), mash them up with the shell on, and feed them?
That might be supplement enough.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
44,788
78,293
1,452
Wisconsin
Eggshells get digested pretty quickly so they are a short term calcium source, and are digested away pretty quickly. Oyster shells remain in the body much longer and the calcium is available for a long time, so eggshells are a good supplement, but oyster shells are necessary so calcium is available always.
 

Noellereagan

Songster
Jun 20, 2018
842
1,893
232
Big Bend, Wisconsin
Not all hens can process calcium properly. In the few that can't process it properly, it can be due to a vitamin D deficiency. Another culprit can be the use of ACV. ACV is a known inhibitor to proper calcium absorption.

I agree with @oldhenlikesdogs that I would not feed them any bananas.

Do not confuse certain manufacturers who wrongfully label their oyster shell or crushed limestone as grit. Oyster shell and crushed limestone are both a source of calcium and are a soft material that easily absorbs water and will not serve as grit. Most real grit that is sold is crushed granite. Grit always needs to be available to enable poultry to grind up the food as it passed through the gizzard.

Broad breasted turkeys are capable of successfully mating especially when they are yearlings. The commercial industry uses artificial insemination because it is much more efficient and eliminates the possibility of the toms causing injury to the hens.

Broad breasted turkeys are not good at successfully hatching and brooding turkey poults. They just cannot move their feet in the delicate manner that heritage hens can. This makes the likelihood of broken eggs and stepped on poults very possible.
Thanks. Always appreciate your guidance. What is ACV?
 

Noellereagan

Songster
Jun 20, 2018
842
1,893
232
Big Bend, Wisconsin
Eggshells get digested pretty quickly so they are a short term calcium source, and are digested away pretty quickly. Oyster shells remain in the body much longer and the calcium is available for a long time, so eggshells are a good supplement, but oyster shells are necessary so calcium is available always.
I’ll do both! Thanks so much for your help and guidance. Much appreciated!
 

Noellereagan

Songster
Jun 20, 2018
842
1,893
232
Big Bend, Wisconsin
ACV = Apple Cider Vinegar which some people think is a cure-all and a really good thing for both themselves and their poultry.
Yes. I hear a lot about it. I have never used it. And now won’t bother. I wonder why so many people choose to? I don’t know much about it. They even have it in the chicken isle - marketed for poultry specifically at TSC. maybe just a fad?
 

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