Peahen trying to lay soft eggs

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by Lady Badlands, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. Lady Badlands

    Lady Badlands Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2009
    Does anyone have any information on how to help young peahens strengthen their egg shells? My 22-month old just started laying a little over a month ago. She laid two perfect eggs, then there was a period of a couple of weeks with nothing. Two weeks ago, she dropped a completely soft-shelled egg and then there was additional yolk coming out on its own. Two days ago, Butter started acting funny. Her wings were drooping and she was trying to lay, but nothing was coming out. Finally yesterday, my husband and I brought her in (she put up no fuss being picked up which is so not like her) and I applied some olive oil and tried to find the egg. I was unsuccessful in locating it. Once we put her back on the ground, the olive oil helped her expel a yolk with albumen around it...but no shell.

    She was still not relieved and continued to have drooping wings, look listless, sit in the middle of the yard on the ground with her eyes closed, and not eat. Today we brought her back in and applied more olive oil. I felt around and found what I think was a collapsed soft shell inside, but when I began to remove it, she indicated pain. I let it go because I felt that it was still attached. We let her insides soak in the olive oil and prayed that the rest of the egg would expel itself. It still hasn't, but she is eating a little and drinking a lot of water.

    Does anyone know how to get a peahen to eat oyster shells, which I have out for my chickens OR how to get some additional calcium into her diet? Has anyone else had this problem? Her sister, who was 9 days older, died a couple of weeks ago, maybe from an impacted egg. This is serious. I don't want to lose this one.

  2. Glenmar

    Glenmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 17, 2011
    Deerman sayes you can give them chicken layer pellet feed.
  3. SunBaked

    SunBaked Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2011
    At the beginning of the laying season I mixed some oyster shell in with their gamebird feed once a week for 2 weeks (so 2 times, more than that wouldn't have been good I don't think as to much calcium can cause problems I read) and they ate some that way. I have a pan out for them but they never seem to eat it alone. I also mix in some chicken layer feed with the gamebird feed and so far all the egg shells have been nice and hard.
  4. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    It's easy to get them to eat it if you have crumble rather than pellets. They will take mouthfuls of crumble (as opposed to pellet by pellet, which is how mine eat their pellet food... and those jerks drop the pellets they don't want to eat!).

    You might also try giving them treats with yogurt on them (or just giving them yogurt, mine will eat that off my fingers if I offer it). I don't know if yours will eat treats you throw to them, but there are also yogurt drops sold at pet stores. There are many kinds, some made for birds even, but I don't know if they have a decent calcium load. But this is one you don't want to give very much of- birds don't handle milk products in quantity. Real yogurt, like plain greek yogurt, is the only kind I give mine.

    There's also avi-cal which can be put on fruit (I swear my birds swallow watermelon without even looking twice or tasting it they are so eager to eat it). The best way to "trick" them into eating something like avi-cal is to find a favorite treat and feed them that plain, until they are sure you are feeding them that treat when they see you- then add a little and if they are like my birds with watermelon, they won't even notice because they want to be the first to get the awesome treat.

    If you want to go the natural route, there are many foods that may serve as treats for them that have calcium in them without supplements. Collard greens, beet greens, broccoli, green beans, oranges, figs, carrots, and (oddly) dandelions. Actually, if I recall, dandelions have a higher concentration of calcium than milk does, but I don't know if that's the greens or the stems or the flowers so you'd have to check. And they're a week you could probably grow right in their pen!

    I don't know if peafowl will use cuttlebone, but that's how most people with hookbills get their birds calcium. If you perhaps got a large one, you might be able to scrape it to dust over their food. That seems like kind of a pain, but if you've tried everything else it's at least an idea.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  5. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    Yes feed her a good layer feed , which should have calcium mixes in the pellet or crumbles,

    Sad thing sometime a bird , will always have trouble laying solf shell eggs.....rare but some birds can never be use for breeding.

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