Soft thin shells

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by 64peeps, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. 64peeps

    64peeps Chirping

    Jun 18, 2013
    I have one RIR that consistently lays eggs that have thin shells or at least 1/2 of the shell is thin. I have fed her egg shells in their food and even cooked her eggs filled with oyster shells and fed back to her. This helps some of the times, but she continues to lay eggs with thin shells. Since the egg shells are thin, they get cracked or completely smashed in the nest from other birds going in and setting on it. I can't keep cleaning the nest of egg white and yolk in the straw. She will have to go if I can't get her better. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    When I have one that's producing eggs with thin shells I give calcium orally for a few days and that usually helps. The dose I shoot for is about 50mg of calcium per pound.

    You could also try some of the foods listed here:

    Last edited: Nov 17, 2014
  3. 64peeps

    64peeps Chirping

    Jun 18, 2013
    Thanks for the list, that helps. She is a really picky eater and hard to get her to eat oyster shells. I'm going to try to get her to eat more of the above. Again, thank you.
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    A few things to look at when you are getting soft eggs are (remember too much of any one of these ingredients can affect egg quality just the same as too little) --

    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%
    Sodium, Potassium, Manganese, Iron and Copper............:traces
    Organic matter...................................................................:< 2%

    (* Note -- With Proteins it is easier to break down proteins that are animal based than plant based. On a second note watch high levels of linseed "Flax seed". Too much Flax Seed can cause health problems in chickens. Overfeeding flaxseed can cause problems for your hens because flax seed contains sticky compounds that stop the hen from digesting some of the nutrients in her diet. Flax seed also contains a compound called linoline that may increase the birds' vitamin requirements. Feeding too much flax seed can also cause production drops, small egg size, reduced body weight gain and thin egg shells. *)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: