Sorry for the long post- need suggestions

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
108
124
113
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
okay, this is going to be long. I have 3 Sapphire Gems that are 8 months old on April 5th.
my one girl (Head girl) has been laying regularly since she was 17 weeks and has only had 2-3 soft shelled eggs. my youngest (smallest girl) has been laying regularly since about 21-22 weeks and has only laid a few soft shelled eggs also and will occasionally give me an egg that is over 90 grams. But my middle girl (Marigold) who has been laying not terribly regularly since she was about 24 weeks. She has been giving me soft shelled eggs more often than she gives me regular shelled eggs. and most often is laying those soft shelled eggs at night (sometimes during her normal laying time) and very often she will lay more than one soft shelled egg, sometimes she will lay a soft shelled egg at night and then lay a slightly deformed hard shelled egg during her normal laying time. Often when she lays a hard shelled egg it is 90-100+ grams (can you say goose egg) her largest so far has been 108 grams. My girls are fed Scratch & Peck raw, whole grain, organic, layer feed with oyster shells+ egg shells free choice, I try to give the healthy treats that have micro nutrients, protein, and calcium also. My vet (who only has experience with production poultry - but he is the only one who will see them) said it was a calcium deficiency and he even checked with the State University Veterinary school. My other girls have perfectly hard shells- sometimes even difficult to crack they are so hard. I started adding powdered oyster shells + egg shells to their food (which I already ferment) after I saw the vet. Marigold continues to lay soft shelled eggs as well as hard shelled eggs (off & on) and now my poor little one (Matilda) laid a 114 gram (4oz.) egg with very hard shell & wrinkles today. It took her almost 2 hours.

My vet said that there was nothing wrong with Marigold's reproductive system (he did x-rays and a stool check for worms / parasites- all negative), So I don't know what to do at this point, I can't keep giving the others extra calcium when they don't need it- I have no place to separate them for feeding either. Is this just because she is "a new layer"? If so, how long before she gets past it?
If not, what should I be doing / looking for? ANY SUGGESTIONS PLEASE :confused:
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
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I would supplement them with some calcium+VitD3+VitK to see if the shells improve or if it might be some genetic cause likr hereditary issue of the shell gland.

Please post some picture of the eggs you get, as there are some viral diseases that might cause egg problems as well.
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
8,496
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Regarding the unhealthy enormous egg size: this often is caused by a protein overload, so I would try to feed them more barley and see if the size will go down to a normal 60-70 grams.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
19,474
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Don't add oyster shell and eggshell to their food. The unaffected birds need to be able to regulate their own intake.

For the bird you're trying to treat, try giving her calcium citrate tablets directly in the mouth (the ones meant for humans) as that's supposed to be the most easily absorbed form of calcium. If that doesn't give her regular shells within a week or two, then there's something wrong with her ability to absorb or utilize calcium.
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
15,445
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North Carolina Sandhills
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Some people have found that feeding whole-grain feeds result in nutritional imbalances because the birds will pick out only the parts that they like best and leave behind the rest -- including the parts that have the vitamins, etc. that make the feed complete.

I don't know anything about fermenting feed, but maybe try a bag of pellets/crumble to see if that changes anything?
 

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
108
124
113
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
I would supplement them with some calcium+VitD3+VitK to see if the shells improve or if it might be some genetic cause likr hereditary issue of the shell gland.

Please post some picture of the eggs you get, as there are some viral diseases that might cause egg problems as well.
I have supplemented with calcium + vit. D3 and give them kale, collards, mustard, dandelion, & turnip greens (all high in vit. K) regularly.
Don't add oyster shell and eggshell to their food. The unaffected birds need to be able to regulate their own intake.

For the bird you're trying to treat, try giving her calcium citrate tablets directly in the mouth (the ones meant for humans) as that's supposed to be the most easily absorbed form of calcium. If that doesn't give her regular shells within a week or two, then there's something wrong with her ability to absorb or utilize calcium.
I had been supplementing her with the calcium citrate plus vit. D orally mixed with a bit of yogurt and she used to gobble it up , but now she wont take it so I was trying to find other ways to get her calcium to her
 

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
108
124
113
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
This is, what I found this morning... They are frozen but both soft shelled. The other day I caught Marigold eating the shell from a soft shelled egg she had just laid, she doesn't bother the rest of the egg, just the shell
IMG_0457.JPG
IMG_0458.JPG IMG_0459.JPG
 

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
108
124
113
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
Some people have found that feeding whole-grain feeds result in nutritional imbalances because the birds will pick out only the parts that they like best and leave behind the rest -- including the parts that have the vitamins, etc. that make the feed complete.

I don't know anything about fermenting feed, but maybe try a bag of pellets/crumble to see if that changes anything?
I will try the pellets if I can find them without soy meal. the fermenting draws more nutrition from the grain, making it easier for them to digest. and as a bonus it mixes all the dry powdered nutrients in so they can't avoid them.
 

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