Sources for calcium

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 3 Chicks, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. 3 Chicks

    3 Chicks Chirping

    Jul 18, 2012
    My chickens are eating their own eggs--a new problem I haven't experienced until now. I understand from reading there may be a nutrient deficiency causing this. Since they are molting, I'm not getting enough eggs to feed the shells back to them. What's another inexpensive source of calcium/ protein I could substitute?

  2. handyman42

    handyman42 Chirping

    Oct 17, 2013
    Sardis, AR
    For calcium I'd say good Ol' oyster shell. It's that expensive, mainly cuz you give em some about once a week and you're good and cuz a little dab will do ya anyway. For protein give them chick starter, gamebird starter or (if you're not opposed to it) animal protein, aka, Meat. There's alot of controversy flying around about that last one. But if you're looking for calcium and protein that would be it this time of year.

    Now if it were mid June I'd say give them squash and zucchini, high in calcium and a good source of alot of other nutrients as well. But being December I wouldn't give my birds supermarket produce for fear of disease. [​IMG]

    Will say during the molting process extra protein is very helpful for new feather growth, quality of appearance of feathers and overall health. Because if you think about it the chickens body is going to steal it from somewhere else within to produce new feathers anyway, so might as well give em a little extra and help to look their best coming out of the molt. Just a thought.
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    X2 oyster shell is usually the cheapest source of calcium, and one of the higher protein poultry feeds is the simplest way to go, if you want to feed them meat, mine love hamburger...other people like dog or cat food.
    A lot of times though, egg eating is an accidental learned behavior that has turned into a habit, and not just because they are lacking something in their diet. It also seems to start more when they chickens are inside more (like in the winter) and are bored and have more time to wonder about those eggs sitting there. I keep fake eggs in the boxes all the time, if I am dealing with an egg eater I haven't identified, I tend to put a lot of fake eggs out and collect eggs more often, and give the hens more to do.
  4. 3 Chicks

    3 Chicks Chirping

    Jul 18, 2012
    Thanks for both of your answers. I am surprised that all of a sudden I'm dealing with this. I will add some extra fake eggs to throw them. I will also try oyster shell. I know I've read that before....thanks for reminding me :)

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