Supplementing with calcium?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Gypsy07, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Songster

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    If I want to supplement with calcium, is there any reason why I couldn't use crushed up calcium pills intended for human consumption? My birds are generally healthy but I've recently noticed a few porous looking eggs and a few thin-shelled eggs. They have never showed any interest in the oyster shell that I provided for them and they do free range every day so I figured they'd pick up what they needed while they were out and about. They are fed good quality layers pellets or layers mash and I give them a few handfuls of corn once a day (shared amongst 25 birds)....
     
  2. Stacykins

    Stacykins Crowing

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    That would probably be more more expensive than oyster shell. It would be cheaper to supplement with a calcium supplement used for reptiles, it comes powdered in jars and can be mixed into food. I'd suggest using a supplement that has no vitamin D3, since if they are getting time in the sunlight in a run, no need for it. Plus, it is a fat soluble vitamin that is possible to overdose.
     
  3. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Songster

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    I've already checked out the prices and honestly, generic supermarket brand vitamin/mineral pills are cheap as anything compared with oyster grit. That was mostly why I was asking. Plus, if it was mixed in with their feed, they couldn't ignore it! I did wonder about the vitamin D thing, as most of the calcium pills contain it. I shall have a look at the reptile mixes now. Thanks!
     
  4. radiodog

    radiodog Songster

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    if your birds are laying, why not recycle the egg shells once dried & crushed?
     
  5. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Songster

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    Good idea! I used to do that, but I sell or give away most of the eggs now, and I haven't done it for a while. I shall start again with the eggs that I do keep for myself. Thanks for reminding me of that. Funny how the obvious things can totally slip your mind!
     
  6. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Eggshells are good, I don't bother with baking/drying, etc. I just whack them with a spoon and toss them out. What about mixing a bit of oyster shell in the feed, as well as having it on the side?
     
  7. radiodog

    radiodog Songster

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    I just let the egg shells pile up, then after a few days run a glass bottle over them & throw them to the girls...they gobble 'em up!
     
  8. GarlicEater

    GarlicEater Songster

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    Eggshells ... the original "return for recycle" container. [​IMG]
     
  9. phasian

    phasian Songster

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    I use egg shells as well. Though I also keep a hopper out with oyster shells, grit, and charcoal in it and am surprised that the contents eventually disappear completely.

    Another beneficial thing to do is add blackstrap molasses to their water (if you are using non-galvanized waterers). I add about 1 tsp. per gallon. It is full of trace minerals as well as calcium, and also makes whatever calcium they consume more assimilable.
     
  10. iamsara

    iamsara In the Brooder

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    Hello all!
    We are going to the feed store tomorrow to get oyster shell supplement, but im wondering if they will eat it on their own??
    If i put out a separate dish will they eat what they need? i keep thinking they will just spill it out all over!!
    i could mix it with the food.. the last time i fed them like that, they left the oyster shell there! hmm
    it could of been too big or something..
    thanks for your ideas!!!
    [the egg shells have been too soft and crack some times. yesterday a whole egg came out of one hen w NO SHELL!! omg}
    oh, they get grass, crumbles, veggies. lettuce, corn scratch occasionally
    thanks!
     

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