Supplementing with lime?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Capt. Toddy, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. Capt. Toddy

    Capt. Toddy Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 26, 2010
    My chickens get a ready supply of shell grit in the pen but as far as I can tell they eat very little of it. As a consequence their egg shells were very thin and broken eggs were a regular occurrence. To boost their calcium intake I began powdering shell grit with a sledgehammer and mixing it in with some porridge daily. Almost overnight the shells thickened up!

    Powdering the shell grit is harder than you'd think and I am after an easy fix. I think I've found it but wanted some opinions. I noticed that garden lime is calcium carbonate- which is what shell grit is made of. Can I supplement my birds diet with a teaspoon of lime in their daily porridge?

    BTW, the daily porridge is a tip I got from a friend who told me that some warm porridge will keep them laying through winter. It's working too! Since I started this egg production has gone up despite days getting shorter and some very frosty nights down to -4C.

  2. Tiramisu

    Tiramisu Got Mutts

    May 3, 2008
    Milan PA
    I don't think lime is good for them to eat. :\\

    "Hydrated lime, slake lime, or "burn lime"- This is pure white. Hydrated lime is very caustic, so the bag will have a warning on it. This is the kind of lime you use for white wash . This lime will burn you and your livestock. Do not use it on the floor. Do not breath it.

    Agricultural lime, "ag lime", "garden lime", "barn lime" or dolomite- This lime is gray and can be used to spread on the floor of your barn. This is safe for you and your livestock. It will not burn."

    I found a thread "Yep, garden lime is nothing more than ground limestone (calcium carbonate) and is ok for the flock.

    It isn't as good as oyster shells or saved egg shells."
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
  4. Sillystunt

    Sillystunt Master of the Silly

    Jul 11, 2008
    Winter Haven, FL
  5. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    Don't know where you are located,since you said it's cold, but around here you can get Aragonite which is used as calcium in feed. I believe it is a powder. A 50 lb bag here is $14. Supposed to be a really good calcium supplement. Hope this helps.
  6. Capt. Toddy

    Capt. Toddy Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 26, 2010
    I'm in Australia, and it's the middle of winter here at the moment, hence the reason why things are cool. The hens are not eating shell or oyster shells, that's why I'm looking for an alternative.

    An internet search reveals that some chicken feeds use up to 7% hydrated lime, which is quite a surprise given how caustic it is.

  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
  8. Capt. Toddy

    Capt. Toddy Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 26, 2010
    Update: I've been feeding them a teaspoon of garden lime with breakfast and I've not noticed anything different with the birds. Time will tell I guess...

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by