Thin shells - calcium dilemma - how much

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by fatcatx, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. fatcatx

    fatcatx Songster

    Our Orp is laying eggs with paper thin shells. Worse - she decided a month ago that she likes laying off the roost in the morning so now we are lucky to get one intact egg out of her a week. [​IMG] The problem is our other birds' shell quality is fine. They are all offered oyster shells but rarely touch it. I just started adding it to their scratch treat in the afternoon but I've read that too much calcium could cause health issues. Is this a real cause for concern? I can isolate the Orp to feed if absolutely necessary but would prefer to skip this if I could.

    Any guidelines on how much and how often I should sneak extra calcium in the scratch? How long should I wait for shell quality to improve before I increase the calcium amount?
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Try feeding crushed egg shells when you throw at the scratch or before. They seem to love it. I also take a tuna can and fill it with oyster shell and put it on the ground in front of the coop in late afternoon, and many will come over and take some. Kale and collards are also a good source of calcium, but I have to cut it into small pieces with scissors or they won't eat it. They do love to pull it off in the garden, but just throwing a handful out for them doesn't work. Vitamin D is also important in absorbing calcium. Do you feed them layer feed?
  3. fatcatx

    fatcatx Songster

    They are on layer feed. As long as the calcium is mixed in the scratch, I can fool them into eating it. I'm just concerned whether it is possible for them to get too much. Is there any rule of thumb?

    I haven't had any luck getting my chickens to eat any greens like kale. Next time I'll chop them and see if that peaks their interest.

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