Thin shells in older chook

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Purple patch, Nov 1, 2015.

  1. Purple patch

    Purple patch New Egg

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    My 2 1/2 year old Australorp is laying eggs with very thin shells, paler in colour than normal and more elongated than normal. No change of diet. Plenty of grit given by me and available from roaming the garden. She looks healthy and active. Any ideas appreciated.
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    At 2 1/2 she is at the point where a decline in egg quality is quite common. You mention that she has access to plenty of grit - is it granite grit meant for digestive aid or oyster grit/oyster shell which is a calcium supplement -- they are two different things with two different fucntions.
     
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  3. Purple patch

    Purple patch New Egg

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    Good question on the grit. I think its oyster shell. It looks like a variety of shells to me all crushed up.What does each do?
     
  4. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you providing calcium in the form of eggshells or oyster shell? That may not help. I had an older hen with the same problem. In the end she didn't even have a shell. No one else had the problem so I attributed it to her age and breed--Buff Orpington--large breed.
    I did at one point grind up a human calcium supplement and it made a difference but then I stopped. Since my birds are guaranteed a natural life here I didn't cull. She rarely laid an egg but suddenly went broody one year. She died earlier this year at age 5.
    Good luck
     
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  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    Regular "poultry grit" is simply pieces of rock (size varies depending on whether it is "chick" grit or grit packaged for older/mature birds). Chickens take in grit to aid in digestion - the grit is held in the gizzard where the pieces of rock are used to grind seeds, etc. Oyster shell is a source of calcium - the bird's body breaks down and absorbs the calcium which is then used for the shelling and expelling of eggs. The oyster shell is much more soluble than the grit and generally sized smaller - it breaks down more rapidly so makes a poor digestive aid.
     
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  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Is she getting layer feed?
     
  7. Purple patch

    Purple patch New Egg

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    Yes. She gets the occasional treat of wheat and other seeds and household scraps.
     
  8. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
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  9. N F C

    N F C dem crazy bones Premium Member

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    In addition to the crushed oyster shell, you can give her extra calcium through her treats (like cottage cheese, broccoli, yogurt, etc.). Of course, that doesn't stop her from aging and the egg laying will still decline but it might make the shells a bit harder.
     
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  10. Purple patch

    Purple patch New Egg

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    Thanks nice to have the support.
     

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