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Country Discussion Topics
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Oyster shells/eggs
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D.Starr    Posted 08-10-2004 at 05:41:03       [Reply]  [Send Email]
We started givin' our hens oyster shells.Bout how long before we notice a difference in the egg shells?

Joel    Posted 08-10-2004 at 07:15:19       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Stop feeding the scratch. If effect you are diluting the calcium content of the laying pellets.

Ron/PA    Posted 08-10-2004 at 06:03:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
D, the answer is, Why are you giving a calcium suplement?
Honestly, you may not see any results, depending on the reason you felt the need to suplement their diet.
If you are seeing soft or weak shelled eggs, it could be the age of the bird, or the feed you are feeding.
In any case if you are feeding oyster shell for the right reasons, you should see an improvement in 10 days. If you have access to it, you can double the effect of your oyster shell by supplying water soluable vitamin D at the same time. It lets their body absorb, and retain nearly twice as much calcium from a suplement.

D.Starr    Posted 08-10-2004 at 06:17:38       [Reply]  [Send Email]
weak shells.hens are only about 1yr. far as feed goes,we give em layin' pellets & some scratch too.....they also free range.someone else said something bout the vitamin d also.& the water,well,we keep a 48qt. ice-chest under a fawset with a drip & the dogs & cat's & chickens all kinda drink outta that....& whatever else comes along.

Ron/PA    Posted 08-10-2004 at 06:26:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
D, If the birds have been laying well for that 16 months, they may have depleted their calcium reserves. At this point they are pulling calcium from their bones to produce egg shells.
Your best bet would be to throw them into a molt. Let them replace their calcium levels and then start laying all over again.
Since we are already into declining daylight, you can achieve this by witholding their feed on a controlled schedule. This will take them out of production for a while, and allow the nutrients from their feed to go into body maintenance rather than egg production.
Other than that, my next suggestion would be to consider starting new chicks.

D.Starr    Posted 08-10-2004 at 07:28:34       [Reply]  [Send Email]
o.k.!! how should i withhold feed? should i put em in the pen & not let em free-range? how long will they be out of commision? also,some of them lost feathers on the backs & have not replaced them,is this because of the calcium thing?

sdg    Posted 08-10-2004 at 08:39:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
First off let me say this is just my oponion. I have chickens and they get feed lay crumbs with oyster shells in it. And I feed them scratch every morning. This is how my dad who has rasied animals since birth (or there after) has always done it and I don't like to mess with what works and has worked for 70+ years. I get nice eggs and I get alot of them even from only 16 hens. So I believe in what I do, though many won't. Just mt 2cents worth. Good Luck

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