Calcium Rich Foods For Hens

Laying hens require large amounts of calcium for eggshells. Laying mashes typically contain 2.5% to 3.5% calcium. Growing chickens require only 1.2% calcium in their feed. If you feed high-calcium diets to growing chickens, kidney damage can result.

WARNING:

Never add dolomite limestone to poultry feed or give it to birds. Dolomite contains 10% magnesium which competes with calcium for absorption sites and leads to a calcium deficiency manifested by poor skeletal growth and eggshell quality problems.

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Calcium Rich Foods For Hens

Calcium Rich Foods For Hens can help you avoid shell quality issues in your flock, and it’s easy to feed. Farmers have been adding calcium to the diet of layers for generations to improve shell quality, and consequently, we’ve learned a few things about it.

Best Calcium Sources for Chickens

  • – Crushed Oyster Shells.
  • – Crushed Limestone.
  • – Used Eggshells.
  • – Dairy Products.
  • – Vegetable Scraps.
  • – Poor Eggshell Quality.
  • – Problematic Bones.
  • – Stunted Growth.
Calcium Rich Foods For Hens
Calcium Rich Foods For Hens

HOW MUCH CALCIUM DOES A HEN NEED?

An adult laying hen (over the age of 18 weeks) needs between 4-5g of calcium per day, but she also needs an adequate supply of other elements to make eggshells. These best chicken feed for calcium includes phosphorous, zinc, magnesium, manganese, vitamin D3. A commercial layer feed already has all these micro-ingredients included in a vitamin/mineral mix (plus limestone flour at the correct level) to maintain egg shell production.

However, once you start feeding extra grains, kitchen scraps or letting your hens free range, then the amounts of these essential ingredients become diluted if the extra feed sources do not contain the correct amounts of trace elements to make up the shortfall.

The balance of calcium to phosphorous ratio is critical. If you feed extra calcium without extra phosphorous, the ratio becomes unbalanced and shell problems can occur. What most people do when they see a faulty shell is force their birds to eat more calcium by adding it to their mixed feed but this often makes the problem worse.

Is Excess Calcium In the Diet Bad For Your Birds?

Calcium Rich Foods For Hens
Calcium Rich Foods For Hens

An oversupply of Calcium Rich Foods For Hens can be potentially disastrous for your chicken. Hence it is vital to monitor the levels on a daily basis. Some of the health conditions caused by excess levels of calcium include kidney failure and hypocalcemia.

This is a condition caused by a deficiency of calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D in the diet. Common symptoms on your chicken include loss of appetite, decreased level of activity and body weakness.

On the other hand, you can find out if your birds are receiving extra calcium by looking at their droppings. If they look pale, dark green, or even white, that’s an indication that you should slow down on the calcium levels.