clear eggs and layer mashgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
thanks to everybody who responded to my last two questions, now i have two more. i was told that feeding layer mash to our juvenile chicks 6-7 weeks old is a bad thing....makes them start to lay too early? sounded weird to me since i have done that for quite a few years and haven't noticed any problems.
also, in the past week or so, we have gotten two eggs that the hen has seemed to have forgotten to put a shell on. the first one we got eary and it was a regular sized egg with only a very thin transluscent shell. the second was smashed, but i could see that it wouldhave looked about the same. we feed them store bought layer mash plus they have free access to a pretty big chunk of woods and such. the rest of our eggs are normal...anybody know wazzup wid dat?
thanks again, john
-- john houser (email@example.com), April 23, 2000
Do the hens have access to oyster shell, or another source of calcium?
-- Kathleen Sanderson (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 2000.
My experience with soft shelled eggs has been with young pullets just starting to lay. It seems to correct itself as the hens get older. Oyster shells should be available to the hens at all times too.
The only reason I can see for not feeding laying mash to chicks would be that they may need higher protein/calcium feed while developing bones, etc. Check your ingredients and see if they are the same. I asked at the feed mill, they have an all around mix. I guess if your looking for high production from your hens you'd want to feed a special blend. Hope this helps. Betsy
-- Betsy (email@example.com), April 23, 2000.
John, we get this sometimes. Whatever you feed them, they need some calcium to keep cranking out those shells. I feed the shells back to them in the compost (we "slop" kitchen scraps) and now and then I pick up oyster shell from the feed store. Once the bugs really come out, the hens will eat lots of grasshoppers and such, and then they won't need much supplement.
-- Rachel (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 23, 2000.
The "soft-shelled" eggs came from a hen just starting to lay. It is not a problem. Most of us make mistakes the first time we try something. Calcium is a necessity, but it's included in layer feed. A little extra won't hurt, and if your's free range, it might cure a deficiency in your soils. No problem giving young birds the layer mash or pellets. Only difference is in protein and other things the chicks don't really need, such as calcium. If you had a way to make them lay early, you'd have something the commercial boys would be very interested in! With broilers I wouldn't recommend it, since they need even higher protein, but if these are replacement layers, sleep well & GL!
-- Brad (email@example.com), April 23, 2000.