Author Topic: Calcium in feed  (Read 88 times)

Justin Snyder

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Calcium in feed
« on: August 11, 2021, 02:22:52 PM »
Who uses layer feed in breeding pens. Anyone using all flock and offering free choice calcium? I know it isn't ideal to give that much calcium to the roosters but is it worth worrying about?

Mike Gilbert

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Re: Calcium in feed
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2021, 03:32:52 PM »
I have been using all flock pellets, grit, and oyster shell free choice in my breeding pens.  I've not noticed any adverse effects.
Mike Gilbert
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John W Blehm

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Re: Calcium in feed
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2021, 03:51:30 PM »
When my flocks are on a layer ration and a female or so lays soft shelled eggs I assume there is a problem with that pullet/hen, since the rest are laying eggs with normal hard shells.  Offering "free choice" calcium besides the breeder ration shouldn't be a problem if you want to do it.  I generally don't do it, but I have in the past.  I doubt they would consume too much.
When my young birds are maturing and on a growing ration I start adding calcium to the feed when I notice they first start to lay and then switch them to a layer ration the next time I order feed.
This past breeding season several pullets were in individual breeding coops and one pullet always laid a egg that was too soft shelled to set.  I did add extra calcium to her feed cup, but it didn't help.  Of course she was in the special breeding project because I wanted to produce more chickens with some of her extra nice characteristics, but due to the soft shelled eggs it just didn't happen.
I recall reading that some big commercial breeding flocks have feeders with layer ration at the normal level/elevation for the females to eat from and elevated feeders with a special male breeder ration for them.   

Michael Muenks

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Re: Calcium in feed
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2021, 10:21:03 AM »
Free choice calcium via oyster shell will not be a problem for the cockerels/cocks who will only eat what they need. The same with free choice grit. The chickens will take up what they need. This is what I do. A grit cup and an oyster shell cup per pen.