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Egg problems

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I have three ex-batts, we adopted them two months ago. Indiana, Ophelia and Ginny.

For weeks now, one has been producing wrinkled eggs (I think Ophelia). Googling suggested it could be age or a past IB infection, I didn't overly worry. 

Now a second hen is producing eggs with very, very thin (almost non-existant) shells.

I give them mixed grit but I do also have a separate oyster shell grit which I have started giving them in addition to the mixed to increase their calcium intake. Is there anything else I can give them that might help?

Their eyes seem clear but I noticed that one hen (Ophelia) has some yellow discharge around one nostril (photo below). She also gave one small sneeze although I had not previously noticed any other sneezing. All three seem to be eating well and poos look normal. How worried should I be about this?

It's worth noting that although one of the hens (Ginny, who was bullied and didn't eat for a week when she first arrived) has grown her feathers back beautifully, the other two have not made much progress and they are very bare in places (they have been showing signs of re-growning feathers but progress is slow). Again, any suggestions to help with this diet-wise?

This is Ophelia:






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Unfortunately ex-batts are well known for developing incurable egg problems @Cindig, so whilst it is a fine gesture to give them a new life, you can't expect much in the way of eggs for long. Oyster shell grit and extra Calcium sounds a good idea, but it contributes to putting their system further out of balance. Good quality layers pellets have everything they need. Calcium is taken from the feed and is stored in the bones; it is that store which provides calcium for the shells. So as you can see it is a very complex mechanism with plenty to go wrong. Frequently overlooked is the need for Phosphorous together with Calcium in the correct proportions of 1:8, so adding just Calcium to the feed just puts the Phosphorous balance even further out. The Phosphorous, together with Vitamin B (or is it D, can't remember?), fuel the mechanism to transfer Calcium. I'd just stick to the good quality layers pellets and let things take their course.

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Think it’s vitamin D, have seen calcium citrate (withD3) recommended but also many differing opinions. Americans seem fond of Tums although an excess of Calcium can cause other problems so it’s a bit of a minefield as Beantree says.
Pulled this off British Hen Welfare Trust website: https://www.bhwt.org.uk/hen-health/health-problems/soft-shell-eggs/

Good luck with them

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Beantree is so absolutely right about the calcium to phosphorus balance. Both calcium and phosphorus are required for egg shell, bone and beak strength in chickens. However, too MUCH phosphorus results in inadequate calcium absorbtion. 


Live black soldier fly larvae naturally have the right calcium to phosphorus balance - along with lots of other essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It's important not to over supplement but 10g of live of larvae also known as Calci Worms a day, replacing 10% of their complete feed, is an absolutely brilliant way to supplement their diet without causing imbalances. 


Feeding live, UK farmed larvae is not against DEFRA regulations. We get ours from a UK supplier who delivers them live and you can order as one off, or we subscribe and get them weekly for our girls. We have bantams so feed a little less and subscribe for 4 hens a week when we have 7 small pekin bantams. 


Www.econourish.co.uk for more info or www.econourish.co.uk/shop to buy/subscribe. I got an email about a promo on at the moment where you can win a free subscription and there's a discount. But we already subscribe so can't take part but someone else may as well benefit!

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