Healthy chickens have a shiny and full-looking set of feathers, have bright eyes, and create eggshells that are strong and hard. Strong and hard eggshells will ensure that no bacteria gets into the egg. If your chickens are not laying eggs that are strong, then you’d need to do something about it. So, how do you make eggshells stronger? This article looks into it
Adding calcium to your bird’s diet in the form of crushed oyster shell, crushed limestone, or layer feed, is one of the best ways to get your bird to lay eggs with strong shells. Adding vitamin D3 to the bird’s diet will enable fast absorption of calcium. Keeping the temperature at an optimum level and keeping the bird calm will also help produce stronger eggshells
How to make eggshells stronger?
Adding calcium to the bird’s diet is usually the best and easiest way to get eggs with strong eggshells. Why calcium is needed in eggshell production will be discussed later in the article.
An easy way to get calcium into the bird’s body is to feed the bird crushed limestone. This crushed rock releases calcium into the bird’s body very quickly, it is easily absorbed because it is very small.
Crushed oyster shell
Another way to get calcium into the bird’s body is by adding crushed oyster shells into the bird’s diet. Crushed oyster shell releases calcium into the bird’s body much slower than crushed limestone does, this is because of its larger size.
When chickens eat oyster shells, the shells sit in the chicken’s gizzard and are slowly broken down and released into the bird’s body.
Old eggshells can also be used to add extra calcium into your bird’s diet, once eggs are laid and hatched, they can be cleaned and fed to chickens. To do this, wash then crush the old eggshells, then sprinkle them on your chicken’s feed.
Make sure that you crush the shells well enough so that the chicken does not realize that it is eating shells. If you don’t crush them well enough, and if the chickens realize that they are eating eggshells, then the chickens will eat their eggs after laying them in the future.
Another way to get added calcium into the bird is to serve them layer feed, this can be used in place of the above foods. There is additional calcium added to layer feed by the manufacturer to improve eggshell strength and development.
This solution is also helpful if the birds are not willing to eat the previous suggestions
You may feed your chicken all this calcium, but if the bird is not getting vitamin D3, then the calcium is not going to be as effective in helping to strengthen eggshells.
Vitamin D3 helps calcium travel quickly in the bird’s bloodstream and throughout the bird’s body. It increases how fast calcium moves through the birds intestinal lining and into the bloodstream, adding vitamin D3 will help with eggshell strength
Maintain a good temperature
Something as simple as keeping the temperature appropriate for chickens can determine whether you will have strong or weak eggshells.
Chickens are very sensitive to temperature, if the temperature climbs to over 32°C then the chickens will become stressed and produce eggshells of a weaker strength
Some minerals can cause the bird to create weak eggshells, if these minerals are eaten in excess this will affect your chicken’s eggshell strength.
A mineral that causes eggshells to be too soft is phosphorus, make sure that your chicken is not getting too much of this mineral by weighing out or calculating the amount of mineral phosphorus that the bird gets
Keep them calm
Another way that you can equip your bird to create eggs with a stronger eggshell is to keep them very calm at all times. If your bird is very excited, and is very excited on a regular basis, then their egg shells will be very thin, soft, and badly constructed
What causes weak eggshells?
Chickens create eggshells according to how their health is, not all eggshells will have the strong and thick structural quality that we expect from them. There are a variety of factors that determine how strong and thick the eggshells will be, these include:
Calcium, or rather a lack of, is one reason why your chicken’s eggshells are weak, eggshells are composed of 97% calcium carbonate, this is what gives eggshells their strength and structure. If birds do not eat enough calcium, then the eggshells will be much weaker than they’re supposed to be
Another reason why your eggshells may be weaker is that your bird is simply old. As birds get older, the strength of their eggshells begins to decline, this happens with all birds. This is why birds need to be replaced after a little while, if you buy the bird from a commercial farm then they will likely be past their prime
If birds are laying eggs too early, that is, before you give them calcium-rich foods or layer feed, then the eggshells will be weak. Calcium is taken from the bird’s bones, if the bird does not have enough calcium to create the strongest eggshells, then the bird will lay soft-shelled eggs
In conclusion, the likely cause behind your chickens laying soft-shelled eggs is that they are lacking in calcium. Ways to add calcium into a chickens’ body can include feeding the bird crushed oyster shell, crushed limestone, or a layer feed.
All of this calcium needs to be fed alongside vitamin D3 in order to be absorbed into the chicken’s body quickly and easily.
If the bird is too excited, it will also create soft eggshells, and if the temperature is too high, then eggshells may also be very soft. The bird can also create soft eggshells if it is too old or if it is getting too much phosphorous in its diet
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