As a chicken mom, I know that providing the best care for my feathered friends is always top of mind! Ensuring they have the right diet and nutrition is especially important. One way to make sure my chickens are getting all the nutrients they need is by adding calcium to their diet. Calcium plays an essential role in developing strong bones and eggshells as well as helping maintain healthy blood clotting and muscle function – which can help keep your birds healthy and happy.
In this blog post, I’ll be exploring why adding calcium to your chicken’s diet will benefit them, how much you should feed them, and what types of food provide the best sources of calcium for your flock. I personally started supplementing our chickens with calcium after noticing signs of low calcium levels in our first batch of eggs. We had soft shells that were easily cracked – so we knew something was off! After doing some research, we found out that it was likely due to a lack of calcium in their diets.
So we started giving them extra calcium supplements alongside their regular feed – and within no time at all, we noticed a difference in both their health and the quality of eggs they were producing! As someone who has seen firsthand how important it is to include plenty of calcium in your chicken’s diet, I’m excited to share these insights with you today!
What Can I Give My Chickens For Calcium?
We all know the importance of giving our chickens a balanced and nutritious diet. But did you know that adding calcium to your chicken’s diet can provide numerous benefits? Calcium is essential for healthy bones, feathers, and eggshells–and it’s not something that chickens make on their own. That’s why it’s important to supplement their diets with sources of calcium!
Benefits of Adding Calcium
As someone who raises chickens myself, I’ve seen firsthand how beneficial providing an adequate amount of calcium can be. My flock of hens lays strong-shelled eggs consistently because they get enough calcium in their daily diet. Plus, my birds have beautiful plumage due to the added nutrients in their feed! It goes without saying that a happy, healthy chicken is a productive one.
Sources of Calcium
So what can you give your chickens for calcium? The most obvious source is shell grit or oyster shells–both are available at any farm store or online retailer. These supplements help ensure that when your birds eat them, they will receive the right amount of dietary calcium each day. Additionally, some people like to add crushed eggshells back into the mix – just remember to boil them first so as to eliminate any bacteria from raw eggs! Other natural (and tasty!) sources include dark green vegetables such as kale and spinach; sesame seeds; sunflower seeds; rosehips; yogurt drops; and even alfalfa pellets (which are great for young chicks).
Finally, don’t forget about commercial poultry feed fortified with additional minerals like phosphorous and magnesium – these ingredients also play an important role in helping keep your birds healthy by providing complete nutrition! It’s always worth remembering that every bird is different – so use this article as a starting point when considering which type(s) of feed might be best suited for your particular flock. As Dr. Doug Kuntz said, “Feeding poultry should be considered more than just delivering energy—it should be considered delivering health.”
Can You Put Calcium In Chicken Water?
Why Is It Important to Give Your Chickens Calcium?
It is essential for chickens to have enough calcium in their diet for a few reasons. Firstly, having adequate levels of this mineral helps keep bones strong and healthy, which is especially important for young chicks as they grow. Calcium also supports eggshell production – something hens rely on for nutrition during the laying season. Lastly, having enough of this nutrient helps reduce shell breakage due to too little or too much calcium being used up during egg formation.
How Can You Add Calcium to Chicken Water?
Adding supplemental calcium to your flock’s drinking water is an easy way to make sure each bird gets what they need without any extra effort from you! All you have to do is purchase some poultry-safe liquid or powder containing dissolved/dissolvable forms of either oyster shells or limestone (both are great sources). Then add about one tablespoon of the supplement per gallon of fresh drinking water every day for optimal results. You should check with a veterinarian if you are unsure about dosing instructions since too much could potentially cause health issues like kidney stones down the line; however, following directions carefully should help prevent any problems from arising in the first place!
Benefits of Adding Calcium to Chicken Water
In terms of practicality, adding a supplement directly into your flock’s drinking water not only saves time but also money since purchasing individual supplements can be expensive over time. Plus, when done correctly this method allows peace of mind knowing that your birds are getting all the nutrients they need without worrying about underfeeding them or overdosing them on other products – something that could happen if relying solely on feed additives alone (which aren’t always reliable).
How Often Should I Give My Chickens Calcium?
Natural Sources of Calcium
When considering how to get calcium into your chickens’ diet, it is important to consider the natural sources of calcium that are available. As mentioned above, things such as crushed eggshells and cuttlebone can be effective ways to supplement their diet. Other natural sources include dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale and broccoli, which contain high amounts of naturally occurring minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus. Additionally, certain types of nuts such as almonds are also packed with calcium and other essential vitamins and minerals.
Store Bought Supplements
If you find it difficult to source natural sources of calcium for your chickens or if your hens have specific needs that require more than what can be found in nature, then store-bought supplements may be the best option for you. These can usually be found in pet stores or online and come in a variety of forms including powdered supplements, liquid supplements, or even treats! Powdered supplements can easily be mixed into food while liquid supplements are designed to be added directly to feed or water. Treats such as oyster shell grit or pulverized eggs are great for providing additional calcium in an enjoyable way for your chickens.
Providing adequate amounts of calcium for your chickens is essential for strong bones and eggshells’ health. While there are many natural sources available that can help to supplement their diet, it is also important to consider store-bought supplements if these sources prove insufficient or if your birds have special requirements that need addressing. Ultimately it is important to keep an eye on the amount of calcium they receive each week so that they don’t become deficient in this vital mineral!
Can You Give Too Much Calcium To Chickens?
Yes, you can give too much calcium to chickens. Excess calcium consumption can lead to adverse health effects including organ calcification, difficulty breathing, and even death. It also reduces fertilization rates in female chickens and increases eggshell thickness.
It’s important to provide your chickens with a diet that contains enough calcium for proper growth and maintenance. The best way to do this is by adding oyster shells or limestone grit as a supplement once or twice a week. These are both excellent sources of readily available dietary calcium for chickens. Additionally, make sure the feed you purchase contains at least 15% protein and 3% phosphorous – these two nutrients work with calcium to help build strong bones and healthy eggs during growth and adulthood in the birds.
My Experience with Oyster Shell
Personally, I had great success addressing thinning eggshells after noticing some members of my flock were having difficulty conceiving due to insufficient playtime in their free time. After introducing additional oyster shells into their daily diets, which I sprinkled on top of their layer pellets, they began forming eggs adequately within just a few weeks!
Not only did my hens begin feeling more confident about laying eggs without worrying about damage, but so did I knew they were getting all the nutrition they needed for optimal health!
In conclusion, adding calcium to your chicken’s diet can have numerous benefits. Not only will it help keep their bones and beaks strong, but it will also help them maintain a proper growth rate. Calcium is an essential mineral for chickens and should not be overlooked when planning the overall health of your hens. For best results, try to provide a balanced diet with enough greens and grains that are fortified with calcium supplements as needed. With adequate amounts of this important nutrient, you can ensure your chickens stay healthy and happy!