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 Post subject: Poor Eggs
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:35 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:05 am
Posts: 2
Hello

I have 4 common brown laying hens that I purchased from the farmers markets 5 weeks ago they were advertised on the sign as point of lay hens and the chap told me they has started to lay.

I followed the same feeding regiment he suggested which was laying pellets, shell grit and table scraps as regularly as possible meaning most days. The hens did start to lay after a few day but 2 of the hens and I do not know which 2 are producing very poor eggs that is the shell is paper thin and they break most times just picking them up or if they knock against another egg.

All of the hens are eating the pellets and scraps but not positive they are eating any of the shell grit to which I read now is very important for the egg shell.

So my question is how I get them to eat the shell grit and do you think that will fix the problem or am I best to take them back and swap them for 2 more. I am thinking of purchasing 2 more hens anyway so it’s not out of my way but I am not sure how the chap will react when I ask to swap them.

Sorry I am rambling on I hope you can advise me please


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 Post subject: Re: Poor Eggs
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:53 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:32 am
Posts: 444
Location: NSW
Any move of POL ( point of lay) pullets and hens will put them off for a few weeks.
You can tell which are laying as they would normally have the largest reddest combs, but a sure way is to examine the pin bones.
These are located under the vent, 2 prominant bones one on either side, If they are laying they will feel soft in the abdomin and you can get 3 finger between the pin bones, if about to lay soon you will get 2 fingers between and if not yet ready to lay only 1 finger between the pins.
As for shell quality it can be influenced by a number of factors, shell grit is important for the calcium to form shell, it is included in layer pellets already , that is why it is not recommended to feed it to other livestock other than poultry, the addition of extra shell grit is always good.Food scraps are only a treat and should not form a major part of the ration.Other factors that can influence shell quality are age, stress (any cause), heat and of course genetic factors.
Five weeks is not a long time , they need to settle in and build calcium reserves so maybe a little patience or talk to the vendor when you pick up the other 2 you intend buying.Are you sure you have pullets and not "cast for age " hens from a commercial farm, many of these find thier way onto the market and some vendors will tell you anything to make a sale at markets. Just a thought worth considering.If they are older commercial fowls they will not be used to being on the ground, sometimes take them ages to accustom them selves to freedom, having lived in cages for ages, if this is the case they would normally have long nails and have thier beak shortened, young free range females will have neither of these.
They should also get some green feed for yolk colour, in any form, grass or silverbeet or the like, not to much lettuce.
Fresh clean water should be available at all times and if rodents are not a problem then give the pellets ad lib, if they are give each day/morning what they will clean up in about 20 mins, then the food scaps as an extra in the evening.
Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Poor Eggs
PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:15 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:05 am
Posts: 2
wow oaklands what a super answer

I have printed so I can read it over so it can sink it

I will talk to the chap and see what he says and confirm there age as you say and I will also give them more time to settle in as they are only now starting to trust me

I can not thank you enough for the help

I will let you know how I get on


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 Post subject: Re: Poor Eggs
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:58 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:55 am
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As I am using the commercial layer pellets do I still need to give them shell grit on top?


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 Post subject: Re: Poor Eggs
PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:32 am
Posts: 444
Location: NSW
Additional shellgrit should not be required as calcium is already included in the pellets.
However the supply of shellgrit as a nest material ensures the eggs are always clean and if the fowls want or need it it is available.


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 Post subject: Re: Poor Eggs
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:55 am
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Ok then


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