Poultry supplements and supporting your hens during egg laying
Producing eggs for the family table is such a satisfying, back-to-basics, thing to do. But few people realise quite what the hen has to achieve to give you those eggs. For a hen to lay an egg, she has to raid her resources for the protein, oils and other ingredients that go to make up the egg-yolk and egg white. But she also has to raid her resources to produce the egg shell and all too often, she does not have enough available calcium to make a shell, or to make it as well as nature intended her to.
An egg shell takes more calcium out of the hen than she normally consumes in a day. So it is normal for her to raid her calcium stores in her bones to obtain the extra calcium needed to make the shell. Obviously if she keeps doing this, she will soon run out of enough calcium to do the job, with the result that she stops laying for you. And she can also make herself quite ill in the process of trying, so you may not only lose your egg supply, but lose your hen as well. If you see your hen struggling to fly or perch, walking with their legs well apart, or lying on the floor not able to move properly, she in all probability has a calcium deficiency problem.
A recent survey in America showed that 98% of admittedly pet birds, were getting less than the recommended levels of calcium in their diet! Calcium deficiency is a real and very common problem. In commercial egg production nearly 100% of the birds that go for slaughter at 72 weeks old have broken bones. So, if you think your layer pellets are supplying enough calcium for your birds to remain fit and healthy for some years you will be disappointed.
So if you want to keep your laying hens in fine fettle, producing many eggs for you over a longer period and not wearing themselves out in the process, think calcium. For this you need properly bio-available calcium. Unfortunately most products contain good old calcium carbonate (found in nature in chalk and limestone) which is not at all well digestible by the bird. So it goes in one end and out the other again, achieving nothing in the middle. Another low quality product often used is grit.
Birds of all types rarely go in nature to chew at the chalk downs or the limestone walls of The Cotswolds. It just does not work for them. So wild birds get their calcium in other ways, through the bio-available sources found in plants.
At The Birdcare Company we have been providing bio-available calcium supplements for over 17 years. Such products are a huge element of our sales each year, because people keeping all sorts of birds find these products make such a difference to their results.
So, if you are wanting to raise your egg production, keep it going for a while longer and what to keep your hens fit in the process, Poultry CalciBoost is the product for you.
Poultry CalciBoost is designed to be easy to use for backyard poultry. It is a powder which is easily sprinkled over moist food, such as layer pellets or kitchen scraps, to which it will then stick. Use it four to six days a week when your hens are laying. During the off season give it once a week to keep their bone supplies topped up ready for their next period of laying.