Calcium is a very vital mineral in your chickens health and well-being. It helps in egg shell formation and healthy bone development. Do you know any source of calcium for chickens?
Perhaps you have seen egg eating behavior in your chickens. This is an indicator that they have calcium deficiency in their body and you need to do something.
In this article, I am going to take you through everything you need to know between chickens and calcium. This will help you know the importance of this vital mineral to your Blue chickens.
Additionally, you will also learn some of the best sources of calcium for chickens. So, let us roll!
Do chickens need calcium?
Yes! Chickens need about 2 grams of calcium daily. This essential mineral plays a major part in the formation of healthy bones and strong eggshells.
If chickens do not get enough calcium, they can suffer from serious health problems and even exhibit some signs you will not like at all.
1 Weak bones and joints
Calcium forms the major part of a chicken bones as well as ours. Your Buckeye chickens need enough amounts of this mineral to develop strong and healthy bones.
Denying chickens calcium can lead to bone problems like osteoporosis and rickets. Their bones become very weak and can easily break when subjected to pressure.
Their joints will develop issues and cannot support their heavy fluffy bodies. These birds will have difficulty in walking and cannot run when chased by chicken predators like possums.
2 Soft eggshells
An eggshell is made up of more than 90% calcium. This means that laying hens require enough amount of this mineral to lay healthy eggs.
A Redsexlink chicken hen will make an egg in every 48 hours. The hen will require good layer pellets or crumbles that are high in calcium.
Calcium deficiency in chickens can lead to soft shelled or rubbery eggs. These eggs are soft and can easily break when being transported.
Lack of enough calcium can lead to egg eating in chickens. They will result to this weird behavior when trying to use their readily available eggs to boost calcium levels in their bodies.
3 Slow growth rate
Calcium deficiency can lead to slow growth rate or stunted growth. This can lead to delayed maturity which can make chickens stay longer before they are taken to the market.
Make sure your chickens get enough amounts of calcium. In addition to this, give them other minerals and nutrients in the right amount.
4 Early aging
Chickens will age early if they do not get enough calcium in their bodies. They will develop conditions like arthritis which are associated with old age.
The feathers will come off easily or even delay to molt. Their beaks may lose the outer skeleton making them unable to peck at hard things.
What are best products with calcium for chickens?
Although there are a host of calcium supplement sources, I have reviewed some the best products based on experience.
This will help your friendliest chicken breeds get enough of this important mineral in their bodies. However, they are supplements for calcium and should be fed in moderation.
Manna Pro Poultry Grit With Probiotics Insoluble Crushed Granite 5 LB
This is one of the best sources of calcium for chickens. It is made of insoluble crushed granite that will help grind food in the chicken gizzard.
The calcium in the grit will dissolve and get absorbed in the body. This type of grit for chickens has some added probiotics to help in the digestion of food.
It can be used with all types of poultry in the farm. This makes it economical because you do not need to get an extra bag for your quails and pheasants.
The grit is designed to be used with coarse grains. It can be tossed on the ground together with chicken scratch to help encourage a natural feeding behavior to your chicken breeds.
Manna Pro Crushed Oyster Shell Egg-Laying Chickens 5 LB
These crushed oyster shells are an excellent source of calcium for your laying female black chickens. They are available in pellet form making it easier for your chickens to swallow.
This product is very rich in calcium and will help your chickens lay those tasty eggs with strong shells. The eggs will not break when handled or during transportation.
Are you thinking about any kind of impurities that maybe present in them? Worry no more! The oyster shells are heated to kill any microorganism’s and ensure purity. They are safe and will not pose any health hazard to your fluffiest hen breeds.
This high quality product will provide coral calcium to your flock of chickens. They will develop healthy bones which are strong enough to support their bodies without breaking.
Happy Hen Treats Mealworm Frenzy Pet Treat, 5 Pounds Each
These calcium rich dried mealworms will make your hens go nuts. They are tasty and loaded with calcium, protein plus a host of other nutrients which are very beneficial to their bodies.
The worms are dried and packed well for easier handling compared to live worms. Feeding mealworms to chickens will help encourage a natural feeding behavior.
Happy hen treats are good to toss to your chickens before bedtime. This will encourage them to come home and roost on time.
These dried worms can be fed to other poultry like geese, ducks, turkeys and silver pheasants.
Manna Pro Layer Pellets For Chickens | Non-GMO Organic Feed For Laying Hens
Are you looking for a reliable source of calcium for your laying hens? You got this one here. It is specially made for laying hens to provide them with calcium and protein.
This product is purely organic. It has no added additives making it one of the safest pellets you can feed to your hen breeds.
These feeds come in form of pellets. They will encourage a natural pecking behavior to your birds when hurled on the ground.
Your hens will lay fresh and organic eggs that will fetch high prices in the market.
UltraCruz-sc-516504 Poultry Bone and Egg Builder Supplement, 2lb, Pullet
This is one of the best and most reliable sources of calcium for your chickens. Giving this bone and egg supplement will make your birds lay those tasty eggs with strong shells.
It is rich in calcium and a host of other vitamins that will ensure your chickens have strong and healthy bones and joints.
This supplement comes packed in a 2 gallon bucket. After use, the bucket can be fitted with waterer cups to make a no mess chicken waterer.
It is good for chickens living in calcium deficiency areas as it will help boost the levels of this vital mineral in their bodies.
Do chicks need calcium?
Yes! Baby chicks need calcium for the formation of strong and healthy bones. Calcium deficiency in chicks can lead to weak bones that can break easily.
However, they require calcium in very little amounts and the supplement should be fed in moderation to avoid health issues.
These little critters do not require calcium in high amounts like laying hens do. Remember the hens need high amounts of calcium for strong egg shell formation.
Other than calcium, these baby chickens will require other nutrients and minerals in a balanced ration. Additionally, give them enough drinking water to keep their bodies hydrated and ensure smooth food digestion.
Do roosters need calcium?
Roosters will need small amounts of calcium in their bodies. They have bones and joints to develop which require calcium.
But the amount of calcium roosters need is very little. This is because these male birds do not have eggshells to develop.
Therefore, supplement calcium to your roosters in small amounts. Avoid feeding the layer feeds because they have a high amount of calcium which can lead to health issues.
Where can chickens get calcium from?
Apart from most common supplements found at the feed store, there are other cheap sources of this vital mineral.
They can be used to supplement your birds with calcium and help save cash.
Crushed egg shells are very rich in calcium. They can be fed to chickens after you have eaten the inner contents.
It is common to see chickens eating eggs if they are lacking enough calcium in their bodies. However, crush these shells in small pieces and feed them to your birds in moderation.
They can be mixed with chicken feeds or with tasty chicken treats like cracked corn or rice. Do not toss whole shells to your birds because this can encourage egg eating in chickens.
There are a host of tasty vegetables that are a good source of calcium for chickens. However, these vegetable treats should be fed in moderation because they do not have all the nutrients chickens need in their bodies.
Avoid those store bough vegetables because you are not sure where they were grown. Such chicken treats may be laden with pesticides and other chemicals which can very toxic when ingested.
Most green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach and collard are very rich in calcium. In addition to that, you can feed most cereals like whole corn, wheat and oats.
This is one of the cheapest sources of calcium for chickens if it is readily available. Feed grade limestone is not just good for chickens but for you too.
Limestone in poultry feed will improve the quality of eggs your birds lay and ensure they have strong bones.
However, just like other supplements, ground limestone should be fed to chickens in moderation. Remember, too much of something is poison.
What happens if chickens eat too much calcium?
“Hypercalcemia causes damage to the heart and other organs; it is toxic to the liver and causes the kidney to calcify.”
This happens when there is too much calcium in the chicken’s diet. Remember chickens will not handle it all and should be fed in moderation.
Calcium is a very important mineral in the health of any chicken. It will help in the formation of strong eggshells as well as bones. In mammals it helps in teeth formation ensuring that animals can chew food with much ease.
Chickens can get calcium naturally when ranging on the backyard. They can derive it from seeds, weeds and other treats you toss for them.
However, these feathered friends do not just need calcium but also require other nutrients in a balanced ration. Feeding them with healthy foods will make them happy and productive.