6 Natural Sources of Calcium for Chickens
Are you a poultry farmer and looking for natural sources of Calcium for your Chickens, then you are at the right place as we will be walking you through some natural feeds that are rich in Calcium for your Chickens.
Calcium is essential in chicken feed because it aids in the formation of bones and the formation of eggshells. As a result, a lack of calcium in poultry birds’ diets can cause serious problems. Natural calcium sources for chickens and other poultry species are discussed in this article.
It is important as a poultry farmer that your animals receive a well-balanced diet. This means including calcium-rich ingredients in the feed to promote strong bones and healthy eggshells. However, some farmers make the mistake of cutting back on calcium, resulting in weak bones and shell-less or soft-shelled eggs. 6 Natural Sources of Calcium for Chickens
How Much Calcium Does Chicken Require?
Chickens require about two grams of calcium per day as a general rule. If your chickens are young, you will need to supplement their calcium intake in order to strengthen their growing bones and prevent deformities.
Keep in mind that combining calcium sources can lead to an increase in daily calcium intake, which can be harmful to your bird’s health. This is due to the fact that the chicken body requires time to absorb and process all of these products before providing your chicken with enough calcium for good health.
Why Chickens Need Calcium
A lack of calcium in chicken feed can have a negative impact on their health and productivity. Calcium is required for skeleton maintenance, egg production, and shell quality. Calcium is also involved in blood clotting, enzyme activation and deactivation, and hormone secretion. If hens do not get enough calcium, they may develop health issues that affect their egg production and overall well-being.
Calcium Deficiency in Chickens
Below are some of the effects of calcium deficiency in chickens:
- Low egg production
- Fragile egg shells
- Weakness and coordination problems
- Leg weakness
- Osteoporosis and bone fractures
- Bone and joint deformations
- Dystocia (retention of the egg) can develop in laying hens
6 Natural Sources of Calcium for Chickens
It is advisable for poultry owners to prioritize learning about excellent calcium sources. The following is a vital guide to what you should include in your bird’s diet for healthier living. Among the best calcium natural sources are:
1. Grinded Oyster Shells
Grinded oyster shells are one of the best calcium sources for birds because they contain a variety of vitamins and minerals that are essential for your bird’s health. The shells should be crushed for easier consumption by chickens and to improve mineral absorption in their bodies.
This product is easily available ready-made, both online and in local chicken poultry shops. Remember that you may need to buy a large quantity of oyster shells for your chicken in order to reap the many benefits.
2. Grinded Limestone
Crushed limestone, also known as chicken grit, is an excellent source of calcium for your chicken. Limestone has a high mineral content and is frequently used in the preparation of human foods and animal feeds because it has been shown to be very healthy for humans.
Furthermore, limestone is less expensive than other calcium sources. The only disadvantage is that it tends to leave some residue inside your chicken’s beaks. As a result, you may need to keep checking and removing them in order to allow for proper feeding and expected growth.
Eggshells are an excellent calcium substitute in a chicken diet. If you enjoy eating eggs every morning, don’t throw away the shells; instead, feed them to your chicken. Furthermore, there is a good chance that the chickens will not be able to crack the eggshells.
As a result, you may need to crush it into small pieces to aid absorption. Give them fresh eggshells as well, as they lose their calcium content over time.
4. Vegetables Scraps
The majority of chicken owners do not consider using vegetable scraps as a calcium source for their chickens. This is not true because vegetable scrapes are a healthy way to ensure that your birds get enough calcium. Furthermore, they provide the chicken with a variety of nutrients, vitamins, and fiber that are necessary for good health.
You might be wondering which vegetables are high in calcium. Because leafy greens contain more calcium than other vegetables, you should feed them broccoli leaves, fresh cucumber leaves, and cabbage leaves. Kale, squash, and turnip greens are also good sources.
5. Milk and Dairy Products
The majority of chicken owners avoid feeding their chickens animal products. Unfortunately, they forego the opportunity to provide an impressive source of calcium for birds. Give your birds a fresh supply of dairy products if possible to significantly improve their health. The best way to avoid weight gain and related health problems are to consume low-fat dairy products.
Fresh fish, milk, eggs, and organ meats are the best animal products for chicken. It’s worth noting that bone broths from chicken or beef are also a good source of calcium for birds. Above all, keep an eye on the number of animal products you consume, such as milk and cheese, because they can cause unwanted weight gain and unnecessary bone pressure.
6. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Diatomaceous earth, also known as white earth, is made up of fossilized algae that can be found in bodies of water. It can be used for a variety of purposes, including organic or homemade dewormer for chickens and as a food supplement. It is a good source of calcium for chickens as a food supplement.
Signs of Too Much Calcium in Chickens
Below are signs to know when your Chicken has too much calcium
- pimply eggs
- eggs with rough ends due to excess calcium deposits
- soft-shelled or shell-less eggs
- reduced feed consumption
- reduced egg production