Laying hens require a consistent and ample supply of calcium due to the demanding process of egg production. Calcium plays a critical role in forming and maintaining the integrity of eggshells. As hens lay eggs, they transfer calcium from their bodies to the developing eggshell, a process that necessitates a steady influx of this essential mineral.
Insufficient calcium intake can lead to thin, fragile, or even shell-less eggs, which are more prone to breakage and can jeopardize the overall health of the laying hens. Calcium deficiency can also cause hens to draw calcium from their bones, leading to skeletal problems and increased vulnerability to fractures.
Providing laying hens with a calcium-rich diet is vital to ensuring the strength and durability of eggshells, contributing to successful egg production. Alongside calcium-rich feeds, supplementing their diet with appropriate sources like crushed eggshells, oyster shells, or calcium-enriched fruits can help meet their calcium requirements.
Balancing their nutritional intake with adequate calcium not only supports eggshell development but also promotes the well-being of the hens themselves. Strong eggshells prevent stress-related issues for the hens during egg-laying, reducing the risk of injury and ensuring a healthier and more productive flock overall.
Top 10 Fruits for Your Egg Laying Hens
The following fruits are high in calcium therefore these are good for your laying hens. Although some fruits may not be available in your area, make the best out of those that are available.
- Tangerines: Bursting with flavor, tangerines provide a moderate dose of calcium, bolstering eggshell strength for your laying chickens. Their vibrant segments offer a tangy treat that’s also beneficial for bone health.
- Kiwifruit: A potent source of calcium, kiwifruit aids in forming sturdy eggshells, supporting optimal laying conditions. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, it ensures the overall well-being of your feathered friends.
- Prickly Pears: Prickly pears, or cacti fruits, contain a respectable amount of calcium. Feeding them to your chickens can contribute to solid eggshell development while adding variety to their diet.
- Oranges: While not extremely high in calcium, oranges supply a modest dose that complements your chickens’ calcium intake. Their juicy segments add a refreshing element to the diet while offering a slight boost to eggshell quality.
- Mulberries: These delightful berries offer decent calcium content, enhancing the structural integrity of eggshells. Rich in nutrients, mulberries provide an enjoyable and nutritious option for your laying hens.
- Guavas: Guavas present a noteworthy calcium contribution, promoting robust eggshell formation. With their tropical flair and nutritional profile, they make a valuable addition to your chickens’ diet.
- Blackberries: Blackberries provide a reasonable amount of calcium, aiding in strong eggshell production. Their deep color signifies their nutrient density, ensuring both taste and benefits for your chickens.
- Papaya: Offering a moderate calcium content, papaya supports the eggshell development process. Its tropical sweetness adds diversity to the diet, contributing to your chickens’ overall health.
- Passion Fruit: Passion fruit contains a decent dose of calcium, assisting in maintaining optimal eggshell strength. Its distinct flavor and nutritional richness make it a valuable dietary inclusion for laying chickens.
- Seeds: Various seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame can be excellent sources of calcium. Incorporating these into your chickens’ diet can contribute to their overall calcium intake, promoting sturdy eggshells and healthy avian well-being.
The Bottom Line
Calcium is an indispensable element in the diet of laying hens due to its crucial role in forming sturdy and durable eggshells. Providing an adequate calcium supply ensures not only the successful production of high-quality eggs but also the overall well-being of the hens.
Thin or fragile eggshells resulting from calcium deficiency can lead to egg breakage and compromise the hens’ health. By maintaining proper calcium levels through balanced nutrition and supplementation, poultry keepers can support healthy egg production, minimize stress on the hens’ bodies, and contribute to the longevity and vitality of their flock.
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